Journal Staff Legal Research Guide

Conducting a Source and Cite Check for a Journal?  Check out the library’s guide for journal staff.  It answers general questions about choosing a topic, preemption checks, locating and borrowing materials, and cite and source checking.

Featured Database: Subject Compilation of State Laws – Fifty State Surveys

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 lawreference@seattleu.edu.

New Student Information

This guide is a must read for those who are new to law school or for those who are still confused about anything in the library, from the card security system to how to reserve a study room!

First-Year Law Student Resource Guide

This is the authoritative guide to our favorite things here in the library to help you survive being a 1L.  It covers resources about law school, case briefing, and outlining.

US Legal System

It’s a little more than just being a bill sitting up here on Capitol Hill; this research guide by Kelly Kunsch is useful for new students or people with a burning interest in Constitutional law, as well as a comparative reference for the differences between state and Federal legal systems as well as Indian legal systems within their respective Nations.

Solo and Small Firm Practice

Many law graduates venture out into the real world in a small or solo practice.  This guide helps you with the basics, like how to start your own law library, keeping a business plan, and deciding where you want to locate your office.  Even if you’re just thinking about starting out solo or small, this guide is a great read about the realities of solo practice.

Researching Legal Careers

The Researching Legal Careers guide points to resources about general career planning and covers career specialties such as elder law or tax law. You can also learn about business etiquette and how to interview successfully. Look for it under the library’s Guides tab.

Featured Database: National Moot Court Competition Library

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.

Finding Study Aids

Need an overview of a particular area of law or to clarify a particular legal concept?  The law library purchases the following study aid series:

  • West Hornbooks
  • West Nutshells
  • Examples and Explanations
  • Gilbert Law Summaries
  • Emanuel Law Outlines

Current study aids are located in the Reserve collection.  Check the online catalog for specific titles  Study aids are available for 2-hour check out and selected “starred” copies can be checked out for 24 hours.  “Starred” books cannot be renewed.  Fines will accrue for late items at the rate of $1 per hour. If you would like to check out a study aid for 6 weeks, selected copies of older editions of these study aids are located in the Treatise collection for checkout.

The law library is pleased to provide students with this collection.  We hope that students will take care to maintain the collection for the benefit of everyone.  Remember, study aids are just that: aids to your regular study.  They are not a substitute for attending class and reading required material!

Featured Database: WSBA Deskbooks through Loislaw

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!