Category Archives: Westlaw

NEW! Online West’s Study Aids

The Law Library is excited to announce that you now have full access to West’s Online Study Aids.  These include the Acing Series, Black Letter Outlines, Career Guides, Concise Hornbooks, the Exam Pro Series, Flash Cards, Gilbert Law Summaries, High Court Case Summaries, Hornbooks, Law Stories, Legalines, Nutshells, the Short & Happy Guides, the Sum & Substance Series, and the Turning Point series.   You can access them here:  http://0-subscription.westacademic.com.hopac.uchastings.edu/  If you lose this link, you can find it in the library’s Online Databases list (http://libguides.uchastings.edu/az.php) and in the library catalog. 

 

You can search and browse the study aids without creating an account.  If you want to access them in e-book format so you can take notes and add highlights, you will need to create an account by clicking on the “Create Account” link at the top of the homepage.  Please feel free to email the reference librarians at libref@uchastings.edu if you have any questions. 

 

Free & Alt resources; Precision Searching (LRC)

Learn in-depth legal research with our library research certificate program! Classes are held on Tuesdays at noon. Check Blackboard for the full list of classes with days, times and location, and find program information at http://library.uchastings.edu/services/certificate.php

Classes left for the Spring term:
– Free and alternative resources (3/17)
– Conducting precision searching (3/24)

Legal Research Certificate classes

Learn in-depth legal research with our library research certificate program! Classes are held on Tuesdays at noon. Classes left this term are: Administrative law; Free and alternative resources; Conducting precision searching.

Check Blackboard for the full list of classes with days, times and location, and find program information at http://library.uchastings.edu/services/certificate.php

E-Learning from Westlaw

West eLearning Center has free web-based modular courses with short lessons (4-10 minutes) to help you become a more efficient researcher. West eLearning allows you to learn at your own pace, on your own schedule and to track your progress online. If you need a refresher, try the Westlaw Fundamentals course: this series of short lessons teaches you the basics so that you can get right to work!

For Your Searching Ease

One of the major differences in searching on Westlaw and Lexis is the default search. If you type in res ispa loquitor in Westlaw, the default connector is OR: you are searching for any document that has res or ipsa or loquitor. Well, that will bring up a lot of irrelevant documents so you need to put the phrase in quotation marks.
On Lexis the default is +2 or within 2 words. So you will pull up all of the documents that have res within 2 words of ipsa within 2 words of loquitor, giving you more focused results. You must put quotation marks around your words to get results with the exact phrase, but at least +2 is more like the default search on all the major web search engines you are used to using: AND.
Westlaw has just added a feature that allows you to change their default. Your basic default search would then be the same on both Lexis and Westlaw.
Just click Preferences, in the upper right corner of the screen, then click the Search link in the left frame. Under the Terms & Connectors heading, notice the Space Connector option. You can set the spaces.
Remember, though: if you want an exact phrase, use quotation marks. This is epecially important for phrases like “employment at will” where employment within 2 words of will could get many variations: employment that will, employment status will, employment contract will…You get the idea.

Patent Research

Google’s Beta Patent Search Engine covers the entire collection of patents made available by the United States Patent & Trademark Office — from patents issued in the 1790s through those issued in the middle of 2006, totalling almost 7 million.
Lexis-Nexis hosts the famous Chisum on Patents.
Walker on Patents was first published in 1885 and is now available on Westlaw as Moy’s Walker on Patents.
Some books with the basics can be found at the Circulation desk:
~ Intellectual Property : the law of copyrights, patents and trademarks / by Roger E. Schechter
~ An Introduction to Patent Law / by Janice M. Mueller
~ Principles of Patent Law / by Roger E. Schechter