2020 Summer Access to Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance and Westlaw

Student access to Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance and Westlaw are based on academic subscription plans maintained by New York Law School.

Bloomberg Law: Bloomberg Law provides unlimited and unrestricted access over the summer. Your student account will remain active and available all summer, without any additional registration required.

Lexis Advance: From May 1 to August 31, 2020, students may use their Lexis Advance password for any purpose at school or at work, including any paid or unpaid legal work.

Westlaw: You can use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, over the summer for non-commercial research. You can turn to these resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a client (paid legal work). Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include the following:
• Summer coursework
• Research assistant assignments
• Law Review or Journal research
• Moot Court research
• Non-Profit work
• Clinical work
• Externship sponsored by the school

If you are working for a firm or a for-profit organization, you should use the Westlaw account provided by your employer.

For more information, please visit:

Digital Study Aids

With finals approaching, your thoughts may be turning to study aids. If you’re interested in digital versions, you’re in luck. Our LexisNexis Digital Library, a collection of eBooks that you can check out and read on your computer, includes dozens of study aids and treatises.

You can access all of them from the Library’s home page. Click on LexisNexis Digital Library (under Electronic Resources) and then enter your NYLS credentials.

The service is easy to use, but if you have any questions, just contact a Reference Librarian.

All U.S. Case Law Now Freely Available Online

All published U.S. court decisions from 1658 to June 2018 are now freely accessible online, thanks to the Caselaw Access Project (CAP), a partnership between Harvard Law School’s Library Innovation Lab and Ravel Law, acquired by LexisNexis.  CAP’s goal is to “make all published U.S. court decisions freely available to the public online, in a consistent digitized format.”  To create this massive collection, law librarians at Harvard digitized roughly 40 million pages of decisions contained in roughly 40,000 bound reporter volumes .

Users can access the data via an open-source API (application programming interface). CAP provides a Beginner’s introduction to API along with usage examples that explain how to retrieve cases by ID or through simple full-text searches.

For more information, see Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites blog post and the CAP website.

Law and the Olympics

olympic_rings_logo_v_210Not heading to Rio for the Olympics?  Curious about the many different laws and regulations that underlie and sometimes impact what has been described as “the world’s most recognized international sporting event”?  Check out the wide-ranging Olympics and International Sports Law Research Guide produced by the Georgetown Law Library.  You may not win any medals but you’ll learn about the formal organization and legal structure of the Games and the various forums and procedures that govern resolution of disputes.  So, in the spirit of the Olympics . . . Citius, Altius, Fortius!


Law School 411

The study and practice of law has frequently been described as encompassing both the scholarly and popular aspects of cultural life. The Mendik Library’s Law School 411 LibGuide provides an online multimedia bibliography to students thinking about law school as well as to those currently enrolled. It features books, movies and websites dedicated to the all-pervasive discipline of law.  Take a moment to explore the Guide’s many offerings, which run the gamut from inspiring stories about social justice, to ways in which students can maximize the many facets of the law school experience.

There’s a Form for That!

Need to draft a contract or pleading and don’t know where to start?  Don’t re-invent the wheel because…there’s a form for that!

Practicing lawyers will often refer to forms when drafting standard legal documents.  Legal forms can be found on the Internet, on subscription databases and in print.  Because there are so many places you can look, we suggest you start with the Mendik Library’s Legal Forms guide; it will direct you to sources that provide forms for a variety of practice areas.

When using a form, remember that it is important to review all relevant laws and rules.  Forms are not etched in stone and should be tailored (and updated) to conform to your particular case!

Westlaw Classic is Going Away

Some important news for those of you who still use Westlaw Classic:  As of July 1, 2014, Westlaw Classic will no longer be available on academic contracts.  You will need to use WestlawNext for all of your Westlaw research.

Your current One Pass credentials (Username and Password) give you access to both Westlaw Classic and WestlawNext.  This Username & Password will continue to be your login for WestlawNext.  You don’t need to make any changes before July 1, 2014.  Over the next week or so, if you sign on to Westlaw Classic, you will begin to see a reminder message of its upcoming demise.

The librarians are available if you have any questions or would like help using WestlawNext.

Finding Federal Court Records Online

Finding federal court records online has always seemed more difficult than it should be!  While Westlaw and LexisNexis provide access to the federal docket sheets that list the filings for each case, the filed documents themselves are not always available.  Instead, a service called “PACER” (an acronym for “Public Access to Court Electronic Records”) became the method of choice for obtaining federal court documents.  PACER is not without its shortcomings: there is a $0.10 per page fee (but a maximum charge of $3.00 per document), and some users complain of PACER’s clunky interface, limited functionality, and inability to update more than once a day.

PacerPro is a free commercial service offering a better way of searching federal court records.  Updating in “real time” from all 214 federal court sites, PacerPro provides a more streamlined search interface, the option of downloading an entire docket with a single click, and the ability to bookmark cases.  Using PacerPro still requires a PACER account, however, and users will generally still incur the charge of $0.10 per page.   PacerPro does not include documents from federal bankruptcy or appellate courts.

For NYLS students, Bloomberg Law remains an even better option.  Bloomberg provides full-text searching of federal and state court dockets and available filings.  Most importantly, all documents are available via Bloomberg for free to law students and faculty.

LexisNexis and Westlaw: Summer Policies and Options

Student access to LexisNexis and Westlaw is governed by our academic subscription contracts, which prohibit research use of these systems in conjunction with paid employment.  As a result, students’ use of LexisNexis and Westlaw passwords will automatically become limited on June 1st.

Each year LexisNexis and Westlaw face greater competition from other electronic research vendors.  This year, Bloomberg Law and Fastcase offer students unrestricted summer access to legal research databases that are comparable to LexisNexis’s and Westlaw’s.  As a result, this summer’s LexisNexis and Westlaw student access policies are more liberal than they were in previous years.

If you want to use LexisNexis or Westlaw for research this summer, for qualified academic uses, you must register on their Websites to extend your passwords.  It would be a good idea for you to register now, to ensure that these services are there when you need them.

We have compiled the details of all the vendors’ policies, registration procedures, and research options into one handy page.  Please visit: http://www.nyls.edu/library/for_students/extend_passwords.