Westlaw’s 1L Outline Shells

Looking for resources to prepare for your 1L exams?  You may want to consider checking out Westlaw’s 1L Outline Shells series.  This series provides a quick overview of black letter law, and may be a helpful resource to consult in conjunction with your class notes.  Covering the topics of civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts, this series is available for free at: https://lawschool.westlaw.com/marketing/display/SG/28.  Good luck studying!


Visual Law Library

Do you learn better when you see a concept schematically.  Well then the Visual Law Library might interest you.  Flowcharts, cartoons, infographics  – any way that someone can represent the law visually – can be found at this site.  Here is one I liked:



Research Strategy for your Open Memo

Here are a few tips for starting your research on your open memo.  If your writing instructor has given you a case or a statute you can start with those:

  1. If they gave you a case use the headnotes to get other cases on the same topic in your jurisdiction.  Use Shepards or Keycite to get other cases in your jurisdiction.  You can filter by headnote to get cases only on the topic that interest you.  Remember you are looking for the highest court in your jurisdiction that articulates the rule or test for your legal issue.  It may not have the same facts.
  2. If they gave you a statute, you can use an annotated code with case notes to find cases that have interpreted your statute on the issue you are researching.

If they have just given you the facts then:

  1. Try to find a secondary source in your jurisdiction (like Massachusetts Practice or MCLE if you are in Massachusetts) that will give you a case or statute.  Or look for an ALR article on the topic to find a primary source from your jurisdiction.  Can’t find a good secondary source?  Come to the reference desk.
  2. Do a case law search.  Remember to narrow to the jurisdiction you need.  If your writing instructor has said only Missouri state cases, then narrow to Missouri state cases – otherwise you will make if more confusing for yourself.  Having trouble with your keywords?  Come to the reference desk and we will tell you about terms and connectors which make case law research more precise.

Stuck – then come to the reference desk.


Print Resources Discussed in the Research Classes

Curious about finding resources in print?

As mentioned in our research classes, the Bluebook often requires one to cite to print copies of a resource.  If you are interested in finding some of the materials that we discussed in class in print, search in the following locations:

  • The Massachusetts Practice Series (Mass Practice) is located on the second floor of the Libraries at call number KFM2480 .M3.
  • The Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) books are also located in the Massachusetts Collection on the third floor of the Libraries.  Although these books have different call numbers depending on their titles, they are generally shelved directly after the Mass Practice Series.
  • American Jurisprudence 2d (AmJur) is located in the Reference Collection at call number KF154 .A45.
  • American Law Reports (ALR) may be found near the Tax Library on the second floor of the Libraries.
  • Generally, state statutes may also be found on the second floor of the Libraries, where they are organized alphabetically by state.  The only exception are the statutes of Massachusetts, which are located in the Massachusetts Collection on the third floor.
  • The United States Code (U.S.C.), the United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.), and the United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.) may each be found on the third floor of the Libraries.
  • Lastly, regional reporters, such as the Pacific Reporter, may also be found on the second and the third floors of the Libraries.

The following maps may also be useful when you are searching for these materials:

Library Maps


Library Tours Today!

Learn important information about the library on tours being conducted today and all week!

Tours are at 1 and 4 this afternoon, starting in room 335.

Additional tours are as follows:

Wednesday, Sept. 2 @ 1 & 4 pm

Thursday, Sept. 3 @ 1 & 4 pm

Tuesday, Sept.  8 @ 1pm

Wednesday, Sept. 9 @ 4 pm

Friday, Sept.  11 @ 12 & 1 pm


Library Tours

Learn about important resources that will help you get a quick start in law school.  These tours will be held:

Monday, August 31 @ 1 & 4 pm

Wednesday, Sept. 2 @ 1 & 4 pm

Thursday, Sept. 3 @ 1 & 4 pm

Tuesday, Sept.  8 @ 1pm

Wednesday, Sept. 9 @ 4 pm

Friday, Sept.  11 @ 12 & 1 pm



Admin Law Research Certification Class

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: http://lawlibraryguides.bu.edu/certadmin2015

Administrative Law Research

Jan. 28 | 1 p.m. (Room 335) *LLM Students Preferred*

Feb 4th and 5th  | 1 p.m. (Room 335) JD sections
Steven Alexandre da Costa, instructor; sadac@bu.edu



New BU Law student? We have Survival Guides for you.



The Law Library has multiple resources available to assist you as you ease into your new surroundings here at BU Law School.

The Reference Librarians are at the Reference Desk (on level 2L) and can assist you with research questions and our fantastic Circulation staff will be happy to help orient you and assist with course reserves and with all other collection borrowing and location requests.

Our 1L Survival guide is located HERE.

Our American Law LLM survival guide is HERE.

Our Transfer student guide is HERE.

Our Banking LLM Survival Guide is HERE.


Good luck and Welcome to BUSL!



Library Tours for New Students

Any questions about the library?  Need to know how to set up wireless printing?  Come to a library orientation tour.

All tours start in the library classroom, room 323, and will last 45 minutes.

If you are interested in touring the library, but are unable to attend during one of these times, please contact Stefanie Weigmann, sweig@bu.edu.

Date                                  Times

Tuesday, Sept. 3             10:00 AM, 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Wednesday, Sept. 4        10:00AM, 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Thursday, Sept. 5            10:00AM, 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Monday, Sept. 9                4:00 PM

Tuesday, Sept. 10         1:00 PM

Wednesday, Sept. 11     1:00 PM