Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Preparing for Summer Employment

It's hard to believe, but the summer break is only a few weeks away! Once you've navigated the obstacle course of final exams, it's time to get ready for summer employment.

Prepare to Practice training

If you missed the library's recent presentation in the Career Center's 2L Research Refresher Series, "What to Know Before You Go," you can access the slides and handout on the Library Workshops and Instruction page. This session gave helpful tips about beginning any research assignment, including: brainstorming search keywords, formulating advanced searches, locating background information in secondary sources, and keeping current with the latest developments in your practice areas.

Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law will also offer "prepare to practice" or "summer certification" trainings over the next few weeks in the Fite Room, on level 2 of the library. View the Training Calendars and sign up:
Each service also offers online tutorials or other self-guided training materials for summer employment preparation. On Bloomberg's main screen, scroll down to the "Be Practice Ready" section; on Lexis and Westlaw, look for links to Tutorials.

Summer Database Access

While you're likely to use Lexis, Westlaw, and/or Bloomberg Law in practice this summer, be aware that there may be restrictions on using your Duke Law-issued research passwords during your summer employment. These restrictions may be set by the services themselves, or by your employer.

Westlaw restricts student passwords over the summer for specific academic uses only:
  • Summer law school classes and study abroad programs
  • Law Review and Journal, including write-on competitions
  • Research assistant
  • Moot Court
  • Unpaid internship/externship

Students who meet one of these educational exemptions can extend their password here. Students with summer jobs in law firms, corporations, and government agencies should not use an academic password for research and must use a firm-issued password.

Lexis provides all returning law students with "free and unlimited access to their Lexis Advance IDs" over the summer. No action is needed to extend the password, and no restrictions are placed by Lexis on using the educational ID in either academic, non-profit, or commercial settings. (Note that some employers may require students to use a firm-issued ID instead.) Graduating students will continue to have access to Lexis Advance until December 31; graduates working for a qualifying public interest organization can apply for the "ASPIRE ID," which provides Lexis access for an entire year.

Bloomberg Law accounts are valid during the summer and for 6 months after graduation. Unless your employer states otherwise, 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.

Other Duke databases continue to be available to returning students over the summer, and most can be accessed off-site with your NetID and password. See the library's list of Legal Databases & Links.

Getting Help

Beginning on the last day of the exam period (Friday, May 6), the library will be staffed weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is available to assist with research questions over the summer. (Talk to your employer about policies regarding external assistance, and be mindful of confidentiality concerns!) For help with your summer research, be sure to Ask a Librarian.