|Many of us have developed
the habit of using Westlaw and/or Lexis and occasionally Google for our
online research needs. We often forget or overlook that there are a wealth
of other online legal research databases which can provide much valuable
Practitioners who work in specialized areas
such as labor, tax or securities law often rely on looseleaf services,
such as CCH or BNA, to stay current in their subject speciality as well
as for legal research. Most law firms, however, no longer subscribe to
the paper versions of looseleaf services. Instead, online subscriptions
provide firm-wide access to information previously available in only looseleaf
Online looseleaf services provide many
advantages over the traditional paper format. First, the online service
can be easily shared among attorneys. Attorneys no longer have to roam
the halls of the law firm seeking a missing volume of a looseleaf set.
Second, the online service is available
24 hours per day and from any geographic location with Internet service.
Attorneys can search for legal information from the courthouse or their
beach vacation home. Physical location is no longer a barrier to legal
Finally and foremost, the information is
always current and accurate. As you may know, paper looseleaf services
are manually updated by library staff discarding outdated pages and replacing
them with current pages. Not only is this method subject to human error,
but a substantial amount of time elapses between the printing of the pages,
shipping to a law firm and the manual updating process. Online services
are updated instantly and accurately. The attorney who uses online services
definitely has an edge over the attorney who relies on paper looseleaf
Two of the most popular specialized areas
for looseleaf research are tax and securities. The UGA Law Library subscribes
to two CCH databases which cover these subject areas: CCH Internet Tax
Research Network and CCH Business and Finance Research Network.
These two databases are available both on-campus and off-campus to the
Law School community and are very simple to use.
Retrieving Information with a Specific
It is especially easy to retrieve information
if you have a specific citation. Literally on the top of the screen is
a button labeled CITATION SEARCH. If you choose this option, a screen will
display filled with various templates that you can complete. For example,
in the tax materials, there are fill-in-the-blank templates for CCH ¶,
IRC §, Reg §, Tax Court Rule, I.R.B., Revenue Ruling, and many,
many more. All you have to do is fill in the blank and click search.
Retrieving Information with a Search
If you do not have a specific citation
to retrieve, you may also search using relevant keywords and boolean logic.
The first step in searching is to choose which databases you wish to search.
This is easily accomplished by marking the checkbox next to the database
name. Once you have selected a database, you are ready to formulate a search.
Just as with Westlaw and Lexis, you can use connectors such as and,
etc. You can also use proximity connectors such as w/20 or w/10
(you can substitute any number for the number of words within which you
want to limit your terms to appear). Phrases are searched as they are typed
(no need for quotation marks).
If you'd like more help getting started
with CCH, online help is easily available from the CCH introductory screen.
There is a button clearly marked HELP. However, the interface is so simple,
most likely you will be able to perform basic functions with no assistance
whatsoever. If you'd like more information, please feel free to stop by
the Reference Desk and we'll be happy to demo the databases for you.