Answered By: Sarah Morehouse Last Updated: Apr 16, 2015 Views: 30
We used to have a database called Westlaw. As of May 1, 2014, we have replaced that database with LexisNexis Academic. The content is very much the same, but the interface is different. However, most people find that LexisNexis is much easier to use.
Here is the LexisNexis Academic how-to: http://subjectguides.esc.edu/lexisnexis
To get to it, go to the library web site, then click Article Databases. Then scroll down and click LexisNexis Academic, and log in if it prompts you to.
Searching for cases (state, federal, Supreme Court)
Once you're in LexisNexis Academic, click the little downward pointing triangle next to Look up a Legal Case (beneath the search box and Hot Topics Links box.)
If you have a case citation (159 U.S. 533)
Enter the citation where it says By Citation, and click Go.
If you have a title (Smith v. Jones)
Enter the title where it says by Parties.
The problem with this method is that many cases are cited in other cases. So you will get search results other than the actual case you want. What you can do is look up the case at the Legal Information Institute - http://www.law.cornell.edu/search/lii - and get its full title. Or you can get its case citation (i.e., 159 U.S. 533) and look it up by that.
If you want cases and law articles on a certain topic or area of the law
Enter your topic where it says by Topic, and click Go.
Searching for law review articles on a certain topic
Underneath the main search box (with the red border) on the front page, click Advanced Options.
De-select everything (remove the checks from the boxes) for all the options except Law Reviews, and click Apply.
Enter your search, just as you would in any database. Here is some information about how to keyword search: http://subjectguides.esc.edu/researchskillstutorial/conceptchart and http://subjectguides.esc.edu/researchskillstutorial/boolean.
Accessing the documents
In your search results list, go directly to the full-text by clicking on the link. You can print, email, save, or export to a bibliographic manager (like Refworks Flow, Mendeley, or Zotero) using the icons in the beige bar across the top of the full-text, over on the right side. There is also a little link icon that gets you the permalink.
If you want to collect a number of documents, use the checkboxes in your search results list. Once you have checked off the items that you want, use the icons at the top right to print, email, save, or export all of them to a bibliographic manager.
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