Monthly Archives: April 2013

Prepare to Practice: Crash Course on Legal Research

Have a job? Need to brush up on your legal research skills? The Law Library is offering a Crash Course on Legal Research focused on the practice skills you need to get you started on your first assignments. Come by after work for handy tips, expert advice, and useful handouts. 1Ls, 2Ls and recent graduates welcome.  May 15, 5:30 – 7:00 PM in Classroom K of the 198 Building.

Unlimited Summer Access to Lexis Advance

LexisNexis has announced that law students will be allowed unlimited use of their Lexis Advance ID this summer.  For the months of June, July and August, students will be able to use Lexis Advance whether working in a firm, government agency, court, or non-profit organization.  If you’re already a registered Lexis Advance user, you don’t need to do anything else to get summer access. Your current ID is all you need. If you aren’t a registered Lexis Advance user yet (or aren’t sure), contact our Lexis representative, Alicia Luchetti, at alicia.luchetti@lexisnexis.com. 

New and Improved California Legislative History Website

Leginfo.ca.gov has long been a go-to source for free California legislative information, including the legislative calendar, legislative history information, bill updates, as-enacted statutes, and up-to-date California codes.  A new version of the website is now available at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.  The new site includes some great new features, including a “Today’s Law as Amended” feature that identifies textual differences between existing law and proposed law, new search functionality for bill and code searches, cross-referencing between code sections and chaptered bills, and an improved bill subscription service that allows you to track bills throughout the legislative session. To date, it only includes bill information since 1999, so to find legislative history information for bills going back to 1993, you’ll need to use the old site.

Bill Tracking

Want to keep track of the status of a bill as it progresses through the California and federal legislatures?  For California bills, you can view the current status of a bill at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.  Let’s say, for example, that you want to track the status of Assembly Bill 48, which, among other things, would ban conversion kits for creating large-capacity ammunition magazines.  To track this bill, you would click on the “Bill Information” link at the top of the homepage, then enter the bill number (48), select the session year (2013-2014), and then select the legislative house (Assembly).  Your search takes you to a page with tabs for the full text of the bill, the voting record, the bill history, analyses, a mark-up showing how the bill would affect current law, and status information.  If you click on the status information tab, it lists the last 5 actions related to the bill. If you want to be notified whenever there’s a new action, just click on the “Track Bill” link at the top of the page.  Login with your email and password (registration is free), and choose the “notification points” you’d like to track – when the measure is referred to committee, when it’s amended, when it’s enrolled, etc.

Want to track a federal bill such as H.R. 138, which would also ban large-capacity ammunition magazines?  Use www.govtrack.us.  Enter “H.R. 138” in the search box, then click on the link for H.R. 13: Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act.  The site includes a link to the bill text, lists the bill’s latest cosponsors, and lists the latest action on the bill.  To receive email updates,  select how often you want to track this bill (daily or weekly) and click the “save” button.  Again, registration is quick, easy, and free.