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Transcript - Finding Case Law and Legal Documents - Sep 26 2018

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvBa_-eJ9u8


Begin Transcript

Narration: 

 

>> TAYLOR LEIGH:  Hello everybody, and welcome to the Finding Case Law and Legal Documents webinar. We will be get started just a couple minutes so hang tight and I will be back with you in just a moment.

 

Okay got it is 2:01 PM my time which should make it 5:01 PM Eastern time, so we are going to go ahead and get started. Hello everyone and welcome. This is the Finding Case Law and Legal Documents webinar. And I am Taylor Leigh, I am the Liaison to the School of Public Policy and Administration.

 

This session today will be recorded and you will be able to access it in the webinar archive that we have at the library, and you can also download the PowerPoint file of today's presentation right now if you go to the handouts tab of GoToWebinar. I've gone ahead and uploaded it there so you can grab that if you want to. It might be helpful to have just to refer back to and I've hyperlinked a bunch of resources in there. But you will also be able to get it later. Captioning, if you need captioning, that's also available. You can access it clicking on the link that I posted in the chat tab of GoToWebinar.

 

And questions, I am the only librarian in today's session, so the way we will handle questions as you can submit them whenever a question occurs to you that I will reserve sometime at the end to get to those questions.

 

Before we get started, I just want to verify that everyone can hear my voice and see my screen. So if somebody could please confirm that in the questions by typing in to the questions tab, that would be really helpful. I am going to start the recording. And here we go.

 

Hello everyone, and welcome to the Finding Case Law and Legal Documents webinar.my name is Taylor Leigh and I am the Liaison Librarian to the School of Public Policy and Administration here at Walden University. This session is intended for students from all program levels and all subject areas who are interested in legal research or have some need for legal documents.  You may need to get legal documents for the purposes of a course assignment, or you may need to do this for your self-directed research. The databases that we see today, combined with some of the government websites that are accessible via the public policy research homepage and also the ones we mentioned in the government webinar are going to allow you to find relevant legal information on your topic.

 

That being said, let's look at our objectives for today.

 

Firstly, we are going to distinguish between primary and secondary sources, specifically within the context of the legal world. Because, this idea of primary and secondary sources is a bit malleable depending on which field you're talking about.

 

Next, we are going to discuss some of the more common secondary source types, and these can be really good resources to look at to get some background information. Then we are going to go in to these two databases that we're? To look at today, the first one being Nexis Uni, the second one being Gale OneFile: LegalTrac.

 

We are going to talk about how to search for both primary and secondary sources and Nexis Uni, because that offers us the ability to do that. And Gale OneFile: LegalTrac, on the other hand, we're just going to see how to use that database to find secondary sources.

 

So whenever a student comes to be and wants some help finding legal documents on their topic, I typically recommend that they start their search with secondary sources. Why would I suggest this? Well, a lot of times, the text of laws, themselves, or other legal documents can be seemingly incomprehensible to those without a legal background. Into this could lead to some potential frustration.

 

And I just want to briefly show you this slide which is an excerpt from a law that I got on Congress.gov. But this just gives you a bit of a taste of what you might encounter once you start going in to some of these legal documents and government documents. They're very dense, they're very jargon-laden.

 

On the other hand, if you start with a secondary source, so for example, a law review article on your topic, that's going to contain more natural language than the actual, official policies or laws. And they're also going to contain extensive references to primary sources.

 

So we are getting a bit at of ourselves here. Let's talk about what's the difference between primary and secondary sources. While it's pretty simple, probably resources in the context of legal research are the laws themselves or the policies themselves. Concretely, that's going to be statutes, regulations and court opinions.

 

Secondary materials are going to be everything else, so any other content about those laws or policies. So, interpretations of them or descriptions of them and some examples of that would be legal encyclopedias, law reviews like I just mentioned and treatises.

 

One thing I always tell students ... before we go to that slide ... is that especially in the initial stages of your search process, for basic background information, common Internet sources like Wikipedia and Google can be very helpful for guiding you to the more relevant secondary and ultimately primary sources  for your topic.

 

Now, it's important to realize that these kinds of sources are not scholarly in nature, and therefore, they are not going to be appropriate to include in your research or cite in your research. But they will provide you with some very useful contextual information and help guide your future searches. So they are very valuable as general discovery tools.

 

So, for example, let me just show you what I mean by that. I'm going to come over here, this is the Wikipedia entry for the Freedom of Information Act. This is a US federal law. And you can see in this entry, they started off with the name of the law and spend the abbreviation. Then, you have this kind of weird looking citation, or a citation you might not be familiar with. That's in two parts, it is one citation, but it's in two parts. The first part is the title, which title of the US Code this is coming from. Then this second one is the section of the US Code where  this particular policy is found.

 

And if you click on this, it's going to take you directly to the legal information [AUDIO GLITCH] which is an amazing resource for access to legal documents. That just goes to show that you can access legitimate authoritative resources from non-authoritative resources like Wikipedia. But, still great for background and contextual information, as well.

 

In the process of doing these kinds of very basic Internet searches, you might also find some good leads for relevant government websites for your topic. So  if you did a search for freedom of information act you might ultimately end up on the Department of State's website.

 

Finally, you will likely identify additional search terms to using the process of searching there he broadly like this, as well. So for example, we already know that this law is called the Freedom of Information Act. But we also see this abbreviation and say hey, that might be able to include when we go into the databases.

 

Like I said, I often recommend that students start with secondary resources. So, books, handbooks, encyclopedias on legal topics. Enter best bets for finding these kinds of resources at Walden are going to be these three databases that I have linked here. Given that we don't have a formal law school, we don't have as many resources for legal research as some other institutions.

 

But, these ones are surprisingly helpful. GALE Virtual Reference Library does have a law collection, so, actually, I think I have open. So if you come in to that database you can click on this law collection and is going to show you the GALE Encyclopedia of American Law which is a great reference resource for the American legal system, in general.

 

Then I also wanted to show you an example of what you might see if you go into our database SAGE Knowledge. This is a screenshot from a search I did for age discrimination.

 

So as you can see, you will get this type of entry, it will have a table of contents of here or you can choose to view this as an e-book. You can even have it read to you, if you would like to do that. That, there's going to be other helpful links at the beginning of the entry to help you navigate within it. Because some of them can be quite long.

 

Let's talk about law reviews and journals. So, law reviews usually focus on new or emerging areas of law or legal research. So they may be more current than some of the encyclopedia that we were just talking about. Many law schools publish at least one, sometimes several law reviews. A law review article similar to the text of a law itself is a very specific thing. Even though they contain more natural language than an actual policy, they are still going to be fairly dry and dense and lots of legal jargon. So that's just something to be prepared for.

 

The way law reviews are typically formatted in a law review or a legal journal will be, there will be a section or there will be individual articles called "notes." And those tend to be a bit shorter. And then there will be  comments or articles.... I'm sorry, you either see "notes" or "articles" they are sometimes used interchangeably. And those will be written by law students if they sometimes tend to be shorter. Then there will be articles and those are written by law professors, judges, or other, higher legal practitioners.

 

A lot of the time, articles, since they are so long, will have extensive table of contents for the article itself, to help you find what you're looking for without having to read the entire thing. And, articles in general are valued for their analysis of a particular legal topic.

 

And we are talking about accessing them for the purposes of our own research, but many times, these kinds of secondary sources play a significant role in the actual legal process. The development of laws, because they often critique and inform future modifications to the current law, and they're often cited as support for amendments and repeals. So they can be really instrumental in shaping US policy.

 

Now, these law reviews and legal journals occupy kind of a gray area regarding peer review. Some will have that designation, some will not. But it doesn't neatly align with the concept of peer review as it relates to other scholarly journals.

 

It's a bit complicated, but the designation of peer review in the context of law reviews does not necessarily dictate whether or not that content is appropriate to include in your research. So it's a bit different than some of the content you might access to some of our other databases.

 

Treatises, treatises are another kind of secondary resource you might want to make use of. It's a really good kind of resource to start with if you lack familiarity of legal policy on a given issue and you're just generally curious. So these treatises, they can be book length but they're often  much more so succinct and they are usually [AUDIO GLITCH] legal policy on a given topic. So they will vary in terms of how much detail they provide. Some are designed for legal practitioners. Others are designed for law students and yet others are designed for laypersons like us. So they will typically provide more information than  a legal encyclopedia entry such as, they might summarize the landmark cases in that particular area and link to other helpful information.

 

So, some examples of treatises you may come across our real estate law in New York State or drug policy in the United States. They will have fairly broad or they tend to have fairly broad titles like that. Treatises are scholarly and they are appropriate to use in your research. You will be able to get to some of these true treatises it Nexis Uni which we will go to soon. But the ones I found in that database tend to be pretty dense so I linked here this Georgetown Treatise Finder. If this is a great way to browse for treatises on various legal topics, it is going to suggest multiple resources to you based on the topic. And if you need a portion, if it's a book, you can request a portion of that to the Document Delivery Service we have.

 

So I will just pop over to show you what this page looks like. So this is what that Georgetown Law Library site looks like. As you can see, has a long list of topics in legal research. And when I click on one, I'm going to go into banking law, it will contain a lot of resources to help you get that good background information.

 

So, before we go into the databases, let's briefly talk about how we search for legal materials. This is going to mirror the kinds of ways that we search for government documents to cover in another webinar. We are either going to use a citation and a legal citation is a very specific thing and it's not going to look like the APA citations you might be used to or MLA. It's completely different. If you have the citation, that's always great. But a lot of times we don't. It would be told, we rely on keyword searching or, if we have a popular name with the common name of a particular policy or law, we can use that. And then aside from that, we are just going to be  browsing by general topic or keyword.

 

Where do we look for legal materials? Really in two different places, with those two different places contain multitudes of different places within them. What is government websites and I've just listed some of the more frequently utilized and helpful was here, but there are hundreds of government websites and I do go into more detail on these in a separate government documents webinar.

 

And then, in terms of our collections here at Walden, we are going to be using mainly these two databases, Gale OneFile: LegalTrac and Nexis Uni, although you might find some other relevant information in Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete. And then finally, Google Scholar does have a case law search which is pretty handy.

 

So with that being said, I'm going to navigate to Nexis Uni and take a look at this. This is what the Nexis Uni homepage looks like. Nexis Uni is the replacement of Lexis Academic which some of you may have used in years past. It is a database for legal and business information primarily. It will contain all three kinds of laws, statutory laws, regulatory laws and case law, as well as those secondary sources like law reviews and journals, [indiscernible], notes, briefs, his articles, company information, etc.

 

So when you come to Nexis Uni, the first thing I just want to make you aware of she could come up here to this menu on the top left and you can notice that there are multiple subject areas listed in this menu. If you click on one of them, I'm going to click on criminal science, for example, it's just going to give you a slightly more tailored experience as you're searching in Nexis Uni. So you can set this azure homepage and it will show you key topics here that are hyperlinked. You can scroll down, it will show you recent news articles in criminal justice. You can search over here, recent Supreme Court decisions on criminal justice. Featured publications, landmark Supreme Court cases, recent law review articles, etc., etc.

 

So, you do have that option when you come in to Nexis Uni. I just good to leave ours set to the general page for today's demonstration.

 

So you will notice this big search bar in the middle of Nexis Uni's home page. And you can use this search bar to search using natural language or Boolean operators. And so, because of this, this search bar is much more intuitive than some of our other database search boxes. It will behave much more like Google than it will criminal justice database, for example. For example this question we might have, how has Georgia implemented recycling programs? I could type the whole question in there including the question mark and I'm going to get similar results to what I would get if I typed Georgia AND recycling AND policy, which is an example of a Boolean phrase.

 

You can also, we will talk a bit about this in a second, if you come over here you can see it says All Nexis Uni, and that's indicating how it's going to search. We are going to leave that alone for now. We are going to search for a citation, so when and if you do have a citation...let's see if it pulls it up... It might not. When you do have the citation of a particular document you want to access, you can simply copy and paste into this main search bar. So I am going to do that they click search it we are going to get five results from this search. And for whatever reason, I'm not quite sure why it does this, but this first result is kind of a summary. You can see if you go down to result Number 2 is stressing Part 1 of 4, and Part 2 of 4. So this is where we will get in to the actual document.

 

I'm going to click on the title here which is hyperlinked to go into the document. And when we do that, usually it will say something like "notice, you are viewing a very large document." There will be some disclaimer like that, or at least, that's what I've seen in the past. For some reason I'm not quite sure why, but Nexis Uni always runs slow for me. So I do have backup slides if this is not going to cooperate. Here we go.

 

So this is what I was referring to, it has this notice that says, "You are viewing a very large document." So the first thing I would point out is this tool you have up here that says Search Document. So we could enter in any other key terms that we might have in mind and it's going to show us where that term appears in this very large document. So for example, I could type the term "media" in here. That's go ahead and do that. You know what? I think it just going to bypass this, because it's being very slow. Sorry about this.

 

Okay, so we've gotten through there. This is where we are. They actually don't have a screenshot of where ... but when you do that, when you search within the document, it will show you where that document appears, it will highlight it for you.

 

The thing you can do is search by common name. So Freedom of Information Act, and when you do that, you want to make sure that you wrap that phrase in quotation marks. And what that does is, it tells the database that you want to see that exact phrase it's not results with any of the individual words.

 

So when you do that, so this is what your search page, your results page will look like with research for Freedom of Information Act, you're going to get over 10,000 results. And for some reason, it defaults to this category of News. So these are going to be over 10,000 results of news articles. You're going to use, similar to other databases, all of the limiting tools are going to be over here on the left-hand side. So the first thing I would probably recommend is limited to a particular category, so you can limit to cases, so you're going to see court cases, statutes and legislation, you can limit to law reviews and journals. And also regulations, as well.

 

So let me see here ... see if it has recovered. Here we go. This is what I was trying to show you. Finally loaded, but you can see all the different places the work but it turns up here. I am going to go back to the homepage.

 

Now, research previously and All Nexis Uni. That's what will be searched for Freedom of Information Act we were seeing so many results. But you can also change this, you can change this to search in specific ways. Used to be called Categories, but now it's called Content Collection. But you can limit here to news, or log reviews and journals, one of the specific [indiscernible] I just mentioned. So what we are going to do, before we do, oh, practice areas and topics down here, this is a very great place to go if you are just casually browsing for documents on a particular field within legal research. You can check multiple of these and then say Search.

 

But, we are going to limit this next search to Statutes and Legislation. And I am going to search for this concept of contract violation. This is good, when I do that, and when you search in Nexis Uni, you will see recommended documents that pop up down here. Sometimes, you can just look at what it is suggesting and say, that looks good and just click on it and go straight to it. We are going to search contract violation within statutes and legislation and from this search, we get 601 results. So this is a lot, so we are probably going to it to narrow our results a bit, and you can do that by looking over here again. You can search within the results right here into this is a really helpful feature. This works the same way that that search within document tool works when you're actually within the document. But this is working with all of the results that we are currently seeing. So if we wanted to narrow the search to only those results that dealt in some way with schools, we could type schools in there, press enter and now, it's going to bump us all the way down to 357 which is much more manageable. And you can continue to refine your search based on jurisdiction is often helpful, or the sources.

 

All right, what we have been doing so far is just from the homepage, and this is the basic search in Nexis Uni. But they also have an advanced search. So I'm going to go in there to show you what it looks like. When you come into the advanced search, you will see this Select a Specific Content Type option right here. And I'm not sure if this to have it set up this way, but it used to give you more content type options than the previous options we were seeing. But there are different ways to search so you can search all of these terms or any of these terms. There's some great tips over here on the right-hand side about Boolean operators.  It's down here there are some good frequently asked questions. So these are just good things to take a look at if you come back and have questions later.

 

I am going to say, select the specific content type and then I'm going to go here to the reviews and journals, so we are going to see how to access some of those secondary materials. That into this big search bar I am going to type in "mandatory reporting" AND "elder abuse." So this is a Boolean phrase, which will also recognize. So I'm just going to press enter  and from this search, we are going to get 262 results. So you start looking through your results and the titles are going to look pretty unfamiliar, at least if you don't have a background in the legal world.

 

However, you can see where these are coming from by looking at the information underneath it. So this is coming from the Elder Law. This is coming from the Elder Law again. A lot of Elder Law Journal articles here. This is coming from [indiscernible] society. That's where you really determine where these results are coming from. If you go into one of these results, it will highlight your search terms wherever they do appear. We can always search within the document again. And another good feature is this Export Citation link right here, so you can easily click on that and grab the citation for this particular document, which is great, because if you're like me, you don't immediately know how to cite legal documents. So you can copy and paste wherever you need to.

 

So, there are lots of ways to search in Nexis Uni. Another way to search is this Get a Doc Assistance tool. If you come here, this is helpful. If you do have the citation you can simply search by citation here, content type and a jurisdiction. Also, if you're looking for a particular court case, you can enter either party named in the court case and find it that way. Finally if you do have a docket number you can enter it here although that's less common.

 

Finally, there is this Guided Search tool down here. This is particularly helpful for finding case law on a particular subject. So, I am going to select Cases and then it will ask you for your jurisdiction, so either federal or state. If you select state it will give you a search box and then you begin typing in the state, it will give you options. I am going to say Georgia. Then, I will do pollution. and it will ask for a date range, I am going to say 2015 to the present.

 

And I going to search, and so, this is going to give us 12 cases. Let's see here ... one thing you can too, if you ever need to, if you run a search that you want to save for later, you can link to this page if you click this Actions menu and then come down here to Link this page. This is going to give you a permalink which allows you to get back here whatever you want to. You can also save some of these, I am trying to remember where, you have all of these options up here. Here are the folders. You will have to register for an account in Nexis Uni which is free to do, it just requires a name and an email. Then you can set up personalized folders. You can also email this search to yourself, you can download it, save it to Google Drive, etc., etc.

 

In the interest of time, there are other things we could talk about related to Nexis Uni. But I'm going to go to Gale OneFile: LegalTrac so we have time to answer your questions at the end.

 

So this is Gale OneFile: LegalTrac's home page. Gale OneFile: LegalTrac contain secondary sources, so articles about laws, the actual laws themselves. And my personal opinion, this database is better to use as a complement to Nexis Uni then simply as your only legal database. It will contain everything that Nexis Uni does... Nexis Uni will contain more. It is helpful when you come in to the homepage it's good to take a look at this subject guide search. I am going to open that up here. So this is the subject guide search is kind of the equivalent to the thesaurus tool that you may have used in other databases. You can enter terms that you are using when you search for literature or for legal documents. So I am typing in drug abuse here. And you can just scroll down and view all of the pertinent categories related to drug abuse and if you look over here, it will tell you how many results you will get if you search or if you click on these hyperlinked subject terms, it will show you all of the results for this categories.

 

You can click on these subdivisions menus or related subjects and it will give you even more options of related areas.

 

Another thing you can do is utilize this publication search. So if you know the exact publication "looking for, so, a specific legal journal, you can use this. So for example, you might know that you want to look at content from Harvard Law Review, and you could do that, you can look that up right here. Harvard Law Review, it's going to pop up right there. You can select whether you want to limit to full text or peer-reviewed. I always recommend unchecking the full text box just so we see everything out there. Again, this question of peer review when it comes to law journals, it's a bit murky. I'm going to go ahead and check it. So it brings up the publication there. And then you can click on that to view all the available issues of the publication.

 

I am going to navigate back to the homepage here. They have this feature called the topic finder, which is very, it's pretty helpful and it's aesthetically pleasing, to boot. I'm going to do a search here for pollution. And when you do that, you will see this lovely visual display of all the different categories related to pollution. So you can use this to think about other issues related to your topic. It will also help you build a good set of search terms or keywords to use, either in this database or elsewhere. You can visualize this information in tile form or in wheel form. And you can zoom in or out on any of the particular tiles. You can click on one of them to see relevant results. So, for more results, you will get more results for the larger tiles, less results for smaller tiles, etc.

 

Then finally, you have an advanced search feature in Gale OneFile: LegalTrac, as well. This looks very similar to the standard advanced search page that you will see in other databases. I am going to do a search here for pollution. It when I do that, similar to other databases, it will suggest other subject terms or keywords to me that I might want to consider.

 

Then, finally, there are some other helpful features done here in the More options. You can limit by date range, specific document types, again, if you have a publication title, you're looking for specifically, you can do that here. Is that over here, this is what I was thinking of, this Work many over here, we have a dictionary, especially helpful for legal research, since there are a lot of terms we might not be familiar with. You can view your search history, so you can get back to any searches you have run in the past. And then finally, just like other databases, you have the opportunity to set up personalized folders to say the content you set up when you're looking in Gale OneFile: LegalTrac.

 

So I know that wasn't very in-depth on Gale OneFile: LegalTrac. Let me get back to my....

 

But like I said, I would recommend starting with Nexis Uni. And some of those government websites. And then using Gale OneFile: LegalTrac as a supplement to them.

 

So in general, I would just say, keep checking. Keep checking the databases., Checking those government websites. Laws are constantly changing. Statutes are amended, regulations are revised, case law can be repealed or overruled. So you can keep track of these changes by visiting some of the government websites discussed in the government documents webinar. But it will require time and diligence on your part. So if you have any questions about anything we covered in this webinar, you can contact us  at the library, either through the Ask a Librarian feature in the top right hand corner of the library's homepage or through this email that I posted at the bottom of this slide. This is an email account I set up specifically for students and faculty in the School Of Public Policy And Administration to be able to contact me directly. But, if you're watching this webinar and have a question about any of this content, feel free to utilize this email. If you are a doctoral level student, you can also make a research appointment with one of our liaison librarians that is a way you can sit down with a librarian and get some personalized attention and instruction on using some of our library resources.

 

And finally, I know we only touched the surface of these databases and how you go about looking for case law and legal documents. So if you have any questions about your research, things, types of documents you might need to access, feel free to contact me. I'm more than happy to help you check those down. We also have a guide that I have link right here, the Find Court Cases and Legal Research guide. That will kind of summarize some of the things we have talked about today. But again, don't be shy to reach out if we can be of service.

 

So with that, I will just say thank you so much for attending today and now I will stop the recording and take any questions you may have.

 

Okay, so the recording has been stopped and I'm going to go into the questions tab to see if we have any questions.

 

Natalie wants to know, "Do students have access to Westlaw or LEXIS-NEXIS?" Hopefully the Nexis Uni, Nexis Uni is the replacement for LEXIS-NEXIS. So LEXIS-NEXIS longer exists. So Nexis Uni is going to be the best option for Walden students. No, unfortunately, we do not have access to Westlaw. Westlaw is another legal database, but we do not have access to that one.

 

So I will give everyone a few minutes to... Michael, yeah, I see your question. Trial transcripts, I'm still going to look into that and write to you personally. Offhand, I'm not exactly sure, I haven't seen that category or limiter when I'm in the Nexis Uni. But I have made a note to look into that and I will email you.

 

Concerning the gray area regarding peer review, we do cite an article in an official paper? To cite an article, I'm not sure I understand the question. You will need to cite any articles that you use from a law review or legal journal. You can verify the peer-reviewed status of a particular legal journal or law review using Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, it's that's the same general directory that you're going to use for any academic journal. But what I mean when I say it's a gray area is there is a somewhat contentious debate among law practitioners as to the pros and the cons of the peer review process when it comes specifically to legal materials. I am trying to find my notes on that right now.

 

Yeah, I can't really go too deep into this, but the people argue against peer review sometimes, based on the exclusive submission policy that some law reviews have. Some people don't like that, they want a more open access type of a model. And also, the peer review process takes forever. Takes a very long time to submit an article for them to get back to you instead for it to ultimately appear in print form. So a lot of people choose to bypass those peer-reviewed journals for that reason, alone.

 

Let's see ... but Shelley Ann, before I get off that topic, what I mean is, you may find a law review article and you may try to verify the peer review status of that journal and you might find that journal is not peer-reviewed. And the case of legal journals, that doesn't necessarily make it, that doesn't disqualify it from being included in your scholarly research. You would just need to do a little bit of extra work to verify that this journal is coming from a reputable institution and to if you have any questions about that, you can contact either myself or your faculty or your chair, and they will probably have some better information for you.

 

Okay, Michael, you saw there was a Motions and Pleading section. That might be a promising lead. Kaya, I wanted to include a personal letter to a government official in my [indiscernible], but when I entered it in TurnItIn, how can I find out who submitted my original letter to an official? Kaya, I am going to need to follow up with you afterwards, I'm not quite sure what your question is there. But I will email you for some further clarification.

 

Shelley Ann, meaning, is a scholarly resource. Yes. Law reviews and legal journals are scholarly resources, there's just a bit of debate as to the merits of the peer review process versus more open access type models.

 

Any other questions? We still have a little bit of time here. The whole world of legal research is very large and it can go in a lot of different ways depending on your topic. So for example, Michael's question about trial transcripts, I haven't had a reason to go look those up yet. So I constantly learning new things about legal research. So if you ever have questions about how to get a particular legal document or legal resource, please ask me, because that could be a very good learning experience for myself.

 

Michael, let's see... what about legal encyclopedias. What about them? Those are some of the secondary materials I was talking about initially. Let me get back to that portion of the slide from the presentation. Yeah, I mentioned that since we don't have a formal law school at Walden, some of our content for legal research is not as robust as it could be, but these three databases that I have link right here in this slide are going to be your best bet. Specifically, this first link for  GALE Virtual Reference Library, that will get you to GALE's Encyclopedia of American law. That's just, it's a very good, general reference resource for the American legal system. But, you might find  other legal encyclopedias elsewhere and yes, legal encyclopedias are great sources of information.

 

Does Nexis Uni have [indiscernible] such as... I'm assuming that's American jurisprudence? Oh, does Nexis Uni have encyclopedias. Not to my knowledge. Let me go in here and poke around. Yeah, I've never seen how to limit to encyclopedias in here. They are still working out the kinks, honestly. They released this database last year around this time. And for a while, there were some issues when they first released, and they're steadily working on that. For example in the beginning that used to be far more options than we see here if we go into the Advanced search. And I think I mentioned that during the presentation. I see directories, that's not what we are looking for ... no. I don't think so, Michael. I might be wrong. The only other place I can think to search would be the advanced search. This menu here gives us a lot more options that we were able to access in the other place. Legal news ... no. Directories. No. I don't think so. That's good to know, though.

 

Any other questions? We still have a couple questions left. If you think of anything after the session concludes, like I said, multiple ways to get in touch with us. We will usually get back to you within a day, usually within a few hours.

 

Okay, I don't see any more questions coming in, so I'm going to go ahead and conclude this presentation. Thank you so much for attending, I do hope it was helpful, at least for  wrapping your head around the world of legal research and how you might use these two databases to find some legal documents on your topic.  I do recommend checking out the Government Documents webinar. That is similarly superficial, in that it just barely skimmed the surface of government websites since that is such a large world, as well. But if you use those in conjunction with these legal databases, those are going to be your best bets for finding official policies and other legal documents.

 

Okay you're welcome, Michael and Shelley Ann. Thank you so much for attending, and don't be a stranger. You can reach out to me via that email, or through the Ask a Librarian feature. So thanks again, and good luck with your research, and I will see you guys soon. Bye.

 

End Transcript

Created June 2018 by Walden University Library