Thursday, March 28, 2013

Summer Legal Research Access

It may be hard to believe now, but in just a few weeks your final exams and papers will be a distant memory as you begin your summer job. Starting in May, many commonly-used legal research resources restrict student access over the summer, to help avoid the use of nonprofit educational passwords at paid summer employment. However, each service treats summer access a little bit differently, and there may be further variations for continuing vs. graduating students. Here’s your guide to summer database access.
  • Bloomberg Law accounts are valid between school terms and for 6 months after you graduate. Your Law School Bloomberg account may be used for both academic and employment-related purposes, including full access to federal court filings from PACER (see our research guide). If you do not already have a Bloomberg Law account, you may Request A Law School Account with your Duke email address.
  • LexisNexis will provide unlimited access this summer to Lexis Advance, its next-generation research interface. Beginning in May, Lexis Advance will be available for use over the summer for both academic and employment-related purposes. The interface will be available for academic (non-commercial) use only until July. 2013 graduates will have full access to Lexis Advance through July 31; continuing students will have unlimited access until August 31. [Update: Lexis announced in May that graduated students may complete a registration for a new Advance ID which will provide access through December 31 for "educational, bar review and job search purposes only."]
  • Westlaw offers extensions of your Law School password for academic work, including: summer classes, journal work, projects for faculty, moot court, unpaid/non-profit public interest internships or externships, or a pro bono project that is required for graduation. Commercial use of your Law School password (such as at a law firm summer job) is strictly prohibited. Recent graduates can also extend their Westlaw passwords to obtain 10 free hours of research time for bar exam study [update: Westlaw announced in May that graduated students can continue to use their extended student passwords through November 30]. If you qualify for a summer extension of your Westlaw password, log in to the extension page and follow the instructions.
  • Other Duke Library Databases: Access to Duke University databases for continuing students is still available over the summer with a NetID and password. Recent graduates will find that their off-campus, NetID-based access to other subscription databases (such as HeinOnline and LegalTrac) expires very quickly after graduation. Alumni may access many University and Law School subscription databases on-site via the reading room computer terminals.
For more information about access to library resources for the graduating class of 2013, bookmark our guide to Services for Law Alumni. If you have questions over the summer about access to particular resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian. Effective Monday, April 15, reference services will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Evening and weekend services at the Circulation/Reserve desk and the Academic Technologies Help Desk will continue through the end of final exams.