You’re probably familiar with Lexis+ and Westlaw Edge (soon to be Westlaw Precision) and have used them to find primary and secondary legal research resources. As we told you in our post about HeinOnline last month, there are other research tools that we recommend you try. This month we’re taking a look at Bloomberg Law and highlighting some of its unique features.
What is Bloomberg Law?
Bloomberg Law is a legal research platform that combines the latest in legal technology with workflow tools, news, primary and secondary sources, and business intelligence. Sixteen Practice Centers (e.g., Bankruptcy, Labor & Employment, and Tax) group Bloomberg Law resources by areas of legal practice, providing resources for that practice area: primary sources, dockets, news, treatises, practice tools, and Practical Guidance.
How is Bloomberg Law Different from Westlaw and Lexis?
Like Lexis and Westlaw, Bloomberg Law has state and federal primary sources such as cases, statutes, and regulations. However, it also includes some unique features: a Business Intelligence Center, including access to EDGAR (the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) for company research; Bloomberg Law News, which covers business, finance, the economy, politics, general news, sports and the arts worldwide; and secondary sources from leading publishers, including BNA, James Publishing, and Wiley Press – items unavailable on Lexis and Westlaw.
These are just a few other Bloomberg Law features and tools worth exploring:
- BLAW Skills Center: Bloomberg’s interactive learning platform for legal research skills is a good place to develop new research and writing skills, or brush up skills you learned as a 1L if you’re feeling a bit rusty. Includes handouts, graphics, video lessons, checklists, and webinars on many topics, including research strategy, caselaw research, transactional research tools, docket searching and more!
- Bloomberg BNA Portfolios: Bloomberg BNA Portfolios and Manuals, available only on Bloomberg Law, are written by one or more practitioners who are topic experts. They cover topics including Estates, Gifts & Trusts, Foreign Income, U.S. Income, Tax Practice, and much more. Each portfolio includes three main sections: a detailed analysis of the topic; worksheets with checklists, documents, and forms; and a bibliography of references to relevant official and unofficial sources.
- Dockets: Bloomberg allows you to search the dockets in all federal and more than 1,100 state courts using a single, user-friendly interface. View the chronological records of a case – descriptions of documents filed, hearings held, scheduled, etc. Search dockets – by keyword, court, party name, attorney name and more – to find exemplar forms like motions and complaints. (Many of the underlying pleadings are available with a single click.) You can even search closed cases according to case outcome, i.e., summary judgment, dismissal, or default judgment.
- Litigation Analytics: Bloomberg’s Litigation Analytics identifies meaningful patterns among legal data points (company, law firm, judge, or attorney) to inform your litigation strategy, predict possible outcomes, and better advise clients. It can provide information on how often a judge has granted certain types of motions, for example, what kinds of cases a firm has litigated, or how experienced a lawyer is in handling a particular type of matter. For law students, this can even be a useful tool to investigate potential legal employers!
How can I access Bloomberg Law?
Bloomberg Law is accessible to current USF law students and faculty only via registration with a unique username and password. If you have not registered, please contact one of your Zief librarians for registration information. If you have already registered, visit bloomberglaw.com to sign in. For more information about how you can incorporate Bloomberg’s resources into your research, stop by Zief and chat with your research librarians.