Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Summer Legal Research: Access & Guidance

At the end of each spring semester, law students often have questions about translating their academic research experiences into real-world work environments. On Monday, March 31 at 12:15 pm, join Goodson Law Library staff and research instructors in Room 4047 for a Legal Research Refresher: What to Know Before You Go. Part of the 2L Summer Success Series sponsored by the Career & Professional Development Center, this session will offer tips and tricks to get background in unfamiliar legal topics, use low-cost research database alternatives, and conduct business and transactional law-related research at your summer jobs. Lunch and a "swag bag" will be provided to attendees on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early!

A common question as students prepare for summer employment is the availability of online research services. Some access to educational databases, like Westlaw and Lexis.com, will be restricted over the summer unless users qualify for an extension:
  • Westlaw offers summer password extensions for limited academic and non-profit purposes, including summer classes, work as a research assistant, participation in law school journals or moot court, or unpaid internships/externships. 1Ls and 2Ls can request an extension online. Graduating students will receive extension information via email soon.
  • Lexis will provide unlimited access this summer to the Lexis Advance platform, for both non-profit and for-profit usage. However, the company encourages students to check with their employers for guidance on using educational accounts during summer jobs, as some employers may prohibit this practice. May 2014 graduates will have access to Lexis Advance until August.
  • Bloomberg Law accounts are valid between school terms and for 6 months after graduation. Bloomberg Law allows use of its passwords for both non-profit and for-profit purposes (again, check with your employer). If you do not have a Bloomberg Law account, register with your Duke Law email at https://www.bloomberglaw.com/activate.
Representatives from all three legal research services will be in the library's Fite Room throughout the month of April to provide additional "Prepare to Practice" training for law students. Training calendars for all three services can be found on the Goodson Law Library home page, under Research Help. Take advantage of the training opportunities and arrive at your summer job ready to research!