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The Legal Beagle’s favorite book and that of dog lovers everywhere is Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must Have Book for Your Owner by Mary Randolph (KF390.5 .D6 R36 2005). His favorite movie is about the crime fighting pooch, Underdog! His current hero is Uno, the beagle who won Best in Show at the...

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Your Post-Graduate Job Search and Legal Research Needs: What Now? Part II

Posted by Library Blog on 05/04/2012 at 03:50 PM

One of your first priorities practicing law as a newly minted attorney is to determine the nearest law library so that you can access its services and collections!   Your state may have a law school library that is open to the public.  Courthouses in your state may even have a law library. As a third option, you could pay a fee to use a membership law library such as the Social Law Library in Boston or Jenkins Law Library in Philadelphia.

Services offered by law libraries generally include reference assistance, borrowing privileges, document delivery, and interlibrary loan.  The print collections will vary, but at a minimum you will have access to some federal primary materials and state-specific materials for the state in which the law library is located.  Electronic resources provided by law libraries could be Westlaw for Patrons, LexisNexis/Shepard’s (especially important for updating cases), HeinOnline Libraries, CCC Intelliconnect, legal newspapers (e.g. Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly), LegalTrac indexing and full-text of legal periodicals, and Loislaw to search federal and state cases and statutes.  Content of the law library’s Westlaw for Patrons and LexisNexis is not as extensive as that of your Westlaw and LexisNexis academic account here at the law school.

Law Library websites are a treasure trove of links for laws, regulations, cases, municipal ordinances and other primary legal authority such as executive orders.  Forms, practice books, and court rules are available.   Just as the Roger Williams University Law Library has law guides to give you guidance on researching a particular topic, the law libraries provide research guides on hundreds of topics!

If you will be staying in this area, join dozens of other area attorneys who use the School of Law Library to access cases, forms and treatises.  As an alum, you can use the Law Library’s databases onsite (with the exception of Westlaw and LexisNexis) and borrow certain items from the collection.  Reference assistance is available to you regardless of where you live.  A reference librarian is only an email away at LawLibraryHelp@rwu.edu or a chat away at Ask a Librarian (this chat service requires you to use your g.rwu.edu email address).

Here are some additional law libraries to check out if you are staying in the area:

·        Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries

·        Massachusetts Trial Court Libraries

·        Rhode State Law Library

·        Social Law Library