Finding Appropriate Databases to Research

When you’re confronted with the task of writing a research paper, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start.  Fortunately, the library offers pages where online resources are grouped by subject.  These pages can be accessed here.  Whether you are researching Health Law or looking for the law of the European Union, there are helpful lists available.  You can also check out the Research Guides for additional recommendations.  Of course, if you’re still unsure, you are welcome to come to the reference desk and ask a librarian.  We are happy to help answer questions about research strategy or finding a particular resource.


Looking to Add Some Practical Experience to Your Resume?

The Boston Bar Association and Suffolk University Law School are sponsoring a Pro Bono Recruitment Fair & Open House for attorneys and law students.  Come learn about pro bono opportunities and meet attorneys associated with local legal services organizations.

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time: 5:00-7:00 PM

Location: Suffolk University Law School, 1st Floor Function Room

Address: 120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

Please RSVP for this event here.


Students: Like the ABA on Facebook for a Chance to Win Big!

The American Bar Association is contributing ten cents to the grand prize jackpot for each law student who likes the ABA for Law Students Facebook page.  The grand prize winner could win up to $10,000.  Additional prizes include travel packages and BarBri gift certificates.  Click here to check it out, and remember to enter the sweepstakes in addition to liking the page.  Good luck!


Researching Your Note or Seminar Paper

Note and seminar paper deadlines are quickly approaching.  Whether you have a few holes in your research, or you have not started researching your topic, you are invited to attend one of the Researching Your Note or Seminar Paper classes offered this fall.  These classes will feature how to find materials using both the old and new library catalogs.  We will also discuss legal and non-legal library research databases, including HeinOnline, BNA, and Business Source Complete.  Classes will be offered:

  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 (4:15-5:00 PM)
  • Monday, October 24, 2011 (1:15-2:00 PM)
  • Tuesday, November 1, 2011 (1:15-2:00 PM)

To register, click here.


Citing and Organizing Legal Research





Trying to put something into Bluebook form can be extremely tedious.  Part of your job in law school is to learn to Bluebook properly.  But once you are working for yourself, so to speak, you may be looking for an easier way to do it.

There are a few free tools for law students.  The easiest of these is WestlawNext.  When you select a block of text in WestlawNext it allows you to copy with reference.  The default is Legal Brief format, put this can be changed to Law Review in the Preferences section of the screen.  Citegenie is another free option.  This is a Firefox add-on which allows you to click into a Lexis or Westlaw document and automatically generate a bluebooked citation.  For more scholarly pursuits, like a paper, Zotero is a Firefox add-on which allows you to organize your research.  It produces bluebooked citations for articles and books, but cases and statutes need to be entered by hand.  It’s main utility is that it interacts with most scholarly databases.  BU also subscribes to RefWorks but this database does not have quite as nice a Bluebook output.

There are many pieces of software out there which are trying to help you organize and cite your research, but they must all be purchased.  Citestack is a Chrome app which allows you to organize and create citations for your legal research.    Cit-R-Us is a software product that automatically bluebooks your citations.  Westlaw has CiteAdvisor and Lexis/Nexis has Casemap  which is not included in an academic subscription.  For a list of citation software out there see this post.



GPO Access is FDSys

The great website GPO Access, the home of official U.S. Government documents, has changed its format as well as it’s name.  It’s now called FDsys, but it still has the same great content.  Take a look at the current FDsys “Featured Collections.”

Now that’s what I call official!

The new link is spelled out below.