cutting edge of legal writing today involves the use of empirical data.
The underlying goals can be to link changes in legal policy to actual
behavioral consequences, or to identify correlates of behaviors
lawmakers hope to modify, to increase the new law's chances of
achieving the desired aims.
Whatever its ultimate purpose, empirical legal research requires both
access to relevant data, as well as a means to usefully manipulate
those data. Among the tools the Law Library makes available to its
patrons is a new product from LexisNexis.
LexisNexis has long maintained a statistical package, which could be
accessed through the main library's GALILEO link. This basic package,
Statistical Insight, compiles from state, federal and international
sources information on a wide variety of topics. While many of the
entries provided only the citation to the needed data, Insight often
also provides the data tables themselves.
Datasets addition takes these resources one step further. It adds a
graphical interface that represents data in a variety of user-specified
ways, and can plot one set of data against another. The results can
then be exported directly in several formats, for easy insertion into
papers or presentations. While most users will be satisfied to take the
data directly as offered, the tool does allow the data to be
manipulated and combined in whatever way may be necessary.
Due to the source material to which LexisNexis Datasets is restricted
(i.e., for the most part publicly available governmental information),
not every patron will find here what they need. But for those who do,
this can be an amazingly efficient method to incorporate relevant data
into your research.
Finding LexisNexis Datasets: From the Library's Research Resources
page, choose LexisNexis DataSets. This will default to Statistical
Insight first; atop this page, find the Related LexisNexis
Subscriptions dropdown, and choose Statistical. You will need the
latest JAVA on your computer to run this tool.
Keep GAVEL in Your Pocket
been in the Annex or the Basement and can't find the book you're
looking for? Maybe you wrote the call number down wrong -- that's a
rather common problem.
Now you can pull out your smartphone and check that call number. Our
online catalog GAVEL has a mobile version called Pocket GAVEL. In
addition to keyword searching for library items, you can check your
patron record for due dates and find library hours and contact
Student Services Librarian Maureen Cahill will provide tips about staying healthy and happy as a law student and beyond.
Date: Monday, October 11, 2010
Time: 12:30 - 1:00pm
Where: Classroom B
We'll provide the pizza - you bring a beverage!
Law Dawg of the Month
The September Law Dawg is Ernie, described as "the man" by his person, 2L Oliver Pryor.
members of the Law School Community (students, faculty and staff) are
invited to submit a photo for possible selection as the Law Dawg of the
Month in upcoming issues of Amicus Briefs. The featured entry
for each issue will be selected at random from all entries received by
the issue's deadline. Please note that honorary Law Dawgs (i.e.
those of the feline, equine, porcine, avian, etc. persuasion) are eligible as
well. Send your Law Dawg photo to email@example.com.
by Stanton Porter, Research Fellow
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