May 08 2015

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The Library of Congress’ Nations Page

Looking for the laws of another country?  The Law Library of Congress has created a Nations webpage, which allows you to search for executive, judicial, and legislative resources by country.  These resources are pulled from other online databases and websites.  For example, below, please find the entry for Morocco, which includes information from sources such as Amnesty International and the U.S. Department of State.  (Click on the image to make it larger.)

Library of Congress Nations

This webpage is maintained by the Law Library of Congress, which also allows you to search for legal commentary by topic.  For more information on this subject, check out our LibGuides on Foreign Law and International Law.

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May 03 2015

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Summer Student Newsletter is here!

Filed under Law Library

As we say farewell to our graduating 3L’s and LLM students we would like to take this opportunity to provide some crucial information about ongoing access to databases and library materials.(Spoiler alert: You MAY have to take some action to maintain access if you are graduating and your Summer access MAY likewise be limited for Westlaw depending on the type of work you are undertaking this Summer.) Click on the Newsletter below to get all the details and see past issues as well.


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Apr 29 2015

Profile Image of david for Treaty Information

As you may know, is the official website for official U.S. legislative information and documents such as bills, committee hearing transcripts and committee reports. It took over that roll from THOMAS, the original Congressional website, in 2012.

For most of the period since the transition, however, THOMAS continued to be the better source for information about treaties: Senate consideration and action on treaties submitted by the President. For example, see the information provided by THOMAS on the Senate’s consideration of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities below.




This Spring, began providing detailed information about treaties back to 1975. See the display of information on the disabilities convention in below.




Unlike the display in THOMAS, provides links to several relevant documents, including the Treaty document itself, 112-7, and the accompanying Senate reports, in HTML text or PDF.

Using can be an adjustment. Fortunately, the site provide extensive Help screens, including Search tips.


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Apr 28 2015

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The Marriage Arguments at SCOTUS Today

Filed under Federal Legal,SCOTUS

Due to the extraordinary public interest in the oral arguments held today at the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges and the other same-sex marriage cases, the Court has made the audio recording of the argument available on the same day: HERE.

The transcript of the oral argument will be made available later today on the same page.

Extensive coverage of the cases and the arguments has been provided by The New York Times, SCOTUSblog and many other news outlets.

UPDATE: The Court posted the audio file and transcript on the second question in Obergefell here.

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Apr 28 2015

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Summer Access to Lexis Advance, WestlawNext and Bloomberg Law

Filed under Law Library

For Continuing Students you have summer access to Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law with no interruption.  You may use these two services for any purpose you want regardless of where you are working.  WestlawNext allows you 40 hours/month for June and July.  However, if you are working at a law firm you may not use these 40 hours there.  Once you hit that limit you must register for more, but only for an approved educational purpose which includes journal work, research assistant work and other law school related purposes.

For Graduating Students you will have unlimited access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation.  If you don’t have a password you can register for one here. You can register to extend your Lexis Advance password with their Law School Graduation Program which provides free access through the end of December 2015.    If you are doing public interest work you can apply for access beyond December 2015 through the ASPIRE program.  WestlawNext allows you to extend you password for bar preparation which gives you 60 hours/month through the end of November.

If you have any questions please contact our representatives: Lexis Advance Reeves Gillis, Bloomberg Law Eric Malinowski and WestlawNext representative Mark Frongillo.

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Apr 25 2015

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Massachusetts Public Notices

Filed under Free!,Massachusetts

Looking for community information or a notice of a foreclosure or government contract?  You may want to try searching for public notices, which are typically published in local newspapers.  To locate recently published Massachusetts public notices online, check out  This site is free to use, and allows you to refine your search to a specific date range, category, keyword or newspaper.

Massachusetts Public Notices

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Apr 22 2015

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Filed under Government Documents

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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Apr 20 2015

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Resources for Exam Preparation

Filed under Exams,Law Library

As we get farther into April, and the beginning of law school exams approaches, attention turns to exam preparation.

Our exam preparation guide provides links to a wide range of resources, included online access to law school exams given in previous semesters. (Note, post-2004 exams are available exclusively online; earlier exams are shelved in bound volumes, in Pappas and Annex Reference at KF 292 B5 A23.) Also provided: a range of study aids, books on how to take exams, CALI lessons and miscellaneous advice and tips.

Black Letter Evidence         Writing Essay Exams     Con Law flashcards

CALI tips   Lexis_QandA_Family Law

The above list does not exhaust what is available. This directory provides a more comprehensive list of study aids. The “Exams” topic collects posts from this blog on the topic, including, e.g., Jenna’s post on flashcards. See also the suggestions on taking exams in the LLM Survival Guide and 1L Survival Guide.

For other suggestions, or questions about accessing any of these materials, please speak with a reference librarian.

We have also noted tips on the importance of practicing good self-care and stress management during exam season, and suggested campus resources that are provided for students by the Student Health Services office.



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Apr 17 2015

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Researching Law Firms

Filed under Career

Today, the Career Development Office hosted a panel on how to distinguish between law firms.  During the presentation, a variety of useful research tools were mentioned, including some of the following:

Researching Law Firms

For more information on these and other resources, check out the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries’ career resource guide at:

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Apr 16 2015

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Update on same-sex marriage cases

An earlier post in this blog reported on the status of the same-sex marriage cases that are pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

At that time (March 18), as noted on SCOTUSblog’s merits cases section, most of the amicus curiae briefs that had been filed at that time supported the rights of those seeking to establish a Constitutional right to marry. In recent weeks, the filing of briefs has continued, and the Court has received numerous briefs that support the state laws that prohibit same-sex marriages; these include those of the Republican Platform Committee, the Concerned Women for America and the Conference of Catholic Bishops.



SCOTUSblog continues to be a major source of legal analysis on the case and the arguments of the parties. Lyle Denniston has posted the first three of four preview articles summarizing (1) the perspective of the same-sex couples who have challenged laws prohibiting recognition of their marriages; (2) the position of the state governments defending their laws, and (3) the amicus briefs supporting the couples. A fourth post, summarizing the amicus briefs supporting the state governments, is forthcoming.

As the date of oral argument (April 28) approaches, news and commentary on the cases is increasing, including articles anticipating an expected ruling in support of the couples and the relationship of the marriage cases to the “religious freedom” laws proposed or adopted in some stated. See, e.g., these articles in NPR, Slate and The Huffington Post.

Stay tuned.

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