This is the second year that the LLB students have completed their certification in Westlaw UK as part of their legal skills training.
We run the certification programme for a number of reasons – employability (it’s a great way to show quickly that you are familiar with all aspects of the Westlaw database), improving skills (it’s not easy!) and introducing students to areas of Westlaw they may not have used before such as Westlaw Insight. We start the session with a quick Prezi which aims to explain to students why it’s such a useful string to their bow… getting them to think about how a familiarity with a legal resource (that they will probably go on to use in legal training and then practice) is a cut above being able to google “law on dangerous dogs”… We use quotes from the Law Society Gazette to explain that solicitors may risk breaching conduct rules if they use non-specialist resources to find information… we tell them how many students have already got certified over the last couple of years (8,900 for the basic certification).
We run through the sort of information the students need to know – it becomes a bit of a revision session on sections in Acts and judicial precedence. Then we set them the task of completing the certification and producing the certificate. Some students are already asking about the Advanced Certification, and LexisLibrary also offers a certification test which I’ll encourage them to do.
Any law students wanting to have a go at the test, let me or your Westlaw rep, Humaira know. You can either work through the e-learning modules on the certification page, or ask one of us for a one-to-one session. Feel free to email me for more information at [email protected].
For anyone looking for international legal material, WestlawNext is the database for you!
WestlawNext is the new name for Westlaw International. If you have used it before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The look and feel have recently changed, so it is a lot easier to use. WestlawNext provides access to law resources from the following jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, US, Hong Kong and Korea (oddly). There are also some Business Law materials for other countries including UAE and Iran.
If you are on campus, you can access WestlawNext directly from the following link: Westlaw International. If you are at home, it takes a bit longer… log in as usual to Westlaw and then click on Services. Choose International Material from the list.
WestlawNext is the US version of our own Westlaw UK, so the main page gives a list of links for all countries other than the US. This means that if you want US materials, you need to click on the WestlawNext logo at the top left of the page. You can then choose to search using the main search box at the top, or select specific materials such as Federal Cases, Statutes and Court Rules, or Secondary Sources (journals and encyclopedia). You can keep browsing to find a specific source, or use the search box which will default to search whatever content you have selected.
To view material from other countries, click on International Materials and select the country you want to research from the list. Again the search box at the top will default to whichever jurisdiction you choose. You can also search across all International Materials, but make sure your search is specific otherwise you will bring back a lot of results – for example, use quotation marks around case names or phrases.
If you want more detail of the content contained in the database, click on the International Materials Index link for a list, or the Secondary Sources Index for a list of US journals and Encyclopedia. Still confused? Don’t panic! We have helpsheets, video and top tips on our Library Moodle site for Law, or email me at [email protected] for a step-by-step demo.