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Electronic Legal Research Resources: 2019 Update

Posted by Eric H. Happe

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Jul 17, 2019 1:00:00 PM

Conducting legal research on laptopEach year Center for Advanced Legal Studies evaluates and renews its contracts regarding Westlaw, Canvas, Blackboard Collaborate, LIRN, and products from other providers of library and learning resources to ensure our students have access to industry leading platforms and services.

For 2019 we have added Fastcase electronic legal research and made some significant upgrades to Westlaw. Canvas, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, and LIRN remain unchanged from 2018.

All students and faculty now have access to Fastcase and will continue to enjoy this access during the entirety of their enrollment for all programs offered at Center for Advanced Legal Studies.

Westlaw has been upgraded to include Form Builder. Form Builder is the eventual successor to ProDoc and is now included in our Westlaw accounts. While ProDoc only includes Texas forms for CALS students, Westlaw Form Builder provides access to federal forms and forms from all 50 states. What’s more, since it is web based, Form Builder forms can be accessed and assembled from non-Windows based computers.

Moving forward, all Paralegal Certificate students will receive Fastcase accounts at the beginning of their program and Westlaw accounts when entering their second set of classes (after the completion of 8 weeks). Access to Westlaw will continue throughout the paralegal certificate program for use in Computers and the Law, Civil Procedure, Family Law, Personal Injury, and other law related courses. This will provide all students the opportunity to get started with Fastcase and progress to Westlaw when the time is appropriate.

Associate Degree students will continue to have access to Fastcase which provides the ability to conduct electronic legal research on primary authority such as statutes and cases. Associate Degree students will be provided access to Westlaw when taking courses such as Family Law or Personal Injury that may require access to Form Builder and other secondary sources.

CALS’ staff will works closely with law faculty to insure all students have access to the resources they need to be successful in class.

We are confident these changes will provide students greater access to electronic legal research platforms and the latest forms both federal and state specific.

Eric H. Happe
Director of Distance Education

Topics: technology, education and training, law

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