Archive for the 'Law Library' Category

Jan 27 2015

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UPDATE on Library closing due to weather.

Filed under Law Library

BU Law will remain closed Wednesday on January 28th due to the inclement weather.

For up-to-the minute updates you may call:

617-353-SNOW or in case of emergency the BU Police department at 617-353-2121.


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Jan 26 2015

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Campus Closing Due to Weather

Filed under Boston,Law Library

The Charles River and Medical Center campuses are closing at 5 p.m. today and will remain closed all day on Tuesday.

For more information and updates, check these sources:

BU Today recently posted an article on coping with severe winter weather, and this article on the blizzard forecast for tomorrow. Please take care to stay safe and warm.

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Jan 21 2015

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New Resource: World Treaty Library

Hein Online’s World Treaty Library is a significant step forward for those doing treaty research.

Hein Online has been a great source for obtaining the texts of treaties: the U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library provides a range of information on treaties to which the United States is a party, including most of the official U.S. sources for treaty text preferred by The Bluebook; and the United Nations Law Collection includes the full text of all treaties published in the United Nations Treaty Series and the League of Nations Treaty Series.

One drawback: Hein Online provided different collections and finding tools for U.S. and non-U.S. treaties, and for contemporary and historical treaties. At times, a researcher may have had to check several different resources in search of a treaty or agreement, depending on the answers to questions such as: Is the U.S. a party? It the treaty bilateral or multilateral? When was the treaty made?

The World Treaty Library helps to overcome that limitation with a Treaty Index feature that brings together seven treaty indexes–including Wiktor’s Multilateral Treaty Calendar, 1648-1995–which can be searched separately or together. For example, if you were searching for the international agreement concerning the conservation of polar bears, but you were not sure when the treaty was made or which countries were parties to it, the combined index search can help.


WTL Index_5   WTL Results_final


As shown above (click image to enlarge), the search included multiple indexes, with resulting records (from different indexes) providing links to the treaty text in multiple sources. With this tool, researchers can more quickly identify treaties and locate treaty texts.

The next time you have a treaty research question, consider the World Treaty Library.

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Jan 19 2015

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Martin Luther King Papers

Filed under Law Library

Martin Luther King, who earned his PhD at the BU School of Theology, donated his papers to Boston University and they reside in the Howard Gotlieb Archives.  At a press conference in 1964  he articulated his reasons for donating his papers to BU.  He says that his three years at BU contributed to his formulation of his ideas.  There is an exhibit room dedicated to his papers on the third floor of Mugar Library.  There was litigation between the King family and BU about its possession of the papers, which BU eventually won.

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Jan 16 2015

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Legal Abbreviations

Filed under Law Library

Stumped by a legal abbreviation?  If you are searching for a citation used in an American publication, check out the Bluebook (Law Library Reserve KF245 .B58) or browse through Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations (Law Library Reference Desk KF246 .B54), which covers abbreviations found in sources such as treatises, encyclopedias, and legal dictionaries.  If you are looking for an abbreviation from another country, consider using either the Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations (Law Library Reference Desk, K85 .R35 2008) or the online source Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations, which both focus on abbreviations found in American and international sources.



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Jan 12 2015

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Featured Resource: SCOTUSBlog

Readers of this blog have seen frequent references to SCOTUSblog, one of the gems in the legal blogosphere.

There are many reasons to follow SCOTUSblog. To start, it is an indispensable research tool for those monitoring cases before the Supreme Court–a free source for news about filings, rulings on certiorari petitions, oral arguments, new opinions and more. Coverage and analysis by veteran Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston provides a level of coverage of the Court that is available nowhere else (see, e.g., Denniston’s coverage of the array of cases addressing the law related to same-sex marriage). And the Merits Cases section of the site provides detailed coverage on each case the Court has decided to hear on the merits, including docket information, news stories and links to all the briefs filed in the case.




Other features include commentary and debates on various topics (such as Originalism and the Supreme Court); statistical analysis of Court business; and SCOTUSBlog on Camera, featuring interviews with Justices, scholars and journalists (e.g., Justice Scalia, Dahlia Lithwick, Randy Barnett).

There are various ways to track SCOTUSBlog, including use of a RSS Reader to receive new posts, or following the Twitter feed and using links to retrieve stories. If you haven’t already done so, check it out.

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Jan 06 2015

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Legal Interviewing and Counseling

Hoping to explore more about conducting successful client interviews and counseling sessions?  The Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries have some books that can help.  For example, Essential Lawyering Skills (available in the reserve section at call number KF300 .K66 2011) contains a useful chart on page 313 to help you keep track of parties’ interests:

Interviewing chart

Looking for more?  Consider checking out these books:

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Jan 06 2015

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Researching Administrative Law class offered this Semester.

Filed under Law Library

Rules, regulations, adjudications, federal agencies… Need a fresh approach or better understanding of how to research the byzantine world that we call Administrative Law?

The Law Library offers a one-credit intensive course beginning Jan 27th that runs for 6 weeks. This body of law is complex yet completely accessible when you develop the right researching strategy. Research is after all the one skill that all lawyers use daily and the one that most new practitioners agree is the one skill that they wished they had developed more fully in law school.

No prior knowledge of Administrative law is required to enroll in this course.  Fell free to contact me with any questions at

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Dec 15 2014

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Senate Report on CIA Interrogation Program

There has been much controversy over the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. That Report is now available via the Federal Digital System web site as Senate Report 113-288. This PDF is 700+ pages and includes the Report as well as minority and other views.


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Dec 12 2014

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Admiralty & Maritime Law

Filed under Law Library,Lexis,Westlaw

Looking to research admiralty and maritime law?  The Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries have some resources to help you get started.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are a good place to look if you want a broad overview of the law or references to laws and cases.  Here are a few books that you may want to check out:

 Searching on WestlawNext and Lexis Advance

WestlawNext and Lexis Advance include links to admiralty and maritime cases, statutes, court rules, regulations, administrative decisions, briefs, books and forms.  To access this collection on WestlawNext, you can search by headnote or browse the practice area of Admiralty & Maritime Law.  In order browse Lexis Advance’s collection, look under the topic of Admiralty & Maritime Law.

American Maritime Cases (AMC)

American Maritime Cases is a reporter devoted to maritime cases, which includes its own headnotes and digesting system.  This source is available online from Lexis Advance and WestlawNext, or as a separate database through the Libraries’ catalog.  It is also available in print in the Annex at call number KF1100 .A2 A4.

American Maritime Cases

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