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February 5, 2001
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Loislawschool.com

Last week we learned about the LOIS Professional Library, an electronic database of primary materials from Wisconsin and the Seventh Circuit and U.S. Supreme Courts. (See Law Library News and Views dated 1/29/01.)

In addition to this resource, which is freely available to all Law Library patrons, LOIS has another product just for Law School students, faculty, and staff entitled Loislawschool.com.

What Is Loislawschool.com?

Loislawschool.com is a web-based resource that offers statutes, case law, and administrative regulations for ALL state and federal jurisdictions. There are also selected State Bar/CLE publications, although none from Wisconsin at this time.

Loislawschool.com also offers LawWatch which automatically notifies you via email of new court decisions or legislative acts that match the search terms you specify.

Who Can Access Loislawschool.com?

Like Lexis and Westlaw, Loislawschool.com is a password protected database. Only law school students, faculty, and staff are eligible for access. Students may have no-cost access while in law school (including summers!) and for the first six months following their graduation.

To use Loislawschool.com, you must first register using a school-specific Special Access Code. To learn this code, go to http://library.law.wisc.edu/elecresources/databases/passwordform.htm and complete the Password Problem/Request form. The access code will be sent to you by return email upon verification of your law school status.

To register, go to http://www.loislawschool.com and click on "Register Now." Complete the registration form including the Special Access Code. Be sure to read the User Agreement because acceptance is required. Note that registrations expire on September 1st of each year, so eligible users will need to re-register annually.

How Is It Different than Lexis & Westlaw?

Coverage - The main strength of Loislawschool.com is in primary legal materials, although dates of coverage generally only extend back to the late 1930s. Aside from selected State Bar/CLE publications, the service contains almost no secondary materials.

Cost - Loislawschool.com and it's sister product Loislaw.com (for practicing attorneys) bill themselves as low cost alternatives to Westlaw and Lexis. As such, you may find that some firms / organizations prefer this basic service to the more costly, premium databases such as Westlaw and Lexis.

Access - Although law students have "free" access to all of these databases while in school, Loislawschool.com offers a few additional perks. Unlike Lexis and Westlaw which restrict access in the summer, Loislawschool.com offers full access year-round. In addition, law students are given free access for six months following graduation.

How Do I Use Loislawschool.com?

To open Loislawschool.com, go to http://library.law.wisc.edu/elecresources/databases/allwithann.htm Scroll down to Loislawschool.com and click to open. You will be prompted for your ID and password.

To learn more about searching this database, click on the "Help" button at the top of the Loislawschool.com Welcome screen.

Written by: Bonnie Shucha
Reference & Electronic Services Librarian
bjshucha@facstaff.wisc.edu

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