Have you ever wondered where to find a comparison of state laws governing the proceeds from the sales of all those lottery tickets you buy hoping to pay off your student loans? Or how various states’ laws on the use of cell phones while driving compare? If so, Cheryl Nyberg’s Subject Compilations of State Laws (LAW-Reserve KF1.N93) is the place to start.
Subject Compilations is an annual bibliography that is divided into legal topics as diverse as lotteries, traffic, taxation and hundreds more. This resource provides citations to legal publications (including law review articles, books, court briefs and opinions, federal and state government publications, loose-leaf services and websites) where multi-state information can be found.
In addition to the bound volumes of this set, the law library has a comprehensive searchable database of the entire set available through Hein Online. This database contains references to 50-state surveys and allows you to link directly to journals found within Hein Online or the Web. The Subject Compilations database is searchable across a number of fields, including subject, journal title, title, creator/author, added authors, court, or entry number (entry numbers are used in cross references and in the author and publisher indexes). It can be accessed on the library’s subscription database listings, under Hein Online.
Still looking? Westlaw and LexisNexis also offer fifty state survey products. Additionally, the book, National Survey of State Laws. (LAW-Reserve KF386.N38) provides detailed charts of state legislation on popular topics. The charts make it easy to compare state approaches. For assistance, please contact the reference desk at x4225 or email@example.com.
The Congressional Digital Research Collection is a database that includes comprehensive coverage of Congressional Research Service reports from 2004 to present. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a legislative branch agency that conducts policy research for members of Congress. Reports are prepared by nationally recognized experts on a wide variety of topics. The LexisNexis Congressional Digital Research Collection is available on the law library database page.
Hein Online provides digital access to the winning records and briefs from the 1st– 65th annual National Moot Court Competitions. Documents can be searched from 1950-2015 to find on point discussions from the briefs and records written by the winning teams. Check out Hein Online on the law library database page.
An indispensable fixture in many law offices, Loislaw now offers online access to all of the deskbooks published by the Washington State Bar Association. Loislaw provides access to deskbooks in 14 different topical areas, ranging from Estate Planning to Motor Vehicle Accidents. Coverage of prior editions is quite broad, as it includes all deskbooks published between 2001 and the present.
Each deskbook available through Loislaw can be accessed via two methods. First, there is a search engine that allows search each deskbook. Second, there is a link to the table of contents for each deskbook. Users browsing by subject can follow the links to the table of contents and search through the topics in order to find relevant sections.
Deskbooks are one of the first places to look when faced with questions that require research. In addition to annotated statutes and case indexes, deskbooks are an excellent source for those looking for cases and statutes on particular topics. Nearly every deskbook section is heavily footnoted with cites to relevant cases and statutes. Further, Loislaw provides online access to the latest supplements for each deskbook, so that updated information is available.
The information in the deskbooks is broken into sub-topics in a way that makes it easy for the practitioner to answer questions that are frequently asked by clients. Say, for example, that you have a client who wants to know whether he has a claim, where he totaled his car after running into a cow on the highway. The second edition of the Motor Vehicle Accident Deskbook provides an answer to the question in Section 4.4 (1) One Car Collisions – Actions by the Driver – Collisions with Animals.
Overall, deskbooks are an invaluable resource for practitioners seeking information on Washington Law. The library is excited to provide online access to the deskbooks, so that you can obtain the information regardless of where you are located!
Bloomberg Law, in addition to providing exceptionally useful legal research materials, has a number of guides and tips for excelling in your internship, externship, or clinic placements. If you don’t already have a Bloomberg log in, go the site and register as an academic user using your .edu email address. Job info is found on the homepage of the site.
Did you know you can use your Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg accounts during the summer? Each service has different rules (especially about whether or not you can use your account for work purposes) and you might have to extend your password. Visit each providers homepage for more information.
Most SU law students are quite comfortable with WestlawNext and have some familiarity with LexisAdvance, but many don’t know about Bloomberg Law. This research service is incredibly useful, especially for business and transactional work. If you haven’t tried it already, sign up now.
The Clearinghouse Review: The Journal of Poverty Law and Policy is an excellent source for analysis of issues in Poverty Law. Clearinghouse Review is hosted on the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law web site. The web site features news on recent changes to state and federal government assistance programs and a Poverty Law Library with pleadings in trial and appellate level cases. You can access Clearinghouse Review from the law library database tab.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has a free trademark search database. It’s worth knowing about as a research tool. Just for fun, we looked up “Beast Mode.” It came up with 41 documents, including some filed in the name of Marshawn Lynch. There is also one from some guy in the Netherlands for cat toys with the same name. The site doesn’t tell you if a trademark is enforceable; only whether it has been filed. To learn the latter, you can sign up for intellectual property with Professor Chon or Silverman.
As you are starting your new classes, we’d like to remind you about CALI lessons. If you are unfamiliar, CALI lessons are interactive, computer-based tutorials on a wide range of legal subject areas. Lessons are completely free for our law students. They are useful for mastering material during the semester and for exam preparation.
When registering a new CALI account, you must use our school’s authorization code to create the account. You can get the authorization code at the Reference Desk. You only need to use this authorization code once. After that, you will use the email and password you created when you signed up. CDs with the lessons are also available at the Reference Desk.