CALI Lesson Review- How to Brief a Case

For those students that feel they still need practice in briefing a case, there is a CALI lesson that teaches how to brief and gives examples.  Here is a description from the lesson itself.

“This is an exercise designed to introduce first-semester law students to the basic elements of a typical case “brief” and to teach them general methodology for writing their own briefs. The exercise consists of three parts: (1) an introduction to the purposes and uses of a case brief; (2) a detailed examination of each of the ten components of a typical case brief (with examples); and (3) two actual cases that students are asked to read and then to brief.”

Lesson Completion Time: 2 hours

How to find this lesson:  After logging into CALI, click on Legal Research.  The lessons are alphabetic at the next page.

Questions?  Contact Lynn Lenart, Assistant Law Librarian for Reference Services.  330-972-6357,, Law Library, second floor, office 269. 

Tips, Tricks and Hints for using Westlaw- Customizable Research interface

The new Customizable Westlaw now makes it especially easy to build and rearrange content and tools at many Westlaw tabbed pages.

  • Show All: Some of the database groups can be expanded to show a longer list of databases.    Click on SHOW ALL at the top of the database group box to extend the list.
  • Move tabbed pages, as well as the tools and content on tabbed pages: Do you use the Black’s Law Dictionary often?  Move it up to the top of the left tools column. There are no fancy steps to follow: Just drag databases, database groups, and tools from one place to another. You can even drag items from one Customizable Westlaw page to another. In addition, you can change the order of the tabs at the top of the page by dragging them.
  • Add, delete, rename, and edit items on tabbed pages: Customizable Westlaw makes it easy to add, delete, or modify a database or database group. It’s also easy to browse the contents of other tabbed pages or the Westlaw Directory and add databases to the page you are viewing.
  • Create a tabbed page from scratch: You can create (and name) a personal tabbed page that contains databases and database groups in any arrangement that works for you.
  • E-mail personal pages to colleagues effortlessly: An e-mail link is available so you can share your personal page with a colleague.
  • Create “sticky notes”: Write online notes and reminders to yourself in the course of your research.

If you have questions or need search assistance, call the West Reference Attorneys at 1-800-REF-ATTY (1-800-733-2889).

Source: West elert, July 2009.

CALI Lesson Review- Where Does the Law Come From?

This lesson covers the structure and function of the 3 branches of the Unites States government, how each branch makes laws and the checks and balances in place that prevent one branch from acquiring too much power.   Even if you are comfortable with how our law is made, it might be wise to work through this short review.  It is a very fast lesson and, like all of the CALI lessons, you learn a lot without realizing it. 

Lesson Completion Time: 30 minutes

How to find this lesson: After logging into CALI, click on Legal Research.  The lessons are alphabetic at the next page.

Questions?  Contact Lynn Lenart, Assistant Law Librarian for Reference Services.  330-972-6357,, Law Library, second floor, office 269. 

Ohio State Bar Association and Casemaker legal research database

Casemaker is a legal research database containing federal and state legal materials.  Casemaker is available to all members of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) and is also used by many other state bar associations in the U.S.  As law students you can get an OSBA membership for free.  Just fill in the OSBA law student application and mail it to the address listed on the application.   It is free unless you join a special section that costs extra.  Here is a link to the PDF copy of the application-> Download the Student Membership Application.

After your application is processed by the OSBA you will have access to the Casemaker database.  Other than typical licensing restrictions, there are no “law school only” password restrictions. You can use the database for school, work or for fun.

A brochure that explains the many benefits of having a student membership with the state bar can be found here -> Download the Membership Brochure.

 More information on Law School Student Membership.

Tips, Tricks and Hints for using Westlaw and LexisNexis

Check your profile on Westlaw and LexisNexis

At least once-a-year law students should update their profiles on LexisNexis and Westlaw.  Things change such as your e-mail address and other information stored on your profile page.  You can change this information yourself. 

For Westlaw: Log into Westlaw and just to the right of your name is the UPDATE link.  Click on that link to update your profile.

For LexisNexis: Log into LexisNexis and click on the GET HELP tab.  At the next screen, click on UPDATE REGISTRATION INFORMATION.

Questions?  Contact Lynn Lenart, 330-972-6357,  Office 269, Law Library, second floor.