Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

LRAW Research Fall 2022

Orientation to the Law Library and LRAW

Law Library Home Pagescreenshot

To get started, bookmark the law library home page, law.sc.edu/library.

Quick Links at law.sc.edu/library include:
  • Ask a Librarian — online chat with a law librarian Monday-Friday, 9 to 5
  • This LRAW Research online textbook
  • Lexis (see below)
  • Westlaw / TWEN (see below)
 
To find books in the law library, search the Law Library Catalog for what you need.

You can search for a specific title or author if you like.

Or you can search for a subject, such as torts.

 

 

After you hit Enter or click the Search button, you will see a list of results. 

screenshotscreenshotIf you're only interested in online materials, you can select Available Online under Availability on the left.

Or, if you're only interested in physical books at the law library, you can filter your search results by Library on the left.

 

 

 

 

Below each title in the results list is a link showing where that title is available.

screenshot Click on Available Online to read an ebook or online journal article using your UofSC login.

Available at UofSC School of Law Library Law (KF1250 .J64 2009)

Ask at the Reference desk how to find a physical book using a call number.

Click on a title in the results list to see details about that book.

screenshot

Sign in with your UofSC login to see additional options for how to request a book. For example, you can place a hold on a checked-out book. We share a catalog system with other libraries at UofSC, and you can borrow physical books from those other libraries if needed.

You can pick up and drop off borrowed books at the law library's Circulation desk. The Circulation desk is also where you can borrow study aids that may help with reviewing for exams in your other classes. Study aids include audio CDs, flashcards, and books that contain different types of outlines and sample questions.

Your Carolina Card (law student ID) is your library card. Loan periods vary according to the materials being checked out.

Online Legal Research Platforms

What are Westlaw and Lexis?

Westlaw and Lexis are two platforms that many practicing lawyers use to do online legal research. They are competitors, and they have other competitors as well.

The law library pays for your subscription to both platforms, so you can become accustomed to both interfaces.

You will be using both Westlaw and Lexis to do online legal research throughout the Fall semester in LRAW.

In the Spring semester, we will continue using both Westlaw and Lexis, and we will expand our focus to include other platforms at that time.

The idea is to prepare you so that no matter which platform a future employer uses, or switches to down the road, you will be ready to research!

Registering Your Westlaw & Lexis Accounts

Registering Your Westlaw Account

  1. Go to lawschool.thomsonreuters.com/register.
  2. Type your name, email address, and Registration Key. Your LRAW professor for Research gives you your Registration Key. Click Start Registration.
  3. Follow the prompts to "Register a product" (the product is Law School Portal) and "Create profile." 
  4. After you have created a OnePass Profile, click Continue to Law School Portal. Fill out the additional registration information for Law School Registration. You can use the law school address—1525 Senate St, Columbia, SC 29208—if you don't want to use your own address. For the graduation date, select Spring 2025. Click Agree & Register.

Registering Your Lexis Account

  1. Go to lexisnexis.com/lawschool and click Register for Lexis+.
  2. Follow the prompts to register. Your LRAW professor for Research gives you the school Registration Code.
  3. Complete your personal and sign-in profiles.

Using Westlaw & Lexis

Bookmarks

After setting up your accounts, bookmark these two pages in your browser so you can easily get to Westlaw and Lexis.

Westlaw and Lexis are also linked from the law library homepage, law.sc.edu/library, just in case.

Contacts

If you encounter problems with your passwords, contact our dedicated account managers at Westlaw or Lexis.

Learning Platforms

Blackboard and TWEN

Blackboard and TWEN (The West Education Network) are learning platforms.

  • Blackboard uses your UofSC Network ID and password. On Blackboard, you have been automatically added to your classes.
  • TWEN uses your Westlaw username and password (also known as OnePass, which you used the instructions above to create). If your professor uses TWEN, you will need to add the TWEN course (using the instructions below).

UofSC Law professors may choose Blackboard, or TWEN, or both, or neither, to organize their class materials.

You will need to find out from your LRAW professor—and from each of your professors for your other classes—which learning platform(s) they have chosen.

CALI

CALI provides online lessons you can do on your own to supplement your learning for any of your classes. Ask your LRAW professor for Research or any librarian for the UofSC Law CALI registration code to set up your own CALI username and password.

Adding a TWEN Course

To add a TWEN course, you must first have registered for a Westlaw account. (Registering your Westlaw account.)

screenshotOnce you receive your Westlaw password, sign in to Westlaw at lawschool.thomsonreuters.com.

After signing in, select TWEN from the bar at the top of the page. Select TWEN from the drop-down menu.

screenshot

To add a TWEN course, click the triangle by the Manage Courses button, and choose Add Course from the drop-down menu.

screenshot

Find your course in the list, and select the correct section. Then, click the blue +Add button.screenshot

When you close the list of UofSC courses and return to your TWEN home page, the course you added should be in My Courses.

Now you can click the name of the course to find the course materials your professor provides on TWEN.

Legal Research, Analysis & Writing (LRAW)

Transcript

I’m Seth Stoughton, and I am here to talk to you about the importance of LRAW, which is weird, because I don’t teach LRAW. I teach Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure, classes like that. But I need you to know that the skills you are learning in LRAW are the skills that I need you to be able to apply in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure and in any of your doctrinal classes. What you’re learning in LRAW is how to do legal analysis. And what I need you to be able to do, and what your other doctrinal professors need you to be able to do, is legal analysis. So if you’re wondering, how do I figure out this complicated issue of mens rea? Or, how do I approach this Fourth Amendment question, or this contracts question or this health law question? The answer is: do good legal analysis.

Legal Research Expectations from South Carolina Lawyers

00:10

Please describe typical research projects you might assign to law clerks or first-year associates.

  • 00:27 research to support correspondence or motions
  • 01:00 research on a narrow topic
  • 01:20 research at any stage of the litigation process
  • 02:00 research on judicial candidates
  • 02:30 research in business disputes
  • 02:50 research on topics such as the Freedom of Information Act or premises liability
  • 03:30 procedural research, for example, about subpoenas
  • 04:15 research about legislation
  • 04:54 family law research
  • 05:30 research on motions for summary judgment

06:00

How can law clerks or first-year associates present the results of their research in a way that is most helpful to you?

  • 06:20 Make your work "brief-ready."
  • 07:05 Proofread, be critical of your own work, consider both sides, and do full research.
  • 07:40 Start broad, using secondary sources, and narrow it down.
  • 07:50 Use a template or checklist.
  • 08:47 Bluebook (Provide proper citations.)
  • 09:56 Ask for clarification when needed.

11:10

What research resources do you use, or do you expect law clerks to use?

  • 11:10 Efficient online legal research using Lexis and Westlaw, as well as books.
  • 11:40 Fastcase
  • 12:17 Get help from Westlaw and Lexis agents, and go beyond what what they provide.

13:20

What are some typical research pitfalls, and how can law clerks avoid them?

  • 13:20 Address problems early.
  • 14:00 Ask questions when you don't understand.
  • 15:05 Answer the question that is asked, without under-researching or over-researching.
  • 15:22 If you've never heard of something before, ask for clarification instead of Googling.

16:18

Any comments on professionalism?

  • 16:18 The more you put into your work, the more you get out of it.
  • 16:28 Be invested in helping the client.
  • 17:07 Lawyers will be depending on you.
  • 17:54 You can't do it all yourself; don't rely only on your own perspective.
  • 18:28 How you talk to people in all walks of life reflects on your professionalism.
  • 19:16 Provide unbiased information, and cite your sources.
  • 19:48 Take your LRAW class seriously.