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Prepare to Practice

Selected resources for Summer Associates and new graduates. With a few practical tips from Prof. Carney.

Tips

While you are still in school, it is best to familiarize yourself with as many computer-assisted legal research platforms as possible. Of course, the "big 3" are WestlawNext, LexisAdvance, and Bloomberg Law. Overachievers may also want to become student members of the Ohio State Bar Association, and gain access to Casemaker.

Fastcase is a low-cost option (in the real world) that students may access during their academic career. It recently acquired its low-cost competitor, Loislaw.

Of course, the optimal situation would be to find out which of these services is used at your summer job. (And become an expert on those systems in advance.) Call the librarian or the office administrator to find out this information, if you did not already learn it during the interviewing process.

Many legal sources are available for free on the internet, such as un-annotated federal and state statutes (codes), recent federal and (selected) state court opinions, and federal and state administrative regulations.

In addition, approximately 66 law schools have created open-access (i.e. free) institutional repositories of their student-edited journals. Of course, use student-edited journals with care because they are not updated and the authoritativeness of the authors varies considerably. Your summer workplace may also provide access to even more journals via HeinOnline (Law Journal Library).