Author Archives: Morgan Stoddard

Avast! Learn Pirate (or another language) with Mango Languages

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is tomorrow, Thursday, September 19.  It’s not too late to brush up on yer “Ahoys!” and “Arrs!” using Mango Languages, an online learning program offering courses in over 50 languages, including Pirate.

All Georgetown Law faculty, staff, and students have access to Mango Languages through the Georgetown Law Library’s subscription.  Simply go here, create an account, and starting learning a new language today.  Yo ho ho!

Library Training for Faculty Research Assistants

The library will be holding two orientation training sessions for new faculty research assistants.  In the orientation, RAs will learn about library services and policies and will gain an introduction to our databases and to best research practices.

The sessions will be:

  • Wednesday, September 25, 3:30pm-4:30pm
  • Tuesday, October 8, 12:00pm-1:00pm

All sessions will be held in the Computer Learning Center (CLC) in the Williams Law Library.

To attend this training, please RSVP here.

Any questions can be sent to Morgan Stoddard, Research Services Librarian,, 202-661-6598.

Big Data and the Law: Prof. Blackman and Assisted Decisionmaking

The Georgetown Law Library’s symposium, Big Data and Big Challenges for Law and Legal Information, will explore a range of topics related to the applications of big data in legal scholarship, practice, and policy.

One of our panelists, Professor Josh Blackman, will provide a fascinating introduction to assisted decisionmaking and “how viewing the law as data can facilitate the analysis of how courts work and how courts decide cases.  With this foundation, he will explore how attorneys can use this technology to improve the representation of their clients and how non-lawyers can obtain easier access to justice.”

To learn more about Professor Blackman’s research and scholarship in this area, see Josh Blackman, Adam Aft & Corey Carpenter, FantasySCOTUS: Crowdsourcing a Prediction Market for the Supreme Court, 10 Nw. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop. 125 (2012), visit, and watch the symposium live online on Wednesday, January 30.

Lexis Advance Update

LexisNexis recently released a new version of Lexis Advance.  The new version includes a number of significant updates, such as the ability to browse sources and search a specific source.  New content was also added, including American Jurisprudence 2d and state legal encyclopedias. 

To learn more about Lexis Advance, visit and log in to view videos, tutorials, and research guides.

What Is This Citation?

Students, as you start your summer jobs, you likely will be faced with conducting research in unfamiliar areas of law, which means dealing with unfamiliar citations.  Luckily, there are a number of specialized resources that will help you determine the source affiliated with a particular legal abbreviation.

Often the best resource, particularly for U.S. legal materials, is Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations.  Most law libraries will have a copy, and Bieber’s is also available on Lexis.  For citations to foreign and international sources, a great resource is the Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations by Donald Raistrick.

For more resources and tips for discerning unfamiliar citations, see our Abbreviations and Acronyms Research Guide.  Additionally, Georgetown Law students can always contact a librarian at the reference desk – even over the summer!

Cost-Effective Legal Research Classes

The law library is offering a one-hour class on strategies and techniques for conducting cost-efficient legal research.  At Cost-Effective Legal Research, librarians will discuss development of a research plan, cost-saving tips for using Westlaw and LexisNexis, free and low-cost legal research resources, and how to select the right resource and method for your research.

Classes will be held in the Williams Library Computer Learning Center at the following dates/times:

Monday, April 2, 4:30pm
Thursday, April 5, 8:00pm
Tuesday, April 10, 12:15pm
Wednesday, April 11, 3:30pm

Space is limited, so sign-up today!

Legal Research Classes @ GULL

Legal research classes are offered throughout the year at the law library.  Now, you can find out about upcoming research classes by visiting the new Legal Research Classes page on our website.  Here, you can find out about classes taught by librarians on topics such as research strategy and cost-effective legal research as well as classes offered by Westlaw, LexisNexis, and other database vendors on how to use their products to do legal research.

2011 ABA Journal Blawg 100

The 2011 ABA Journal Blawg 100 is now available.  The Blawg 100 is a list of the top legal blogs, according to popular vote.

To find more legal blogs, see the ABA Blawg Directory, where you can browse blogs by topic, author, geography, or law school affiliation.

For more information on current awareness resources for a particular subject, see the Georgetown Law Library research guide on the subject of interest.

Research Strategies Class

The key to accurate and thorough research is having a plan and employing the appropriate research strategies.  If you want to learn about how to develop a good research plan and how to best approach legal research problems, attend the library’s upcoming Research Strategies class. 

In addition to discussing the key methods for approaching legal research, librarians will also cover how to handle common research dilemmas—such as “What if I don’t find anything?” and “How do I know when to stop?”—and offer tips on staying organized.

Classes last one hour and will be held in the Williams Library Computer Learning Center at the following dates/times: 

Monday, October 31, 3:30pm

Wednesday, November 2, 4:30pm

Thursday, November 3, 12:15pm

Friday, November 4, 11am

Registration is required as space is limited.  To register, please visit the Research Strategies Signup.

Practical Law Company

Students, faculty, and staff can get free access to content from the Practical Law Company.  The site offers a number of practical tools organized by topic, including useful overviews; model documents, clauses, and drafting tips; checklists, timelines, and flowcharts; and updates on recent legal developments.  The amount of information available varies by topic.

To sign up for free access, go to PLC for Law Schools and click on “Free PLC Access for Students, Faculty and Staff”.