Types of Research Tasks
Students in BU Law clinical programs must conduct a variety of legal and factual research tasks in order to properly represent the interests of their clients.
Legal research includes Finding Information on Specific Topics relevant to the Clinical Programs, including domestic relations law, housing law, immigration law, social security practice and procedure, and unemployment insurance and compensation. Finding Massachusetts State and Local Law is another important task, requiring research on state and local law and locating forms needed for practicing in the Massachusetts courts. You may also need to Find Information on the Massachusetts Courts such as court rules, jury instructions, etc.
Case Docket Information
If using Bloomberg Law, search for the material you want under "Dockets" or "Litigation and Dockets." Bloomberg Law has a comprehensive set of filings from the federal courts and extensive material from the state courts as well.
If using Westlaw, you can access the full directory of the Westlaw dockets databases by clicking on "Directory" from the main search page and then, under the "Litigation" heading, selecting "Dockets."
If using PACER, please contact the reference librarians for the PACER password that has been dedicated for use by the Clinical Programs. Westlaw also provides access to selected state court docket information. Because PACER's content is also on Bloomberg Law, we recommend students use Bloomberg for federal filings.
If you're having trouble finding a docket, please see a reference librarian.
In addition to legal research, students in the clinical programs need to perform investigative research tasks involving people, organizations, or assets. When Finding and Investigating People, you may need to locate contact information, vital records, neighbor and landlord information, criminal records, professional licenses, or motor vehicle registrations. Investigating Companies & Organizations involves locating contact information for companies and charitable organizations, business filings, news, and case law. Finding Information on Assets & Valuations includes locating information on liens and judgments, individual's real and personal property, company assets, and income.