Monday, April 28, 2014

Summer Legal Research Access

As final exams draw to a close, it's time to start thinking about summer. Beginning in May, many commonly-used legal research resources will 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 legal research 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, although Lexis recommends consulting with your employer about use of an educational account at your summer job. The interface will be available for academic (non-commercial) use only. Recent graduates may register for a separate Advance ID which can be used until December 31.
  • 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 may also extend their password to the end of July. 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, usually the next day. Alumni may access many University and Law School subscription databases on-site via the reading room computer terminals.
  • Research at Other Institutions: If you will be spending your summer outside of the Triangle, check whether your nearest law school libraries require a letter of introduction in order to access their facilities. Many private law schools with restricted access will allow currently-enrolled students or recent graduates from other law schools to use their facilities as a guest. Contact the Reference Desk if you need to obtain a letter of introduction before leaving town.
For more information about access to library resources for the graduating class of 2014, 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.