Whether you are interested in a certain legal topic or trying to find a subject for your paper, legal news sources can be incredibly helpful. Most practicing lawyers rely on a legal news source to keep up with their practice area. Two of the major publishers in the area of legal news are Law360 and BNA.
Law360, which is now associated with Lexis, focuses on current litigation and other developments in a variety of areas of the law and jurisdictions. If I was interested in environmental law I could see that on Sept. 25th Hawaii County appealed to the 9th circuit a ruling that struck down a local ordinance restricting the cultivation of GMO crops.
BNA, which is now associated with Bloomberg, has a more regulatory focus and highlights litigation mostly when a decision has been issued by a court. If I were interested in privacy law, I could find out that on Sept. 25th the EU announced its recommendations for how Google can comply with the court order that it allow individuals to be forgotten.
In each annual Term, the first oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court take place on the first Monday in October.
There are very many sources of information to track cases pending before the Court. Some that you may find helpful:
- The Supreme Court Bulletin, a publication of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, is regular e-newsletter that provides previews of pending cases and reports the syllabus of each new decision on the day it is released
- United States Law Week includes an extensive array of Supreme Court information, including detailed news coverage at all stages of cases, such as the filing of writs of certiorari, oral arguments and analyses of new opinions
- SCOTUSblog provides extensive news about Court developments, including a Merits Briefs section that provides access to briefs filed in pending and recent cases
- Justia’s Opinion Summaries include summaries of new opinions from many courts, including SCOTUS, and weekly topical newsletters with summaries from various courts
You may also find legal blogs, such as Constitutional Law Prof blog, The Volokh Conspiracy and Balkinization, to be excellent sources for commentary and analysis on cases before SCOTUS and recent decisions.
Among the many resources available for researching foreign law (or the law of non-U.S. jurisdictions), one of the most important is constitutions. To help locate constitutional texts, the law library subscribes to two premium databases:
- Constitutions of the World: This Oxford database provides over 2,500 documents from more than 200 countries and 215 select subnational jurisdictions, all in English. For many jurisdictions, documents include constitutional instruments (including amendments) and analytical introductory notes that provide an overview of the constitutional text.
- World Constitutions Illustrated: A Library in Hein Online, this resource provides current and historical constitutional texts and other basic or foundational legal sources. For the Russian Federation, for example, WCI provides the Constitution of 1993–original text, amendments and consolidated texts updated to 2014, many in both Russian and English–as well as historical constitutions from the Tsarist and Soviet periods. Primary documents are supplemented with a collection of books, periodicals and articles on a wide range of constitution-related topics, drawing from other Hein Online libraries.
For some other sources for foreign constitutions, and secondary sources on world constitutions, see the library’s guide: Foreign Law by Subject. See also the links for various countries in the library’s Foreign Law Guide.
Do you have a device you want to bring to your civil procedure class? CALI has the Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Rules of Evidence configured as an e-book for various devices.
If you need to go beyond what is covered in our introductory research classes, consider the library’s research guides. From the link on the library’s homepage, you can browse the guides by topic; or you can search them using the search box to the left and selecting Research Guides.
Pappas Library Research Guides include detailed guides on doctrinal areas (such as Copyright and Securities); guides on basic research skills (e.g., finding journal articles); non-law research (such as social sciences); and a range of guides on international law and foreign law.
Check out these guides, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, ask a librarian!
As more and more periodicals move to electronic versions, our traditional model of finding and reading the news is evolving. In light of this reality, the Law Library is constantly evaluating and seeking ways to make your access to these sources as easy and economical as feasible. Many of the most commonly requested resources are available in multiple formats on our various databases: Think Bloomberg Law, WestlawNext and Lexis Advance or Lexis Academic, but we also have a myriad of other databases available to assist you. This list is by no means exhaustive but will help you find the majority of our Newspaper resources:
- First try this BU Law Library Research Guide
- All full-time BU Law Students in residence have access to a new New York Times group pass. (Details were sent to you under separate cover. Come see the Reference Desk with any questions
- The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal are available on the Proquest Digital platform HERE.
- Looking for an international title in full-color display? Try Press Display which features currently over 260 newspapers from around the globe.
Still cannot find what you are looking for? Come visit one of us at the Reference Desk. We are happy to help.
If you are new to campus and/or the Boston area, you may be overwhelmed with information or wondering where to look for the information you need. Here are a few tips …
For campus, law school and city information, consider BU Today; faculty and school news and featured events on the Law School main page; and the two main daily newspapers, The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald. Boston’s NPR news station, WBUR, is an great source for news, and its Cognoscenti blog is excellent for thought-provoking opinion. And keep an eye out for the free publications distributed at businesses around town, from The Improper Bostonian to DigBoston to Bay Windows, all of which have calendar sections posting upcoming and ongoing events.
On Twitter, useful feeds include: the law school (@BU_Law), the campus police department (@BUPolice), the health office (@BUStudentHealth) and our feed, @BULawLib., as well as the Globe (@BostonGlobe), the Herald (@bostonherald) and those of other news sources.
Closer to home, each time you check the Law Library’s homepage, there are changing updates in the News & Announcements section and the Library Spotlight, as well as new posts in this blog, linked in the lower right corner.
At the moment, information includes the schedule of orientation tours, survival guides for new students, a selection of new books in the collection and a link for research assistant registration. Check back regularly for updates.
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!
Need help finding your way around the library? Want to know about printing? Get the inside scoop on the library and how we can make your law school experience more productive. Tours start in Rm 335 of the Redstone Building.
Tuesday Sept. 2 @ 1pm & 4pm
Wednesday Sept. 3 @ 1pm & 4pm
Thursday Sept. 4 @ 1pm & 4pm
Monday Sept. 8 @ 1pm & 4pm
Tuesday Sept. 9 @ 1pm
Wednesday Sept. 10 @ 4pm
Following up last week’s post on current awareness tools to track specific legal issues, there are many more sources that you can use to discover or monitor a topic, or search for recent developments.
In addition to dozens of topical updating titles provided by Bloomberg/BNA, other premium tools include:
- Law 360, with a focus on business law topics
- IntelliConnect (CCH database includes Tracker newsletters, which can be customized for individual interests, for email delivery)
- Knowledge Mosaic (check out Weekly Regulatory Report and other news titles within KM’s focus areas)
- Setting up alerts for periodic searches to retrieve new results on Lexis Advance or Westlaw Next
- Justia newsletters: free opinion summaries on daily or weekly basis, by topic or court
- For SCOTUS news, sign up for The Supreme Court Bulletin, a free product of Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII)
For more ideas about useful current awareness resources, see our guide to Finding News & Keeping Current as a Lawyer.
When in doubt …
(Image provided by LII.)