This Week in the Law Library …

This week in the Law Library we’re asking rising 2 and 3Ls to fill out our legal research survey, covering more bar exam resources, providing additional summer legal research tips, and celebrating Disability Pride Month.

Fill Out Our Legal Research Survey

We’re asking rising 2Ls and 3Ls to fill out our Legal Research Survey so that we can better plan future research instruction.

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 July 3rd, June 26th, June 20th, June 12th, May 30, and May 22th posts. Check out this week’s Bar Exam Resource highlights below.

Bar Exam Tips, UC Davis Law School (June 2023)

Bar Exam Toolbox Podcast, 223: Quick Tips – Balancing Passive and Active Studying for the Bar Exam (June 27, 2023)

In this episode, the Bar Exam Toolbox Podcast talks about the difference between passive learning (such as reading notes or listening to a lecture) and active learning (such as memorization and deep understanding).

Jessica Pieri & Jarrad Wood, Give Us 30 Minutes and We’ll Give You 30 Ways to Prep for the Bar Exam, ABA Law Student Division (Dec. 19, 2018)

Studying for the bar exam is a marathon, not a sprint. To get you into condition to achieve your best performance, new lawyers who successfully prepared for and passed their bar exams will share tips in this 30 Tips in 30 Minutes webinar on bar prep.

Krista Bordatto, How to Mentally & Physically Prepare for the Bar Exam, ABA Law Student Division (Apr. 18, 2023)

Preparing for the bar is very different than preparing for law school exams. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon that requires a different approach to preparation. This video will provide tips on learning how to mentally and physically prepare yourself to study and pass the bar exam the first time!

Heather Buck, Virtual Office Hours: 8 Essential Tips for First-Time Bar Takers, ABA Law Student Division (Apr. 20, 2023)

Taking the bar exam soon? These tips are easy to implement and will make sure you are on the right track to pass the bar exam the first time!

Summer Legal Research Tips

Previously, we looked at initial steps to take when you get a summer research project, researching secondary sources, the structure and organization of statutory codes and where to find them, statutory finding tools, using citators to validate statutes, and researching historical codes. This week we will cover statutory surveys.

Statutory Surveys

Sometimes a researcher is asked to find statutes from multiple jurisdictions on a particular topic. These can be extremely time consuming to compile AND difficult to compile because different statutes can use different language to describe the same thing and you won’t know what terms each jurisdiction uses. If someone had already done all or part of the work for you, why not take advantage of that? That’s where a statutory survey can come in. Just be aware going in that there is no guarantee that a survey exists on the topic you need and that these surveys are just a starting point to the primary sources—the state laws themselves. Surveys can be very informative guides, but likely will need to be updated and verified before placing final reliance upon them.

Statutory Surveys on Lexis & Westlaw

Lexis and Westlaw both have 50-state surveys. You can search or browse these surveys. The surveys are on selected subjects and you will definitely want to verify statutes you will be using.

The State Law Comparison Tool in Lexis Practice Advisor allows you to efficiently compare laws across multiple states for a variety of practice areas and topics. To produce a comparison document, start by selecting the “Practical Guidance” icon located on the left-hand side of the Lexis+ homepage. Then click the State Law Comparison Tool link on the right. You can then select your practice area, topic, jurisdiction, and question.

Westlaw also has a service called Jurisdictional Surveys. Start with the citation of a statute you know, index terms that describe your topical target, or from a predefined topic page. The result list is a curated list of statutory sections that uses algorithms to account for varying terminology across all jurisdictions.

Subject Compilations of State Laws

Another place you can find a state code survey is in a publication called Subject Compilations of State Laws. This is an annual publication that identifies and describes multistate surveys that have been published since the 1960s in various types of sources, including books, articles, government documents, and websites. The series now includes over 20 volumes, with new volumes being added every year. Unfortunately, the volumes are not cumulative, so you need to consult each one if you want to find surveys on a certain topic from all time periods since the 1960s.

The publication gives you a citation to the survey. It does not give you the full-text of the survey. Still, it is an excellent way to find a treatise or law review where someone has done a survey. It is much more comprehensive subject-wise than the Lexis and Westlaw state surveys.

This publication is now searchable online through HeinOnline.

State Law Charts on Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law has a chart builder that you can use to create custom state law surveys. The Chart Builder feature is under the “Practitioner Tools” tab. Bloomberg Law organizes the charts into 9 broad practice areas: Banking & Consumer Finance, Bankruptcy, Blue Sky/Securities, Corporate, Data Security & Privacy, Health Care, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, and Tax. Each practice area has multiple subjects within it.

Once you find your desired subject, select the jurisdiction(s) and topic(s) you are interested in and create the chart.

Additionally, some of the Practice Centers on Bloomberg Law also let you build state law charts, reports and track developments.

Smart Charts on VitalLaw

VitalLaw also has smart charts that you can use to create custom state law surveys. Access all of the smart charts through the Practical Content tab.

National Conference of State Legislatures

One organization that compiles high quality surveys on a wide variety of topics is the National Conference of State Legislatures. They are much better on reporting legislation as opposed to codified statutes, but you can still find surveys on a wide variety of topics. Some of their resources are for members only but much of it is available to the public.

Other Organizations & Associations

In addition to these sources, keep in mind that many organizations and associations may conduct code surveys. Just be aware that it is often harder to tell how up to date such a source is and you don’t know who compiled it or how accurate it is.

Don’t forget that you can always find out more about researching statutes in our Researching Statutes Guide or watch our videos on finding and searching within annotated codes.

July Is Disability Pride Month!

Disability Pride Flag

Disability Pride Flag. A black flag with a lightning bolt of blue, yellow, white, red, and green. Source: Ann Magill/Public Domain

About Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month is an annual worldwide observance holiday during the month of July. It promotes awareness of disability as an identity, a community, a culture & the positive pride felt by disabled people. It directly challenges systematic ableism and discrimination.

5 More Resources on Accessibility & Disability Issues

ABA Wide 21-Day Disability Equity Habit-Building Challenge

The ABA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council is proud to launch a 21-Day Disability Equity Habit-Building Challenge syllabus in honor of Disability Pride Month. We invite ABA members and non-members, including non-lawyers, to participate in this Disability Equity Habit-Building Challenge©. Its goal is to assist each of us to become more aware and engaged in the quest for disability equity, and specifically to learn more about the members of the disability community, many of whom are from other marginalized communities, as well as barriers, biases, stereotypes, and discrimination they encounter in everyday life.

ABA Commission on Disability Rights, Implicit Biases & People with Disabilities

The American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights has created this resource to increase awareness of implicit biases, both in general and in particular with regard to persons with disabilities, and to offer techniques to help mitigate these biases. We begin with an overview of implicit bias, in particular what is implicit bias, where do such biases originate, how can we measure them, why are they harmful, and how can we mitigate them. This is followed by a series of questions and scenarios that will allow you to examine your implicit biases about persons with disabilities.

ABA Commission on Disability Rights, Planning Accessible Meetings and Events Toolkit (PDF)

This toolkit is intended to assist entities in planning both in-person and virtual meetings and events that are accessible to persons with disabilities. It provides recommendations and checklists for all phases of a meeting or an event, from choosing the venue to materials, websites and mobile apps, presentations, meals and social functions, staff and volunteer training, and communication and etiquette. Due to the increase in virtual meetings and events during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have included a checklist and suggested best practices as well. Most of the recommendations and checklists in this toolkit, including for materials, websites and mobile apps, presentations, staff training, and communication and etiquette apply to virtual meetings as well.

ABA Commission on Disability Rights, Why Hire Lawyers with Disabilities? (Video)

The American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights and the Law School Admission Council created the following video, featuring disabled lawyers and law students as well as law school professionals, discussing why disability diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to the legal profession and why employers should recruit, hire, retain, and advance this untapped talent pool.

NALP, Employment Outcomes for Graduates with Disabilities, (Dec. 2022)

At 85.8%, the employment rate for graduates with disabilities was about 6 percentage points lower than the overall rate for the Class of 2021, and the employment rate in bar passage required jobs was 9 percentage points lower at 69.2%.


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