California recently enacted the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) (Link to full bill text ), a sweeping improvement on federal protections of citizen's electronic information. Touted by one pundit as "the country's best-ever online privacy law," USF Law Professor Susan Freiwald acted as an issue expert for the bill's authors. Now she has posted an informative piece on the new law to the well-regarded law blog Concurring Opinions. Titled How CalECPA Improves on its Federal Namesake (Link to full post,) her article cogently and concisely outlines this landmark legislation.
The next generation of legal research platforms has arrived. USF law students, staff, and faculty now have access to Ravel Law, which includes case searching with data-visualization and judge analytics. Ravel takes case searching to a whole new level by providing intuitive data-visualization features so that you can easily identify the most important cases and see connections between cases. Take a look at this short video of case searching with data visualization.
Ravel’s judge analytics provides current information about federal court judges, including a biographical profile, as well as a comprehensive list of decisions authored by the judge, the cases that the judge cites to most frequently, and decisions citing them. Watch Ravel's short judge analytics video demonstrating this helpful tool.
Access is by IP address, so you must be working on a computer within the USF Law network to use Ravel Law. Go to Ravel Law now and sign up using your USF email address. As always, please contact the Zief research librarians if you need help navigating this new research platform.
Welcome to our incoming OneLs and welcome back, upper-division students! You've probably noticed some significant changes to USF web pages, including the law library website. Our most current hours, including information on special holiday hours, are still listed on our website. We return to our regular fall semester hours on Monday, August 24.
Have a question about legal research? You can contact our research librarian team by phone, in person, by chat, or by text. Our Zief research help web page has all of our contact information and our chat widget.
Bloomberg Law, available to all USF Law current faculty, staff, and students, offers a number of cutting-edge current awareness tools. One to use if you're working in a regulation-heavy field -- the Monitor Regulators tool. Go to the Legislative & Regulatory tab on the Bloomberg Law home page. Enter an agency name in the “My Regulators” text box, and you will see the latest documents released by the agency – whether entries in the Federal Register, or other specialized documents, such as warning letters, public statements, forms, etc. You can also monitor certain state agencies with this tool.
Our normal research desk hours during the summer are:
Monday - Thursday: 9 am to 5 pm
Friday: 9 am to 4:30 pm
We will offer weekend research desk assistance on the following dates during the summer:
Saturday, June 13: 10 am to 4 pm
Sunday, June 14: 1:30 pm to 6 pm
Saturday, June 20: 10 am to 4 pm (NOTE: this update made on June 4, changing service from June 27 to June 20.)
Sunday, June 28: 1:30 pm to 6 pm
Saturday, July 11: 10 am to 4 pm
Sunday, July 12: 1:30 pm to 6 pm
Sunday, July 26: 1:30 pm to 6 pm
Due to staff time away from the office, research desk hours will be reduced during the weeks of May 26 and June 8. Research assistance will be available May 26 through May 29 from 10 am to noon and from 1 pm to 5 pm.
During the week of June 8, the research desk will adhere to the 10 am to noon and 1 pm to 5 pm schedule with two exceptions. On June 10 and June 12, the research desk will be open from 10 am to noon and from 1 pm to 3 pm.
The library will return to its regular summer research desk schedule on Monday, June 15.
Law students who are interested in exploring the latest in online legal research tools may want to check out Ravel Law. Unlike Lexis and Westlaw, Ravel gives you a visual display of a case law search result so that you can see connections between cases. We've been experimenting with a few searches, and so far we've been favorably impressed with Ravel Law's search algorithm. For details about how Ravel Law works, you can review the short video tutorials on this page. Current USF law students have free access to the Advanced version of Ravel Law (includes unlimited case law searching, search history, and ability to star and annotate cases), but you must sign up with an @usfca.edu address.
Some drawbacks of Ravel -- it does not have ALL case law yet (they're working on it), so if you're researching an area where old case law is important (property; torts), you will want to stick with Lexis, Westlaw, or Bloomberg Law. Ravel is used exclusively for case law research -- statutes, regulations, and secondary sources are not yet available on Ravel.
If you are graduating in May, please take a moment to check that you have active accounts with Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law and that you follow vendors' instructions to extend your password after graduation. All three vendors should supply instructions on how to ensure that you can continue to use these systems for a few months after you graduate. Typically, if you follow instructions, you can extend your access for several months after graduation.
For Bloomberg Law, graduates with active accounts at the time of graduation automatically keep full access to Bloomberg Law for six months following May 2015. If you are not sure of your account status, contact Bloomberg Law customer service at 888-560-2529. You cannot activate your account for the first time after graduation.
If you are a graduating law student, you may extend your WestlawNext password to enjoy the same level of access to WestlawNext as you did as a student for up to six months after graduation by visiting the Westlaw Law Schools site and following the instructions.
Prior to your WestlawNext account deactivating, please download/export your folders. Currently, you cannot share folders outside of your organization (e.g., law student account to private practice account).
Regardless of whether you extend your password, all graduates will continue to have access to WestlawNext Career & Job Search Content for one year and uninterrupted access to TWEN for an additional 18 months after graduation.
Do you need to relieve a bit of stress with exams, finals, and graduation knocking at your door? Come and play with our volunteer SF SPCA therapy dogs! They will be visiting Zief Law Library in the Student Commons Area on the main floor at the following times. Stop by anytime for some puppy love!
Tuesday, April 28th 10am – 11:30am / Pepper – Labrador
Thursday, April 30th 2pm – 3:30pm / Lucy – Golden Retriever
Wednesday, May 6th 2pm – 3:30pm / Lana – Shepherd Mix
Friday, May 8th 11am – 12:30pm / Ollie – Golden Retriever
Please note that this is a free program sponsored by the SF SPCA. We appreciate and thank all the dogs and owners for participating in this wonderful program! For further information contact Donna Williams, x2243, email@example.com.
Zief Law Library is please to announce the six winners of the LexisNexis Study Aids! The lucky students are: Ryan Blackney, Debra Christian, Laura Whiteside, Julie Kantor, Ryan Herrera, and Parviz Iranpour. Congratulations and thanks to LexisNexis for the generous donations! We hope everyone enjoyed some of the wonderful flavors from Mitchell's Ice Cream.
Thanks for celebrating National Library Week with us!