America’s constitutional history is ridden with conflicts, innovations, and complexities. Referring to treatises is an effective way to research questions of constitutional law. The Seattle University Law Library has a new libguide that will help students locate primary and secondary materials related to U.S. constitutional law. Written by Law Library Intern Justin Abbasi, it features leading treatises, links to useful content, and books that will orient readers to America’s perennial debates involving constitutional theory and interpretation.
The Indian Law Bulletin is a free current awareness tool produced by the National Indian Law Library. Bulletins summarize emerging legal news about Indian law and topics of interest. Specific Bulletins cover state and federal court cases, federal regulations, federal legislation, law reviews, and bar journal articles.
You can find newspaper content on both Westlaw and Lexis, as well as through databases available from the Lemieux Library. If you’re doing research on Washington history, however, you may want to use the Seattle Times archive from the Seattle Public Library. This archives includes the complete Seattle Times from 1895 to the present.
The Seattle Public Library is launching PlayBack, an online collection that showcases and shares current local music for free. They’re building the collection now (see their page if you want to submit an album for consideration); sometime in August around 100 albums by local artists will be available for free streaming.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law is an eBook we have in our law library collection that may be of interest to you, whether you’re enrolled in Christian Perspectives on the Law or simply interested in the intersection of law and religion. Here’s the publisher’s description: “The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law (OEBL) provides the most up-to-date and extensive treatment of the Bible and law yet attempted, both updating and expanding the scope of previous scholarship in the field. In comprehensive overviews, scholars at the forefront of biblical studies and law address three foci: (1) biblical law itself—its nature, collections, and genres; (2) the ancient contexts of biblical law, throughout the ancient Mediterranean (ancient Near Eastern, Greco-Roman, and Early Jewish); and (3) the afterlife and influence of biblical law in antiquity and in modern jurisprudence around the world. Essays include treatments of the Book of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, Greek Law, and the Laws of Hammurapi, but also testimony and witness, property, ritual, rhetoric, gender, and sexual legislation.”
Google Scholar is an excellent starting point for research. It allows you to search across several databases at once, helping you to discover scholarly sources that might help you with your project. If you do this research while on campus, you’ll find that you can easily link from your Scholar results into the full text of the articles, since Scholar recognizes the campus-wide IP range and automatically links into subscription databases. Off campus, you’ll have to either go through the proxy server or find a workaround. Use the “cited by” and “related articles” links to find additional relevant information.
This week, Seattle University Law Library joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country to highlight the value of libraries and library personnel and to promote library use and support.
The 2016 National Library Week theme is “Libraries Transform.” Knowing how to use a law library gives you power. Power over legal research transforms into the strongest arguments in your favor from precedent. It allows you to leverage the knowledge of experts to understand the law through secondary sources.
Interested in learning more about how law libraries transform? Check out:
Law Librarianship in the Twenty-First Century edited by Roy Balleste, Sonia Luna-Lamas, and Lisa Smith-Butler
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (Z675.L2L38375 2014). Publisher’s Description:
Law Librarianship in the 21st Century, a text for library and information science courses on law librarianship, introduces students to the rapidly evolving world of law librarianship. With no prior knowledge of the law required, students using this book will find practical answers to such questions as: What is law librarianship? How do you become a law librarian? How does law librarianship interrelate with the legal world? Individual chapters provide a concise treatment of such specialized topics as the history of law librarianship, international law, and government documents. Standard topics are dealt with as they apply to the law library, including collection development, public services, technical processing, administration, technology, and consortia. The textbook also includes an explanation of the common acronyms and special terminology needed to work in a law library.
The American Bar Association is, among other things, a publisher. One series of books it publishes is the “Little Book” series about law as it relates to particular topics. Some of these seem relatively practical such as The Little Book of Boating Law. Others, however, are unexpected: The Little Book of Elvis Law? The Little Book of Cowboy Law? The Little Book of BBQ Law? You can see all of the offerings at the ABA’s website. Seattle University Law Library actually owns a few of these titles such as The Little Book of Baseball Law and The Little Book of Fashion Law.
DRAGNET is a specialized search engine that allows one to search across several free legal search sites at once. DRAGNET was created by the librarians at New York Law School. Try it out!