Staying up-to-date with the law

  • Charlie, the Academic Liaison Librarian for Law, has created this list of interesting new law resources. It's a mix of books, journal articles and other online materials, and is regularly updated.

     

    You may also want to keep an eye on the newest books and ebooks in the library. The most recently purchased items will always be at the top of this list.

    All of the major UK broadsheets (i.e. The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Times) report on important cases and legal developments. If you want to search multiple newspapers in one place, you may find Factiva or LexisLibrary useful. Using Factiva or LexisLibrary also allows you access newspapers that use paywalls e.g. The Times. Find more information about searching newspapers this way.

     

    Box of Broadcasts (BoB) allows you to catch up with UK radio and TV programmes. You can search for a particular programme, or for a topic or name. n the BoB homepage, click on the ‘sign in’ button, then start typing “Oxford Brookes University” in the search box until it appears as an option.
    If you are prompted to login when you’re searching BoB, just click on the option ‘Log in using your Oxford Brookes University account’ to proceed.
    Off-campus access is only available if you’re within the UK

     

    Six podcasts for law students, recommended by the Guardian in 2017.

     

    The Law Pod UK podcast discusses developments across all aspects of civil and public law in the United Kingdom. It comes from the creators of the UK Human Rights Blog and is produced by the barristers at 1 Crown Office Row.

     

    Two good legal programmes on BBC Radio 4 are Law in Action and Unreliable Evidence. They cover a range of current topics in an accessible style. You can listen to past episodes on the their webpages or via Box of Broadcasts.

    Both Twitter and LinkedIn are invaluable tools for professional awareness, and are widely used in the legal sector.

     

    If you have a LinkedIn account, consider joining groups such as those run by the Law Society to receive updates about current practice. If you are interested in a particular area of law, look for specialist organisations in that area (e.g. Resolution for family law) or individual lawyers or specialists in that area. The staff in Careers can offer more advice about using LinkedIn effectively, and there is also a printed handout you can pick up in the Careers reception.

     

    You can search for specific words or topics that interest you in Twitter (you don’t need to sign up for a Twitter account to search it this way). Alternatively, start by following general law accounts such as the Supreme Court or the Secret Barrister. If you find someone’s tweets interesting, have at look at who they follow as this may help you find other useful accounts. 

    PSL: This area of LexisLibrary is arranged by practice area and draws together a number of different resources. The most useful feature for current awareness is the news area. The most recent three stories in each practice area are displayed, and further stories can be displayed by selecting ‘monthly highlights’ or ‘more news’.


    You can access PSL by clicking on the drop down arrow next to ‘LexisLibrary’ at the top of the screen and selecting ‘Lexis PSL’. It opens in arbitration, since this is the first practice area alphabetically. To change practice area in PSL, use the drop down arrow next to the word ‘arbitration’.


    Current awareness: To access this area of LexisLibrary, select ‘current awareness’ in the pale grey bar that runs across the screen. This page will search within a number of current awareness sources, including case and appeals trackers.

     

    More guidance on using LexisLibrary is available from the library

    From any page in Westlaw, select Current Awareness in the dark blue bar that runs across the top of the screen. You can now select an area of law and see what recent cases have been reported, alongside recent journal articles and other publications. If you’re preparing for an interview, this is a quick way to get up to speed with a sector.


    For a broader overview of recent developments, click on ‘best of the last 5 days’ underneath Current Awareness.


    You can also set up alerts to get email updates on cases or topics that interest you. Find out more about alerts

     More guidance on using Westlaw is available from the library

    • The Guardian law: The Guardian's legal stories, with the most recent listed at the top
    • Inner Temple library blog: This blog provides up-to-date information on new case law, changes in legislation, and legal news in England and Wales. The content is selected and updated daily by information professionals from the Inner Temple Library in London. You can use the ‘categories’ box to pick a particular area of law. 
    • Law Gazette: The Law Society's weekly magazine
    • The Lawyer: UK-focused current awareness site. You can sign up for daily emails containing the latest law stories. 

    Lawtel court round-up: This tool from Lawtel summarises judgments from the Court of Appeal and High Court. You can view or search the latest court round-up summaries on Lawtel.

     

    You can use the official Parliament website to see what is scheduled for debate each day, or to see what bills are currently before Parliament

     

    Hansard is the edited report of proceedings of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. You can search for topics, date or look for contributions by an individual MP or peer

    If you wish to stay up-to-date with new issues of a particular journal you can register to receive the table of contents by email when it is published. Virtually all e-journals have this option on their homepage.

     

    There are also services such as Zetoc which enable you to sign up for alerts from multiple journal titles.