Archive for the 'Free!' Category

Mar 17 2014

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Free Legal Research

On Tuesday, March 18, we’ll have one more class session on Internet tools for conducting free legal research. The calendar for the remaining Certification classes is here.

Class page:

Free Legal Research
March 18, 2014 | 1 p.m. (Room 334)

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Mar 07 2014

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Online Photos

Filed under Free!,Fun!

Getty is now making 35 million of its photos available for free online use.

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Feb 21 2014

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Filed under Federal Legal,Free!,Fun!

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.

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Feb 12 2014

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Certification Class: Administrative Law

Researching the regulations promulgated by administrative agencies is an important component of U.S. legal research. This class will include finding regulations, working with the principal federal publications for locating agency regulations (Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations), and updating research to locate the most current information.

Class page:

Administrative Law Research
Feb. 14 & 18 | 1 p.m. (Room 334)
David Bachman, instructor;

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Feb 02 2014

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Resources for Free Legal Research

The convenience of the major commercial legal databases has made them so popular that many law students rely on them almost exclusively for legal research. This session will highlight free tools available via Internet that are increasingly important for lawyers who need to do cost-effective research in the current economic environment. In some cases, these resources are as good as (or better than) anything provided by commercial publishers. In this class, offered next week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll consider resources for both primary and secondary legal sources, including: federal and state government web sites, Google Scholar (and tips for using Google) and  current awareness tools.

Class page:

Free Legal Research
Feb. 3, 4, 5 | 1 p.m. (Room 334)
David Bachman, instructor;

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Jan 23 2014

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Resources for Monitoring a Case at SCOTUS

The resources that you can use to monitor a case at the Supreme Court include free and subscription services that are available to BU Law students. One of the most high profile cases in the Court’s current Term is NLRB v. Noel Canning, involving the President’s power to make recess appointments without the consent of the Senate.

To learn about the case, including the most current information, consider availability of these, among other sources:

  • the transcript of the oral argument, posted to the Court’s website within hours of the argument on Jan. 13
  • the docket for the case, 12-1281, updated to the present, also from the Court
  • Lyle Denniston’s same-day coverage of the oral argument on SCOTUSBlog
  • from SCOTUSBlog’s Merits Briefs section, more extensive news coverage and links to all the briefs filed in the case
  • coverage of the case on United States Law Week, including a detailed story following the oral argument (Kerberos password required)

When the Court releases its opinion, probably in the Spring, these sources and many others will provide access to the full text. For a same-day announcement of this and other SCOTUS cases, you might consider signing up for the Supreme Court Bulletin, a service of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

For more SCOTUS resources, see our research guide on court documents; or check out our guide to current awareness tools for links to other updates and news sources.




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Jan 19 2014

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A new free resource for searching the world’s constitutions…by topic or country!

Filed under Foreign Law,Free!

The site is a cool new tool for researchers to utilize when researching the world’s Constitutions— made all the better because searches can be conducted by topic or by country! What really sets this effort apart is the ability to search by topic, highlight the comparative clauses in the various constitutions and “pin” them to a notepad for further work. Say for example that you want to see those jurisdictions which explicitly provide for a right to access to higher education, this site through three simple clicks identifies 60 national constitutions where this right is enumerated:



Check it out!

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Dec 04 2013

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The ABA Journal’s Blawg 100

The ABA Journal recently posted its 7th annual “Blawg 100,” a selection of the top 100 law-related blogs. The ABA site lists the winners by topic and alphabetically.


Along with many blogs that have been selected before, new picks include:

  • Center for Law and Religion Forum (hosted by St. John’s University, this blog highlights news related to law and religion, “taking seriously varied religious traditions rather than mocking them or treating them in a lowest-common-denominator fashion”)
  • JD Careers Out There (hosted by legal recruiter Marc Luber, the blog focuses on alternative career paths for lawyers, with text and video content from numerous JDs and tips and advice on law school and career topics)
  • Legally Weird (this site defines its mission as locating “the strangest and most ridiculous current events with a legal angle”; from FindLaw)
  • Ponzitracker (as the name suggests, this blog tracks news on Ponzi schemes; it also provides links, suggested readings and more)

You may notice that some familiar titles, maybe some of your favorites, are not on this year’s list. That could be because those blogs are among the select group–such as Above the Law and the Volokh Conspiracy–that  have been added (in 2012 or 2013) to the Blawg 100 Hall of Fame.

To find other law blogs, consult the ABAJ’s Blawg Directory, the legal blog archive from the Law Library of Congress, or Justia’s BlawgSearch feature.

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Nov 06 2013

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Explore Legal Issues Through TED Talks

You’ve probably familiar with TED Talks, among other sources of informative video content via Internet. Although TED defines its mission as spreading ideas by bringing together people from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design, many TED Talks explore or implicate legal and law-related issues–from human rights to intellectual property, from money in politics to international environmental law.

Usually running 15 to 20 minutes, these talks can help to identify an unseen issue, inspire action or even suggest research leads to explore. A few popular examples:

The site’s topical directory and search engine facilitate discovery of other talks. Still more talks are available from TEDx events, which afford the “opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.” These include some 30,000 videos on many topics from events in over 130 countries.


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Sep 26 2013

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Autumn Fun!

Filed under Free!,Fun!,Law Library

Keeping balance in Law School can be a daunting, almost impossible task.  One of the many advantages of being in Boston is the endless variety of cultural events and venues both indoors and outdoors waiting for you!

Check out for a regularly updated list of local happenings.

Get out and see the foliage and devour some cider doughnuts! Here’s an article highlighting some of the regions best foliage activities.

Frequent the City’s local classical  music scene to zen out.

Get out on a bike before the weather turns frigid, check out Boston City’s unique biking initiative at Boston Bikes!

Go pick apples, visit the winery and take a hayride at: The Russell Orchards

Head to the banks of the Charles River for the “Head of the Charles” Regatta

And for a truly New England experience, try a nighttime Corn Maze


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