This week we’re celebrating Juneteenth, covering jury verdict research, looking at bar exam resources, reviewing basic legal research skills for summer, and continuing our celebration of Pride Month.
Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people in Texas were free. Troops did not arrive until two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation!
Stop by and check out our small Juneteenth Display!
Note that the Law Library will be closed Monday, June 19, 2023 for the Juneteenth holiday.
Legal Research Competency Live Session
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
12:00 – 12:30pm
Room 107 or Zoom
Researching Jury Verdicts on Lexis and Westlaw
Instructional & Reference Services Librarian Librarian Laura Dixon-Caldwell
You can learn more about each of these programs by visiting the following websites:
Bar Exam Study Resources
Congratulations! You have made it through law school but now the bar exam looms. Don’t worry, the Law Library’s got your back. We have resources that can help. Check out our Bar Exam Research Guide.
The July 2023 bar examination will be administered at the Roberts Centre, 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, Ohio July 25-26, 2023. Ohio Bar Exam FAQs
5 More Bar Exam Resources
The Bar Exam is not a sprint, it’s a marathon so pace yourself! You can see the previous week’s featured bar exam resources on our June 12th, May 30, and May 22th posts. Check out this week’s Bar Exam Resource highlights below.
The ABA’s Student Lawyer Division publishes the Student Lawyer blog. You can view their bar exam related posts here.
Available via the LexisNexis Digital Library subscription, Pass the Bar! provides a comprehensive overview of the pre-bar review, bar review, and bar exam process. The authors demystify the bar exam process and take readers through the steps they need in order to succeed.Readers are given specific checklists, exercises, reflection questions; information about what to do during the year before their bar reviews begin; how to set the stage to succeed with their bar exams; how to study and approach practice questions; sample exam questions, and answers; and what additional study methods can maximize their chances of passing their bar exams. Written in a straightforward and practical style, the authors’ strategies are communicated in an informal, reader-friendly way. Their recommendations are grounded in educational and psychological research as well as their personal experiences in designing programs and working with students preparing to take bar exams.
Available via the LexisNexis Digital Library subscription, The Zen of Passing the Bar Exam offers a comprehensive approach to studying for (and passing) the bar exam, drawing a parallel between how one should approach the bar exam, and how Zen principles teach one to approach life. Each section of the book offers a Zen quote to introduce concepts that can be applied to studying for the bar exam in order to maximize your chances of passing. Zen teaches that in order to reach enlightenment, one must strive to be balanced, know your true self, know your universe, and stay focused on your path. Similarly, in order to reach the ”enlightenment” of passing the bar exam, one must have the attributes of balance (between studying and other aspects of life, as well as balancing your study time between subjects, and between essays, MBE questions, etc.), knowing your true self (what type of essay writer you are, what type of learner you are, what type of exam taker you are, etc.), knowing your universe (knowing the law, how the questions are constructed, what to look for, etc.), and staying focused on your path (when to study, what to do when you are stressed/panicked, what to do when you don¿t know a subject very well, etc.). In addition to offering a comprehensive approach to studying for the bar exam, the book also offers specific, practical advice for doing well on both the essay and MBE portions of the bar exam. The book outlines specific organizational/formatting tips for how to write effective (and efficient) essays under bar exam time constraints. The book provides many exercises, examples, and model answers applicable to any state’s bar exam.
Tune in to this podcast for advice on all aspects of the exam, from writing a passing essay to surviving bar prep with your sanity intact.
The National Jurist has published many articles on the bar exam. You can view them all here.
Summer Legal Research Tips
Previously, we looked at initial steps to take when you get a summer research project, researching secondary sources, and annotated codes. This week we will continue to take a look at researching a statutory issue in an annotated code, covering statutory finding tools. Learn more about researching statutes in our Researching Statutes Guide or watch our videos on finding and searching within annotated codes.
Statutory Finding Tools
There are several useful statutory finding tools that you can use when researching statutes.
All print codes and some online codes will contain separate subject indexes. An index is a great finding tool. Topics are listed alphabetically and will refer you to the codified statutory sections pertaining to that topic. Westlaw contains indexes for all of its statutes. Lexis does not generally provide indexes for its state statutes but does for the United States Code Service. HeinOnline contains an index for the United States Code.
Tips for Using Indexes
If you see an index entry for a topic that gives you another term and then states generally this index; generally, post; or generally, ante; it is telling you to search for that other term in the index either in another part of the index, after the entry you are looking at (post), or before the entry you are looking at (ante). If you see a statutory citation in the index that says et seq., this is Latin for “and the following ones.” In other words, multiple sections — it is just giving you the first one.
Tables of Contents
It is always a good idea to see your statutory section in context by looking at the table of contents. This will allow you to find related statutory sections such as preambles, definition sections, etc. With codes, you will often find a table of contents for the different divisions in which the code is organized. For example, in the United States Code, you will get a table of contents for the code, the title, and one for the chapter.
Sometimes a statute will have an official or popular name. If there is a well-known name for the law you are interested in, consult the “Popular Names Table” in one of the code versions. This will provide you with the session law number and the session law citation for the original act, as well as providing references to where the act has been codified. In print sources, the “Popular Names Table” may be a separate volume or be a section within the last volume of the general index. Westlaw contains popular names tables for all of its statutes. Bloomberg Law provides a popular names table for the United States Code HeinOnline provides a popular names table for the United States Code. Lexis does not generally provide a popular names table for its state statutes but it does for USCS.
Parallel Reference Tables
Each code includes volumes that contain tables for parallel references. Locate the session law citation or public law number you are interested in on the table, and it will provide you with the title and section numbers where the statute has been codified. Codes will also contain tables that relate older state codifications to the current code.
Keyword Searching of Statutes
If you don’t have a popular name or citation, you can search for keywords based on your topic of research. This can be difficult. Using indexes instead will often save you time. Statutory language is not always intuitive, and the language used can appear in multiple statutes so it’s easy to pull up references to statutes that are not relevant to your research. If searching statutes by keyword, take advantage of the fields and segments and create a more advanced search. Some useful fields for statutes in Westlaw are: CA, the caption field which includes the section and heading for a statute; and PR, the prelim field which includes headings and chapters assigned to the statute. In Lexis use the section segment which contains the section number and section heading of the statute; and the heading segment which contains the headings and subheadings before the subject.
June Is Pride Month!
About Pride Month
Pride Month is commemorated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City. The Stonewall Inn was a popular gay bar that police raided on Jun 28, 1969. The raid resulted in days of protest and the uprising is often cited as a catalyst for LGBTQ+ activism. Read President Biden’s 2023 Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Pride Month
Learn more about Pride Month and LGBTQ+ issues by checking out the resources below!
University of Cincinnati Pride Month Events & Resources
Join the Bearcat community as we show off our pride at this year’s Cincinnati Pride Parade on June 24th at 11:00am. “Cincinnati Pride” provides an opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community and allies to come together to promote inclusion and acceptance. Alumni, students, faculty/staff and friends are invited to march together representing the University of Cincinnati. Register by June 22.
5 More Pride Month Resources
Learn more about Pride Month and LGBTQ+ issues by checking out the resources below!
All Census Bureau demographic surveys collect information about same-sex couples. The level of detail collected varies, as well as the availability of other characteristics of the partners. This page collates census data on same-sex couples.
Gender Studies Database, produced by NISC, combines NISC’s popular Women’s Studies International and Men’s Studies databases with the coverage of sexual diversity issues. GSD covers the full spectrum of gender-engaged scholarship inside and outside academia. This database includes more than 696¸750 records with coverage spanning from 1972 and earlier to present.
GenderWatch is a full text database of publications that focus on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas.
LGBTQ+ Source (formerly LGBT Life, formerly GLBT Life) is an index to the world’s literature regarding gay¸ lesbian¸ bisexual and transgender issues. This database contains indexing and abstracts for more than 120 LGBTQ+-specific core periodicals and over 230 LGBTQ+-specific core books and reference works. The product also contains data mined from over 40 priority periodicals and over 1¸700 select titles¸ as well as full text for 50 of the most important and historically significant LGBTQ+ journals¸ magazines and regional newspapers¸ and dozens of full text monographs. The database includes comprehensive indexing and abstract coverage as well as a specialized LGBTQ+ Thesaurus containing over 6¸300 terms.
LGBT Thought and Culture is an online resource hosting books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day. Supported by the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center.