Thursday, October 30, 2008

Remember to Meebo the Librarian!

Don't forget about the new instant messaging capability for reaching a librarian in the Reference Office of the Gould Law Library. Just go to the library's homepage at Then, click on the link that says "Chat with the Reference Staff." Wait a few moments for the Meebo box to load and, then, type into the box that says "Type here and hit enter to send a message." If the reference librarian on duty is available, she or he will respond shortly.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One-Stop Shopping for NY Court Info

The web site of the New York State Unified Court System at offers one-stop shopping for New York court information. The site lists the various NY courts and details the types of cases handled by each. A court directory provides locations, phone numbers, and directions. Court rules, full text of recent decisions, and court administration information also is provided. The judicial directory provides short profiles of each judge. A separate section of the site provides guidance to self-represented litigants, including court forms, filing fees, and an attorney referral page. The “How Do I?” page offers further guidance, as does a selection of court publications. The site also supplies a directory of public law libraries around the state and a collection of links for further legal research. Some court information is provided in multiple languages (for example, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish).

Finding the Law

Here's another recommendation for the intrepid legal researcher:

Finding the Law (12th edition) by Robert C. Berring and Elizabeth A. Edinger
St. Paul, MN: Thomson West, 2005
ISBN: 0-314-14579-6

Call number in the Gould Law Library:
KF240 .C538 2005

Locations: Reserve, Main Collection

This popular book, now in its 12th edition, was written by two librarians from Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley. It covers all the basics of legal research - reporters, codes, legislative history, administrative publications, court rules, and search strategy. Librarians commonly use this book in tandem with the previously mentioned Fundamentals of Legal Research. If a detail is missing from one of the books, the other usually fills the gap. Finding the Law is highly recommended for Legal Process students or those enrolled in an advanced legal research course.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Legal Research in a Nutshell

Another helpful quick reference source is Legal Research in a Nutshell (9th edition) by Morris L. Cohen and Kent C. Olson. The Nutshell provides a solid introduction to the basics of legal research, such as primary and secondary sources, legislative and administrative research, and foreign and international sources. The book is frequently used as a reserve reading for first-year legal research classes or as a training manual for law librarians. A copy is available on Reserve at the library's circulation desk. The call number is KF240 .C54 2007.