Position Available:Access Services Evening & Weekend Supervisor

The Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law seeks to fill TWO open positions for Access Services Evening & Weekend Supervisors.

This position performs a wide range of Access Services duties, including collection maintenance, faculty support, document delivery and digitization projects, material retrieval, student worker supervision and circulation desk duties. They often serve as the first point of patron contact in a library that prides itself on exemplary service.

The schedule for one position is Wednesday – Thursday 12:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m; Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The schedule for the second position is Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Monday – Thursday 12:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

For full details and to apply, please visit the Northwestern Careers Website https://careers.northwestern.edu (search Job IDs 36795 and 36796)

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Posted in Position Available

Preparing for On-Campus Interviews? Try These Resources.

Are you participating in on-campus interviews at the law school? If so, take a look at our guide on researching legal employers, with links to useful resources for researching law firms, judges, major clients, and much more!

Guide to Researching Legal Employers

Guide to Researching Legal Employers

http://library.law.northwestern.edu/Employers

Posted in Employment, Library Resources, Resource Spotlight, Uncategorized

Student Library Assistant Positions Available for August & Fall Semester

The Pritzker Legal Research Center is looking for reliable law students to work at the library circulation desk in the evenings and on weekends during August and the upcoming fall semester. Duties include the following:

  • Check out and check in books, journals, reserve books and other library materials
  • Answer basic informational, directional and library policy questions, help patrons locate materials in the stacks, provide basic printer and copy machine assistance
  • Help troubleshoot public computers according to directions
  • Record and tally usage statistics
  • Search the stacks for books reported missing
  • Assist with opening and closing procedures

Interested students should send the completed application form and resume to James Driscoll, Circulation Services Manager.

Posted in Position Available

Resource Spotlight: Oxford Public International Law Resources

Next time you are working on a project that involves international legal research, consider using our Oxford Public International Law online resources. Our library now subscribes to the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law, and Oxford Reports on International Law.

Do you need to quickly familiarize yourself with a public international law concept? The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) is a great way to obtain a surface-level overview of a concept. For example, say you want to get a sense of how the term “war crimes” is used in international law. You can consult the MPEPIL entry on war crimes as a starting point to get up to speed. Each encyclopedia entry includes a bibliography and list of relevant documents. If you see a “Find it @ NU” link next to a source, click on the link to easily connect to our library catalog to see your options for accessing the content.

Do you need commentary or in-depth analysis on a topic? Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law is a terrific go-to resource. Oxford Scholarly Authorities contains electronic versions of reputable books and treatises as well as various Oxford Handbooks. A complete list of all of the titles organized by subject is available here. For example, continuing with the same hypo mentioned above, if you now need to read an analysis of Article 8 (War Crimes) of the Rome Statute, you can access an e-book of Schabas’s The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute (2d ed.) using this resource. Are you searching for case law from international courts and tribunals? Oxford Reports on International Law (ORIL) provides access to more than 5,500 case reports from international courts, domestic courts, and ad hoc tribunals. Most official websites of international courts and tribunals lack useful search functions, but this resource is text searchable and also allows you to browse case reports by subject. Each ORIL case report contains the full-text decision, a summary of the facts and holdings, analytical commentary, and a list of cases and instruments cited.

The Oxford Law Citator is a research tool available on each of these databases to help users easily find related items. If desired, you can conduct a search across all three of these databases simultaneously by searching across “Oxford Public International Law” using the search bar near the top of the screen.

You can access these databases and all of our other law databases using the Pritzker Legal Research Center’s A-Z Database List.

 

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Resource Spotlight: Lexis Context

For today’s litigators, analytics platforms are a useful tool, offering strategic guidance and a potential competitive advantage.  One such platform, available to members of the Northwestern Law community, is Lexis Context, accessible through Lexis Advance. In this post, we’ll walk through the content available on Context and consider some of its potential uses.

To access Lexis Context, first sign in to Lexis Advance, then click the “matrix” icon in the top-left corner of your screen, and, finally, select “Context.”  At this point, you’re able to enter the name of either (1) a state or federal judge or (2) an expert witness. For judges, Context provides detailed information for 100 types of motions, displaying your judge’s rates of granting, denying, or partially granting those motions.  Moreover, Context allows you to review your judge’s citation patterns, including which opinions and other jurists your judge cites most often in their opinions. Meanwhile, for expert witnesses, it’s possible to review a variety of helpful data, including how often an expert has been hired by plaintiffs versus defendants and how often they’ve appeared in particular types of litigation (e.g., trademark, antitrust, etc.).  In addition, you’re able to review the frequency, basis for, and outcome of challenges to admissibility of their testimony.

A screenshot from Lexis Context, displaying analytics pertaining to Judge Amit P. Mehta.

Using Context, let’s see what we can learn about Judge Amit P. Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Upon entering his name, we retrieve a graphical representation of his rulings on motions. Reviewing this display, we learn, for example, that Judge Mehta has ruled on 207 motions for summary judgment and has granted roughly 45% of these motions.  We could take this a step further and filter by practice area, allowing us to review how his rate of granting motions differs amongst various types of cases. Moving on to Judge Mehta’s citation patterns, we learn that he has cited Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) more often than any other case, and also that he has cited Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit more often than any other judge.  Using filters, we can obtain more specific information; for example, in his rulings on motions for injunctive relief, Judge Mehta most frequently cites Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).

Unlike other analytics platforms, which scrape data from case dockets and court filings, Context pulls information from judicial opinions.  This means that while Context relies upon a smaller universe of potential data, its content is uniquely accurate. How might this data be used?  When drafting a document for a particular judge, it enables you to cite cases and language that your judge has found persuasive in the past. Meanwhile, when deciding whether to hire a particular witness, it makes it possible to review their prior involvement in cases and to gauge the likelihood that their potential testimony will be admitted.

Whether you’re clerking for a judge, involved in one of the clinics, working in a litigation practice group, or simply interested in legal analytics, I recommend taking the time to explore Lexis Context.

Posted in Library Resources, Resource Spotlight, Tech, Uncategorized

Resource Spotlight: Citation trails in NUSearch

Legal researchers are highly attuned to the importance of knowing if and how an authority has been cited.  It’s the idea behind Shepard’s and KeyCite.  The importance of determining whether something is still good based on how it has been cited is drilled into every law student from their first semester.  Leaving aside issues of “good law,” Shepard’s and KeyCite are helpful for journal and law review articles because they show whether an article has been cited and help researchers find related articles.  That’s why it can be very frustrating for legal researchers when they are faced with a tool that does not show how an article has been cited.

That is why it is so great to see the little arrow icons in NUSearch, Northwestern library’s catalog.  NUSearch is the tool that helps you search across all of Northwestern’s physical and electronic collections.  NUSearch has a feature they call “citation trails.”  The system looks for citations to an article.  If it finds some citations, you’ll see something that looks like this:

citation trails

See those little arrows pointing out and down?  Clicking CitedByThisRecord_Icon brings you articles that are cited in this article.  It’s like the table of authorities in a Shepard’s report.  Clicking CitingThisRecord_Icon brings you articles that cite this article.  That’s like the citing references tab on Westlaw.

There are some drawbacks to using this feature in legal research.  All of the drawbacks relate to how this tool gathers information and who plays well with others.  The information in NUSearch comes from many different databases.  That’s how you’re able to search NUSearch and get results from JSTOR right alongside results from HeinOnline.  The citation trails tool only pulls citation information from certain databases that share information with the company that runs NUSearch.  The article that I used for the screenshot above is available through JSTOR so it has citation trails.  Most notably for legal researchers, results from HeinOnline do not have the citation trails feature.  This is very frustrating because HeinOnline results are included in NUSearch. The law library is exploring ways to get HeinOnline included in citation trails.

Citation trials are also not available for results from Lexis or Westlaw, but that’s not surprising because NUSearch doesn’t search Lexis and Westlaw.  Let’s just say Lexis and Westlaw like to do their own thing and leave it at that, shall we?

The upshot for legal researchers is that NUSearch is a great place to look for articles, especially when you’re moving beyond law into interdisciplinary research.  It will search across many databases without you needing to know the name of the database that has psychology literature, for example.  What’s better, NUSearch will have a citation feature like what you’re used to seeing with Lexis and Westlaw.  So look out for those little arrows the next time you’re researching!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Student Library Assistant Positions Available for Summer

The Pritzker Legal Research Center is looking for reliable law students to work at the library circulation desk in the evenings and on Saturdays during the summer. Duties include the following:

  • Check out and check in books, journals, reserve books and other library materials
  • Answer basic informational, directional and library policy questions, help patrons locate materials in the stacks, provide basic printer and copy machine assistance
  • Help troubleshoot public computers according to directions
  • Record and tally usage statistics
  • Search the stacks for books reported missing
  • Assist with opening and closing procedures

Interested students should send the completed application form and resume to James Driscoll, Circulation Services Manager.

Posted in Position Available

Resource Spotlight: SCOTUS Research

The Pritzker Legal Research Center has created a new LibGuide: Supreme Court of the United States Research. The new guide includes links to and information about both primary and secondary resources for Supreme Court research, including opinions, dockets, oral arguments, current awareness blogs, and more.

For instance, one of the highlighted current awareness resources includes our own Professor Tonja Jacobi’s SCOTUS OA website, which provides detailed analyses and forecasts of Supreme Court opinions based on the oral arguments.

While the guide contains the most essential materials at this point, look for additional resources to be added in the near future.

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How to have a standout summer

It’s not too soon to start thinking about how to make the most of the summer. Are you ready to show off your research skills?  Are you sure?  Take one hour to have some pizza and come away feeling truly ready to stand out from all of the other summer associates.  The Pritzker Legal Research Center’s Standout Summer Research Training will be on April 11, 2019 at noon in Booth Hall (LM204) with lunch.  We can prepare you to tackle legislative history, the dreaded “find me the law on x in all 50 states” question, and things that you may not have researched much such as administrative law.  The best part of this event is that you help decide what you learn.  Fill out this 10-second survey and let us know you’re coming.  Then take an extra 20 seconds and let us know which topics interest you most.  We look forward to seeing you!

Posted in Uncategorized

New Exhibit at the PLRC

On March 14, the Pritzker Legal Research Center debuted its spring exhibit, Color of Law: Andy Austin’s Chicago Courtroom Sketches. The exhibit features eleven pieces from the Andy Austin Collection, which the artist generously donated to the library last year. The collection spans more than 40 years and contains images from some of Chicago’s most notable trials. This particular exhibit includes pictures of the governors, John Wayne Gacy, numerous Law School alumni, and others. Color of Law will remain on display on the third floor of the library through the rest of the semester.

Posted in Uncategorized