This Week in the Law Library …

This week in the Law Library we’re looking at more bar exam resources, reviewing more basic legal research skills for summer, and celebrating Disability Pride Month.

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. When you’ve caught your breath and you’re ready to start your bar studying, we have resources that can help. Check out our Bar Exam Research Guide.

The July 2024 bar examination will be administered at the Roberts Centre, 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, Ohio July 30-31, 2024. The Holiday Inn Roberts Centre room block opens on May 14, 2024, at 11 am. Learn more at: Ohio Bar Exam

5 More Resources to Help You Study for the Bar Exam

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 1, June 24, June 17, June 10, June 3, May 28, and May 21. Check out this week’s Bar Exam Resource highlights below on what to do two weeks before the bar exam.

Ameribar, It’s Two Weeks Before the Bar Exam. Help!

Shelley Awe, Bar Exam Tips for Two Weeks Out, Vault (Feb. 8, 2021)

Bar Exam Mind, Bar Exam Schedule: The Final Two Weeks

Bar Exam Toolbox, You Have Two Weeks of Bar Prep Remaining, Have You Completed This Checklist?

JD Advising, How to Make a Study Schedule the Last Two Weeks of Bar Exam Prep

Summer Legal Research Tips

Previously, we looked at:

Initial steps to take when you get a summer research project

Start by identifying the resources available to you at your place of summer employment and ask questions. Develop a research plan. Read more about developing a research plan on our Research Strategy & Documentation guide.

Secondary sources

Then you may need to do background research about your issue before jumping into primary sources such as statutes and case law. A good secondary source can explain the law around your issue and cite you to primary sources. It can save you a lot of time and effort! Learn more about researching in secondary sources in our Researching Secondary Sources Guide or watch our videos on finding and searching within the various secondary source types.

Researching statutes in annotated codes

If your issue is statutory, you want to use an annotated code. An annotated code is a great research tool because it offers editorial enhancements such as: (1) cross references to related statutes and regulations; (2) more detailed historical notes, secondary source references; (3) if it is a Thomson Reuters code you will get topic and key number references to help you find cases; and (3) the case annotations.

Statutory finding tools

Once in an annotated code, use the statutory finding tools like indexes, tables of contents, parallel reference tables, and the popular names table to find the statutory sections you need.

Updating and validating statutes

Update and validate your statutes by making sure that you are working with the most current version of a statute when researching a current issue and using Shepards and KeyCite to validate your statute and to identify any pending legislation that may impact your statute.

Historical and Superseded Codes

You can research historical codes using HeinOnline, Govinfo.gov, Bloomberg Law, Fastcase, Lexis, and Westlaw. You can also compare statutes on Lexis and Westlaw and be sure and always check the effective dates of statutes.

Statutory Surveys

Sometimes a researcher is asked to find statutes from multiple jurisdictions on a particular topic. Take advantage of compiled statutory surveys such as (1) Lexis and Westlaw 50-state surveys; (2) Subject Compilations of State Laws on HeinOnline; (3) State Law Charts on Bloomberg Law and Smart Charts on VitalLaw; and (4) National Conference of State Legislatures. Read more about statutory surveys in our 50-State Surveys Guide.

This week we will begin covering how to find cases.

Finding Cases by Headnote

Headnotes are summaries of the issues in a case. They are not actually part of the opinion. Each headnote is numbered. You can click on the headnote number and be taken to the place within the opinion where the issue of the headnote is discussed. Headnotes are tools that can be used for research but they are not part of the actual case itself. You should never cite to a headnote and always read the opinion and do not rely on the headnote.

Headnotes in Westlaw

Using Westlaw Topic and Key Numbers Assigned to Headnotes to Find Cases

Each headnote in a case published in Westlaw is assigned a topic and key number. These topic and key numbers can be used to find more cases on the same subject. For example, if we had a headnote that was assigned the topic of Damages and the key number of 57.21 and we want to find more cases that talk about what is needed to prove a claim of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, we can use the topic of Damages and the key number of 57.21 and look online to find more cases that discuss this same thing. If you want to see the topic and key numbers in Westlaw headnotes, you may have to click the grid view link at the top of where the headnotes begin. The key number assigned to a particular headnote is always the last and narrowest key number assigned. Click on the link for the topic and key number and Westlaw will run a search and bring up all cases in their system that have been classified under that topic and key number. Note that you may need to change your jurisdiction for the search because the system keeps the last jurisdiction chosen.

Using Cases that Cite This Headnote

To find other cases that cite a particular headnote, click on the “Cases that cite this headnote” link located below the headnote summary of the point of law. Cases that cite a headnote consist of the citing references that specifically address that particular point of law in the case. Because cases may address many different issues, this can be a quick way to find the most relevant cases citing your case for the particular issue covered by that headnote.

Headnotes in Lexis

Using Lexis Topics Assigned to Headnotes to Find Cases

Lexis headnotes are still organized by broad topics and then progressively subdivided by narrower subjects, but Lexis headnote subjects tend to be broader concepts than the Westlaw key numbers. Also, Lexis headnotes do not editorialize, they actually lift language straight from the text of the case. We can find more cases on a topic by clicking on the topic links assigned to the headnote. In Lexis, the topic links are above the headnote. If we want a broader search, we can use the topic intermediate levels, for example, we could search Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress rather than the specific Elements beneath that. A search on any intermediate level will bring up results for all the more specific levels below it.

Using More Like this Headnote to Find Cases

More Like This Headnote appears at the end of a headnote, and gives you the ability to find cases that have headnotes that closely match the language or meaning of a headnote in your case.

Using Shepardize – Narrow by this Headnote to Find Cases

To find more cases that discuss the same point of law, click “Shepardize – Narrow by this Headnote.” This will show you all cases that cite to this case that reference the same issue as that headnote.

Don’t forget that you can always find out more about researching cases in our Researching Cases Guide or watch our videos on finding cases.

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. President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in 1990 and in July of that same year, the first Disability Pride Day was celebrated in Boston.

This month, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights invites you to take part in the #BeCounted campaign. The #BeCounted campaign encourages lawyers with disabilities across the country to add themselves to the ABA’s U.S. map.

5 Resources to Learn More about Accessibility & Disability Issues

ADA.gov

Disability rights are civil rights. From voting to parking, the ADA is a law that protects people with disabilities in many areas of public life. From answers to common questions to official legal documents, ADA.gov has everything you need to understand your rights and responsibilities under the ADA.

Disability History Museum

The Disability History Museum is a virtual project that aims to foster a deeper understanding about how changing cultural values, notions of identity, laws and policies have shaped and influenced the experience of people with disabilities, their families and their communities over time.

Library of Congress, Disability Law in the United States: A Beginner’s Guide

This research guide provides an overview of relevant laws and regulations related to disability rights. It provides resources from the federal government and non-profit organizations that work toward advancing the rights of people with disabilities. The guide is by no means exhaustive, however it offers a extensive guidance on resources for performing legal research on this subject, as well as information from leading advocates and government entities with missions to protect those with disabilities from discrimination.

Museum of disABILITY History (Virtual Museum)

The Museum of disABILITY History is dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. The Museum’s exhibits, collections, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History, EveryBody: An Artifact History of Disability in America

People with disabilities have been present throughout American history, but rarely appear in textbooks or shared public memories. This online exhibition helps us understand the American experience and reveals how complicated history really is.

 

This Week in the Law Library …

This week in the Law Library we’re celebrating July 4th, looking at more bar exam resources, reviewing more basic legal research skills for summer, and celebrating Disability Pride Month.

Happy July 4th!

hand_holding_American_flag_and_sparkler

The Law Library will be closed July 4, 2024 to celebrate Independence Day. Law students and faculty will still have their 24/7 access. All of our online resources are also still available 24/7!

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. When you’ve caught your breath and you’re ready to start your bar studying, we have resources that can help. Check out our Bar Exam Research Guide.

The July 2024 bar examination will be administered at the Roberts Centre, 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, Ohio July 30-31, 2024. The Holiday Inn Roberts Centre room block opens on May 14, 2024, at 11 am. Learn more at: Ohio Bar Exam

5 More Resources to Help You Study for the Bar Exam

The Bar Exam is not a sprint, it’s a marathon so pace yourself! Check out this week’s Bar Exam Resource highlights below.

Critical Reading for Success in Law School and Beyond (with video)

Available via the West Academic study aid subscription, this text identifies the reading strategies used by expert legal readers and presents the strategies in a systematic sequence. The second edition adds chapters that address reading on screens and techniques for reading bar prep materials. The second edition also has a seventeen part video series with PowerPoint slides. Each video introduces a reading strategy, provides helpful tips, includes a short student exercise, and gives students the opportunity to self-assess their proficiency.

Mastering Multiple Choice for Federal Civil Procedure MBE Bar Prep and 1L Exam Prep

Available via the West Academic study aid subscription, this fourth edition (expanded with new questions, new answers, and new explanations) encompasses material reflecting all Civil Procedure Rule amendments through December 2021, along with applicable new case law through February 2022. This multiple choice practice book is designed for: (a) bar exam takers, who are preparing to take the MBE multiple choice bar exam, and (b) 1L law students, who are preparing to take their course examinations. This practice book offers practical, easy-to-follow advice on multiple choice exam-taking strategies, clear suggestions on effective multiple choice practicing techniques, and a robust set of Civil Procedure multiple choice practice questions with answers and explanations (designed to simulate MBE-style questions). Tables help users decode the tested-topic for each practice question.

Bar Exam Toolbox, Bar Exam 101

A collection of the Bar Exam Toolbox favorite posts in different topic areas, along with links to lots more content. From when to start studying to detailed tips for the bar exam essays.

Andrew Cohen & Thea Beckman, How to Take a Practice Bar Exam—23 Key Tips, Brainscape Academy

Taking practice bar exams is an extremely important part of efficiently studying. Not only does it identify your strengths and weaknesses, but it also helps you practice your test-taking strategies and improve your mental stamina. Working practice exams into your study schedule is critical to bar exam success. This article gives you 23 key tips on how to take a practice bar exam so that you squeeze the most possible benefit out of the time you spend.

JD Advising, How to Pass the Bar Exam the First Time Exam

This is a step-by-step approach on how to study and prepare for the bar exam.

You can see the previous week’s featured bar exam resources on our June 24, June 17, June 10, May 28, and May 21 posts.

Summer Legal Research Tips

Previously, we looked at:

Initial steps to take when you get a summer research project

Start by identifying the resources available to you at your place of summer employment and ask questions. Develop a research plan. Read more about developing a research plan on our Research Strategy & Documentation guide.

Secondary sources

Then you may need to do background research about your issue before jumping into primary sources such as statutes and case law. A good secondary source can explain the law around your issue and cite you to primary sources. It can save you a lot of time and effort! Learn more about researching in secondary sources in our Researching Secondary Sources Guide or watch our videos on finding and searching within the various secondary source types.

Researching statutes in annotated codes

If your issue is statutory, you want to use an annotated code. An annotated code is a great research tool because it offers editorial enhancements such as: (1) cross references to related statutes and regulations; (2) more detailed historical notes, secondary source references; (3) if it is a Thomson Reuters code you will get topic and key number references to help you find cases; and (3) the case annotations.

Statutory finding tools

Once in an annotated code, use the statutory finding tools like indexes, tables of contents, parallel reference tables, and the popular names table to find the statutory sections you need.

Updating and validating statutes

Update and validate your statutes by making sure that you are working with the most current version of a statute when researching a current issue and using Shepards and KeyCite to validate your statute and to identify any pending legislation that may impact your statute.

Historical and Superseded Codes

You can research historical codes using HeinOnline, Govinfo.gov, Bloomberg Law, Fastcase, Lexis, and Westlaw. You can also compare statutes on Lexis and Westlaw and be sure and always check the effective dates of statutes.

This week we will cover statutory surveys.

Statutory Surveys

Sometimes a researcher is asked to find statutes from multiple jurisdictions on a particular topic. 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. 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. President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in 1990 and in July of that same year, the first Disability Pride Day was celebrated in Boston.

This month, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights invites you to take part in the #BeCounted campaign. The #BeCounted campaign encourages lawyers with disabilities across the country to add themselves to the ABA’s U.S. map.

5 Resources to Learn More about Accessibility & Disability Issues

ABA Wide 21-Day Disability Equity Habit-Building Challenge

The ABA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council hosts a 21-Day Disability Equity Habit-Building Challenge syllabus in honor of Disability Pride Month. ABA members and non-members, including non-lawyers, are invited 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 Civil Rights and Civil Justice Section, Building a Neuroinclusive Legal Workplace: The Competitive Advantage of Diversity

Between 15-20% of the US population is neurodiverse. Neurodiversity is getting lots of attention, with more and more employers recognizing the benefits of diversity of thought and tapping into this talent pool. This panel of experts—including neurodivergent attorneys—discusses what neurodivergent means for employers and the workplace, the unique skills and abilities that accompany it, and what businesses should be doing about it. The panelists address the business case for hiring neurodivergent lawyers, provide best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining neurodivergent lawyers, share their initiatives and lessons they have learned along the way, and discuss what a neuroinclusive workplace looks like.

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, 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.

Washington University in St. Louis, Disability Justice Self-Study Guide

This guide explores concepts of disability justice and accessibility. Topics include physical, cognitive, intellectual, and mental disabilities; accessibility, broadly defined; ableism in education; and intersections of ableism with other systems of oppression.

This Week in the Law Library …

This week in the Law Library we’re looking at more bar exam resources, reviewing basic legal research skills for summer, and continuing to celebrate Pride Month.

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. When you’ve caught your breath and you’re ready to start your bar studying, we have resources that can help. Check out our Bar Exam Research Guide.

The July 2024 bar examination will be administered at the Roberts Centre, 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, Ohio July 30-31, 2024. The Holiday Inn Roberts Centre room block opens on May 14, 2024, at 11 am. Learn more at: Ohio Bar Exam

5 More Resources to Help You Study for the Bar Exam

The Bar Exam is not a sprint, it’s a marathon so pace yourself! Check out this week’s Bar Exam Resource highlights below.

A Short & Happy Guide to the MPT

Available through the West Academic study aid subscription, this guide teaches you how to take advantage of test formulas and patterns by identifying the basic underlying formulas on which every MPT is constructed and the standard performance expectations. It then shows you how to develop a set of standard strategies, create a process for approaching any MPT, and accurately assess your performance. By learning the formula, developing an efficient and effective approach that comports with performance expectations, you will be prepared to score high on any MPT and no problem will take you by surprise.

MPT and MPT Point Sheets

These describe the factual and legal points encompassed within the lawyering task to be completed by applicants for each of the tests and outline possible issues and points that might be addressed by an examinee. These MPTs and Point Sheets are available online from the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

A Short & Happy Guide to Conquering the MBE

Available through the West Academic study aid subscription, this small volume will show you how to use practice multiple-choice questions to greatest advantage. That involves changing the way you approach those questions. Conquering the MBE gives you a step-by-step process for attacking every multiple-choice question in every MBE subject, with lots of examples. You will discover that most questions offer review of four concepts rather than just one, and they do so on concrete contexts, not in the abstract. You will also discover that when you do this step-by-step review, one answer, and only one answer, is correct.

Mastering Multiple Choice for Federal Civil Procedure MBE Bar Prep and 1L Exam Prep

Available through the West Academic study aid subscription, this fourth edition (expanded with new questions, new answers, and new explanations) encompasses material reflecting all Civil Procedure Rule amendments through December 2021, along with applicable new case law through February 2022. This multiple choice practice book is designed for: (a) bar exam takers, who are preparing to take the MBE multiple choice bar exam, and (b) 1L law students, who are preparing to take their course examinations. This practice book offers practical, easy-to-follow advice on multiple choice exam-taking strategies, clear suggestions on effective multiple choice practicing techniques, and a robust set of Civil Procedure multiple choice practice questions with answers and explanations (designed to simulate MBE-style questions). Tables help users decode the tested-topic for each practice question.

A Short & Happy Guide to the Bar Exam’s Multistate Essay Examination (MEE)

Available through the West Academic study aid subscription, this book is a one-source resource for what you need to maximize your performance on the MEE—not a generic essay writing guide, but a treasury of information, issue identification, and subject area frameworks tailored specifically for the MEE. This book teaches you about preparing for and taking the MEE to achieve the highest possible essay scores, beginning with how to use the individual Subject Charts (organized by MEE subject) and Table of Issues (organized by bar administration). These charts identify every issue and sub-issue tested on the MEE over the past 14 years, thus letting you see the frequency of tested topics and gain familiarity with how they are tested.

You can see the previous week’s featured bar exam resources on our June 17, June 10, May 28, and May 21 posts.

Summer Legal Research Tips

Previously, we looked at initial steps to take when you get a summer research project, secondary sources, researching statutes in annotated codes, statutory finding tools, and updating and validating statutes. Start by identifying the resources available to you at your place of summer employment and ask questions. Develop a research plan. Read more about developing a research plan on our Research Strategy & Documentation guide. Then you may need to do background research about your issue before jumping into primary sources such as statutes and case law. A good secondary source can explain the law around your issue and cite you to primary sources. It can save you a lot of time and effort! Learn more about researching in secondary sources in our Researching Secondary Sources Guide or watch our videos on finding and searching within the various secondary source types. If your issue is statutory, you want to use an annotated code. An annotated code is a great research tool because it offers editorial enhancements such as: (1) cross references to related statutes and regulations; (2) more detailed historical notes, secondary source references; (3) if it is a Thomson Reuters code you will get topic and key number references to help you find cases; and (3) the case annotations. Once in an annotated code, use the statutory finding tools like indexes, tables of contents, parallel reference tables, and the popular names table to find the statutory sections you need. Update and validate your statutes by making sure that you are working with the most current version of a statute when researching a current issue and using Shepards and KeyCite to validate your statute and to identify any pending legislation that may impact your statute. This week we will cover how to research historical codes. Learn more about researching statutes in our Researching Statutes Guide or watch our videos on using citators to validate statutes.

Effective Dates

You will need to connect the timeline of your cause of action or issue with the statute version that was in effect at that time. If the statute has been amended or repealed since the time in question, it is likely that the prior version is the one you will need to research. Always be aware of the timelines and any amendment history of relevant statutory provisions, including the date on which the amendment became or becomes effective!

The effective date is the date on which a statute becomes operative and enforceable. This date may or may not be the same date as the signing date or the date that a bill was passed. Generally, in the federal system, a law becomes effective when it has been enacted. There are exceptions to this since a law may have a specific effective date stated within it. The date of enactment is most easily located by looking at the list of session laws creating and amending a statute that are directly after the text of a statute in a code.

Many states have codified the effective dates for their statutes so that a law generally becomes effective on a certain date or number of days. For example, some states provide that laws become effective 90 days after signed. Other states provide that they become effective 6-months after being signed. Still others may provide a specific month such as October 1. Do be aware, however, that there are emergency effective dates for statutes. In Ohio, a signed act becomes law after 90 days. If the governor takes no action within 10 days of receiving the act, it becomes law without his or her signature. The Kentucky Constitution specifies that an act becomes law 90 days after the General Assembly Adjourns, unless the act contains a delayed effective date or an emergency clause.

Finding Historical Statutes

So where can you find historical statutes? HeinOnline has the United States Code going back to 1925. Govinfo.gov has the United States Code going back to 1994 as does Bloomberg Law. Fastcase has the United States Code going back to 2006. Westlaw’s USCA goes back to 1990 and the Lexis USCS goes back to 1992.

State code archives vary. HeinOnline has a library called State Statutes: A Historical Archive that covers superseded state statutes for all fifty states some going back until 1717. HeinOnline also has a library of state session laws that contains the session laws of all 50 U.S. states as well as Canada, Australia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and the D.C. Register. All states are current within 60 days of the printed publication, and all states are available back to inception!

Comparing Statutes

Lexis and Westlaw have features that allow you to pull up two statutory sections from different time periods and compare them. Use this feature to quickly compare any 2 versions of a statute to see where language has changed. In a Document view, you can click the Compare Versions button to compare the current version and a previous version of the statute. You can also do this through the History tab.

June Is Pride Month!

Rainbow flag

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 2024 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!

Pride Month at University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is a Premier Campus, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Campus Pride Index, a national listing of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The index is an overall indicator of institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program and practice. Additionally, in a recent national ranking the University has been ranked #52 among the top LGBTQ-friendliest colleges and universities.

UC Clermont, Frederick A. Marcotte Library Digital Display Pride Month

UCBA Library Pride Month Display

University of Cincinnati Alumni, Pride Month

Susan Helmick, Celebrating Pride Month in Cincinnati, The Graduate College News

5 Resources to Learn More About LGBT+ Issues and History

Learn more about Pride Month and LGBTQ+ issues by checking out the resources below!

Digital Collections of the GLBT History Museum

Founded in 1985, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of LGBTQ public history.

LGBT Community Center National History Archive

The LGBT Community Center National History Archive is a community-based archive that collects, preserves and makes available to the public the documentation of LGBTQ lives and organizations centered in and around New York.

Library of Congress, LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive

The LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive collects and preserves online content which documents LGBTQ+ history, scholarship, and culture in the United States and around the world. Sites include domestic and international non-profit organizations, journalism and news, creative works and expressions, historical records, and more. Collection priorities include primary sources, first-hand accounts, coverage of significant events, and essential artifacts of cultural memory. This collection seeks to illuminate LBGTQ+ voices, from margin to center.

LGBTQIA+ Issues in Records at the National Archives

This collection documents the experience of the full range of our diverse society, with records that constitute a rich documentary history of the experience of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory

As the largest LGBTQ oral history project in North American history, the Collaboratory connects archives across Canada and the U.S. to produce a digital history hub for the research and study of gay, lesbian, queer, and trans oral histories.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month-Check Out Our Elder Law Resources

Grappling with a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a frightening and bewildering experience. Below are some resources on Elder Law that may help.

Law Library Resources

Law Library Estate Planning Research Guide 

Lexis Estate Planning Resources 

Westlaw Estate Planning Resources 

Other Resources 

Alzheimer’s Association Cincinnati 

Ohio Department of Aging 

ProSeniors 

UC College of Medicine Community Resources 

This Week in the Law Library …

This week in the Law Library we’re learning about Juneteenth, looking at bar exam resources, reviewing basic legal research skills for summer, and continuing to celebrate Pride Month.

Celebrating Juneteenth

Banner with red, black, and green stripes that fade into a white background. Across the red stripe is the text Juneteenth. Below that is the Black stripe with text Celebrate Freedom. Below that is the green stripe with the text June 19. Across from the stripes is a map of the United States with half of the map blue and half red. A white 5-point star is in the middle of the map.
(photo by USAG-Humphreys, CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)

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!

Juneteenth Display

Note that the Law Library will be closed Wednesday, June 19, 2024 for the Juneteenth holiday.

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. When you’ve caught your breath and you’re ready to start your bar studying, we have resources that can help. Check out our Bar Exam Research Guide.

The July 2024 bar examination will be administered at the Roberts Centre, 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, Ohio July 30-31, 2024. The Holiday Inn Roberts Centre room block opens on May 14, 2024, at 11 am. Learn more at: Ohio Bar Exam

5 More Resources to Help You Study for the Bar Exam

The Bar Exam is not a sprint, it’s a marathon so pace yourself! Check out this week’s Bar Exam Resource highlights below.

The Bar Exam Toolkit Podcast

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 – Bar Exam Articles

The National Jurist has published many articles on the bar exam. You can view them all here.

Lori Lynn Eller, Bar Exam Nightmares, Solved, ABA Law Student Division (Apr. 18, 2024) (Video)

Get solutions for common nightmares experienced during the bar exam including forgetting a rule during essay portion, making sense of an unusual task during the performance test, and running out of time when you are up against the clock.

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

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) (Video)

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!

You can see the previous week’s featured bar exam resources on our June 10, May 28, and May 21 posts.

Summer Legal Research Tips

Previously, we looked at initial steps to take when you get a summer research project, looking at secondary sources, researching statutes in annotated codes, and statutory finding tools. Start by identifying the resources available to you at your place of summer employment and ask questions. Develop a research plan. Read more about developing a research plan on our Research Strategy & Documentation guide. Then you may need to do background research about your issue before jumping into primary sources such as statutes and case law. A good secondary source can explain the law around your issue and cite you to primary sources. It can save you a lot of time and effort! Learn more about researching in secondary sources in our Researching Secondary Sources Guide or watch our videos on finding and searching within the various secondary source types. If your issue is statutory, you want to use an annotated code. An annotated code is a great research tool because it offers editorial enhancements such as: (1) cross references to related statutes and regulations; (2) more detailed historical notes, secondary source references; (3) if it is a Thomson Reuters code you will get topic and key number references to help you find cases; and (3) the case annotations. Once in an annotated code, use the statutory finding tools like indexes, tables of contents, parallel reference tables, and the popular names table to find the statutory sections you need. This week we will continue to take a look at researching a statutory issue in an annotated code, by covering updating and validating statutes. Learn more about researching statutes in our Researching Statutes Guide or watch our videos on using citators to validate statutes.

How Up-to-Date Is Your Code?

Statutes are constantly changing. Make sure that you are working with the most current version of a statute when researching a current issue. Print and online codes will tell you how up to date they are. Look for these currency statements when viewing a statute. Look for the number of the last session law integrated into the code.

Print codes are updated with annual pocket parts and supplements. Also look for legislative service pamphlets. These updates are published throughout the year and usually include a cumulative list of statutes affected by recently enacted laws and a cumulative subject index. Tables of amendments and repeals published in codes and advance legislative services provide citations to session laws that modify existing statutes. Just be aware that print supplements are often published to slowly for updating purposes so online sources are going to be most current.

Validating Statutes Using Citators

On Lexis, use Shepards to validate your statute and to identify any pending legislation that may impact your statute. In Lexis, when you shepardize a statute, the circle with an exclamation point indicates that a section has strong negative treatment. Such negative treatment would be things like it has been amended or repealed or that it has been declared unconstitutional or void. In Lexis, the upside-down yellow triangle with an exclamation point indicates that there is pending legislation that could amend your statute. In Lexis, the green diamond with a plus sign in it indicates that there is positive treatment of your statute.

On Westlaw, use KeyCite to validate your statute and to identify any pending legislation that may impact your statute. A red flag in Westlaw indicates that a section has been amended or repealed by a session law or that it has been declared unconstitutional or preempted. A yellow flag in Westlaw indicates that the statute has been renumbered or transferred by a recent session law; that an uncodified session law or proposed legislation affecting the statute is available; that the statute was limited on constitutional or preemption grounds; that its validity was otherwise called into doubt; or that a prior version of the statute received negative treatment from a court.

June Is Pride Month!

Rainbow flag

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 2024 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!

Pride Month at University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is a Premier Campus, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Campus Pride Index, a national listing of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The index is an overall indicator of institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program and practice. Additionally, in a recent national ranking the University has been ranked #52 among the top LGBTQ-friendliest colleges and universities.

UC Clermont, Frederick A. Marcotte Library Digital Display Pride Month

UCBA Library Pride Month Display

University of Cincinnati Alumni, Pride Month

Susan Helmick, Celebrating Pride Month in Cincinnati, The Graduate College News

UC Pride GrillOUT @ The Graduate
Thursday, June 20, 2024
4 – 7 p.m.
The Graduate Cincinnati
151 Goodman Drive
Cincinnati, OH

5 Resources to Learn More About LGBT+ Issues and History

Learn more about Pride Month and LGBTQ+ issues by checking out the resources below!

American Archive of Public Broadcasting, LGBT+ Collection 

The LGBT+ Collection includes over 500 public radio and televisions programs and original materials contributed to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) by 35 stations and organizations from across the United States. The recordings date from the late 1950s to 2018. The collection documents the representation of the LGBT+ community in public media, including conversations, social and political reactions, and cultural movements associated with LGBT+ history. These topics are presented through interviews, newscasts, lectures, and more.

Films On Demand Pride Month Collection (UC students, staff and faculty only)

Films On Demand is a web-based digital video delivery platform that allows viewing of streaming videos from Films Media Group.

PBS Pride Month Collection

A collection of documentaries and programs that highlight LGBTQIA voices and experiences.

Pride Collection on Kanopy (UC students, staff and faculty only)

University of Cincinnati Libraries subscribes to Kanopy Streaming video titles. All currently licensed films are available for immediate viewing.

Library of Congress, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month Audio & Video

This guide page offers links to audio and video productions related to LGBTQIA+ books, poetry, literature, history, and more.

Spotlight on Student Scholarship

Here at the University of Cincinnati Marx Law Library, we are very proud of our students! Check out some of the scholarship they’ve produced this year.

The Immigration and Human Rights Law Review (IHRLR) 

The University of Cincinnati Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal (“IPCLJ”) 

The University of Cincinnati Law Review 

You can also check out some more of our students’ work on the UC Law Review Blog.

This Week in the Law Library …

This week in the Law Library we’re looking at bar exam resources, reviewing basic legal research skills for summer, and celebrating Pride Month.

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. When you’ve caught your breath and you’re ready to start your bar studying, we have resources that can help. Check out our Bar Exam Research Guide.

The July 2024 bar examination will be administered at the Roberts Centre, 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, Ohio July 30-31, 2024. The Holiday Inn Roberts Centre room block opens on May 14, 2024, at 11 am. Learn more at: Ohio Bar Exam

5 More Resources to Help You Study for the Bar Exam

The Bar Exam is not a sprint, it’s a marathon so pace yourself! Check out this week’s Bar Exam Resource highlights below.

ABA Student Lawyer Division, Student Lawyer – Bar Exam Blog Posts

The ABA’s Student Lawyer Division publishes the Student Lawyer blog. You can view their bar exam related posts here.

Help! I am Zoning Out!

Although this CALI Lesson references law school exams, students studying for the bar exam will find it useful. This lesson is designed to provide students with data about why their attention levels may dip during class or studying, including recent research regarding the effects of digital distractions on concentration. The lesson invites students to reflect upon the reasons they may lose focus and/or concentration while in class or while studying, and provides a robust set of strategies students can use to anticipate and control for that loss of focus, incorporating several free-writes. If using CALI, you will need to create an account (if you have not already done so) using a Cincinnati Law authorization code. You can obtain this code from a reference librarian.

Learning Tips and Retention: Discussions in Law School Success

Although this CALI Lesson references law school exams, students studying for the bar exam will find it useful. This CALI podcast discusses tips to help you remember more information and to perform better on law school exams. Three learning strategies are explained: spaced repetition, the testing effect, and cognitive schema. Briefly defined, spaced repetition incorporates periodic studying throughout the semester. The testing effect can be more challenging and is exactly what it sounds like; it is testing yourself to see whether or not you know the material. Lastly, the podcast explains how to create a cognitive schema as an organizational structure that you can use to retain information. If using CALI, you will need to create an account (if you have not already done so) using a Cincinnati Law authorization code. You can obtain this code from a reference librarian.

Mindfulness Practice for Law School

Although this CALI Lesson references stress during law school, the bar exam creates new expectations and the environment increases anxiety and stress for many students. This lesson introduces basic skills to help students practice mindfulness and stay in the present despite the numerous stressors. If using CALI, you will need to create an account (if you have not already done so) using a Cincinnati Law authorization code. You can obtain this code from a reference librarian.

Secrets to Improved Memorization

Although this CALI Lesson references law school exams, students studying for the bar exam will find it useful. This CALI Lesson provides insight on how to remember the vast information to apply on the bar exam. If using CALI, you will need to create an account (if you have not already done so) using a Cincinnati Law authorization code. You can obtain this code from a reference librarian.

Summer Legal Research Tips

Previously, we looked at initial steps to take when you get a summer research project, looking at secondary sources, and researching statutes in annotated codes. Start by identifying the resources available to you at your place of summer employment and ask questions. Develop a research plan. Read more about developing a research plan on our Research Strategy & Documentation guide. Then you may need to do background research about your issue before jumping into primary sources such as statutes and case law. A good secondary source can explain the law around your issue and cite you to primary sources. It can save you a lot of time and effort! Learn more about researching in secondary sources in our Researching Secondary Sources Guide or watch our videos on finding and searching within the various secondary source types. If your issue is statutory, you want to use an annotated code. An annotated code is a great research tool because it offers editorial enhancements such as: (1) cross references to related statutes and regulations; (2) more detailed historical notes, secondary source references; (3) if it is a Thomson Reuters code you will get topic and key number references to help you find cases; and (3) the case annotations. 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.

Indexes

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. 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.

Popular Names

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!

Rainbow flag

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 2024 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!

Pride Month at University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is a Premier Campus, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Campus Pride Index, a national listing of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The index is an overall indicator of institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program and practice. Additionally, in a recent national ranking the University has been ranked #52 among the top LGBTQ-friendliest colleges and universities.

UC Clermont, Frederick A. Marcotte Library Digital Display Pride Month

UCBA Library Pride Month Display

University of Cincinnati Alumni, Pride Month

Susan Helmick, Celebrating Pride Month in Cincinnati, The Graduate College News

UC Pride GrillOUT @ The Graduate
Thursday, June 20, 2024
4 – 7 p.m.
The Graduate Cincinnati
151 Goodman Drive
Cincinnati, OH

5 Resources to Learn More About LGBT+ Issues and History

Learn more about Pride Month and LGBTQ+ issues by checking out the resources below!

Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) 

The purpose of the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) is to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world. The DTA is an international collaboration among dozens of colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, public libraries, and private collections. The DTA uses transgender in a broad and inclusive sense, using transgender and trans as a framework for collecting materials, as a point of departure rather than as a fixed identity term.

Gender Studies Database

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

GenderWatch is a full text database of publications that focus on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas.

LGBTQ+ Source

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

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.