Looking for Study Space?

Miss out on a carrel during the 2L/3L lottery? Didn’t snag one of the only two carrels for 1Ls that were up for grabs at LibraryFest? Tired of fighting the crowds on the first floor of the library every day?

No worries! The library has tons of great study space on every floor. Check out these great semi-private carrels on the second, third, and fourth floor of the library.

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With just a short trip up the stairs or elevator, you can have your own space and dominate the Commerce Clause in perfect peace.

If you’ve got a couple friends with you, you can also grab one of the study rooms upstairs, as well. Preference is given to groups of 3 or more so gather your study group and getting studying!

Great Resources: HeinOnline – Harvard Journal of Law & Technology

heinonline-logoThis thirty-eight installment continues our series on HeinOnline’s digital collections.

There is a database on HeinOnline called “Harvard Journal of Law & Technology.”  The journal was established in 1988, and the database contains viewable texts of the journal for all 26 volumes.  The volumes are listed in chronological order starting with volume 26, published in 2012-2013, the most recent.  The journal covers all aspects of technology law, including intellectual property, biotechnology, privacy law, computer law, cyber crime, antitrust, space law, telecommunications, the Internet, and e-commerce.  Users may search the database by keyword, or browse individual issues.  Searching for a particular topic, for example stem-cell research, allows the user to see how the issue has changed and developed over the course of the past 25 years.

To access the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, go to http://www.law.sc.edu/library/limited_access/ and select HeinOnline.

To read up on other HeinOnline digital collections, see our coverage of the Congress and the Courts collection, the History of Supreme Court Nominations collection, the Session Laws Library/State Statutes: A Historical Archive, the U.S. International Trade Library, the Children’s Law Journal, the Intellectual Property Law Collection, the State Attorney General Reports and Opinions, the American Indian Law Collection, the World Constitutions Illustrated collection, the Taxation and Economic Reform in America, Parts I and II collection, the U.S. Presidential LibraryEnglish Reports, the World Trials Library, the U.S. Supreme Court Library, the Federal Register Library, the Foreign & International Law Resources Database, the National Moot Court Competition collection, the American Law Institute Library, the History of Bankruptcy:  Taxation & Economic Reform in America Part III, the Statutes of the Realm collection, the Legal Classics Library, the History of International Law, the U.S. Federal Legislative History LibraryPentagon PapersTreaties and Agreements Library, theCanada Supreme Court Reports/Revised Statutes of CanadaU.S. Congressional Documents, the European Centre for Minority Issues, the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)U.S. Federal Agency Documents, Decisions, & Appeals, the Law Journal Library, the Selden Society Publications and The History of Early English Law, the Subject Compilations of State Laws, Early American Case Law, and Spinelli’s Law Library Reference Shelf.

Great Resources: HeinOnline – U.S. Congressional Documents

heinonline-logoThis twenty-ninth installment continues our series on HeinOnline’s digital collections.

HeinOnline’s database called “U.S. Congressional Documents” is a valuable tool for any congressional related research, whether historical or contemporary.  It contains volumes going back to the early journals and notes of the Continental Congress as far back as 1774, as well access to current congressional records of the House and Senate, which are updated daily.  There are options allowing a user to browse within different subsections, such as debates of Congress, Congressional hearings, rules and precedents, and others.  The official documents are generally arranged chronologically or alphabetically, and the database also offers various searching options.  Some of the historically significant materials are particularly interesting to read, for example the notes from July 4, 1776, or from the early 1860’s.  Some of the more current documents may provide a user with valuable tools and insight into recently enacted laws or proposals.  The database is comprehensive, and provides access to documents spanning our country’s history and all the way through today.

To access the U.S. Congressional Documents, go to http://www.law.sc.edu/library/limited_access/ and select HeinOnline.

To read up on other HeinOnline digital collections, see our coverage of the Congress and the Courts collection, the History of Supreme Court Nominations collection, the Session Laws Library/State Statutes: A Historical Archive, the U.S. International Trade Library, the Children’s Law Journal, the Intellectual Property Law Collection, the State Attorney General Reports and Opinions, the American Indian Law Collection, the World Constitutions Illustrated collection, the Taxation and Economic Reform in America, Parts I and II collection, the U.S. Presidential LibraryEnglish Reports, the World Trials Library, the U.S. Supreme Court Library, the Federal Register Library, the Foreign & International Law Resources Database, the National Moot Court Competition collection, the American Law Institute Library, the History of Bankruptcy:  Taxation & Economic Reform in America Part III, the Statutes of the Realm collection, the Legal Classics Library, the History of International Law, the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library, Pentagon Papers, Treaties and Agreements Library, and Canada Supreme Court Reports/Revised Statutes of Canada.

South Carolina’s Legislative Process

In Legal Research, Analysis & Writing (LRAW) class this week we have been learning to locate relevant statutes in the South Carolina Code. To competently research a state’s statutes, one must first understand that state’s legislative process. The lawmaking process of the South Carolina General Assembly is detailed in  South Carolina’s Legislative Process booklet, published by the Clerk of the SC House of Representatives and available on the South Carolina Legislature website.

25 Game-Changing iPad Apps for Law Students & Lawyers

I try to keep informed on iPad apps for lawyers. However, there are so many apps proliferating the landscape it is hard to keep up. I received a suggestion from Helene Schmidt as a comment for the article, 25 Game-Changing iPad Apps for Law Students & Lawyers”, recently published at (http://www.onlinecollege.org/25-game-changing-ipad-apps-for-law-students-&-lawyers ). This is a good article and the apps there work well for law students as well as lawyers. A word of caution, most of the apps that I recommend are free, many of these apps are not free but are very useful.  Review this article and decide which ones are for you if you are an IPad owner and need legal apps for it. [Post-DEL]

Understanding Citations – Bluebook Videos

If you are long for guidance on Bluebook citations in a different format; try these videos. [http://www.elon.edu/e-web/law/library/bluebook-videos.xhtml] The videos introduce legal citation and are intended to help you construct citations in accordance with the rules set out in the nineteenth edition of  The Bluebook:  A Uniform System of Citation.  They are available courtesy of Elon School of Law Library. [DEL]

The SNAP (research) Challenge

This week, 16 law students and their friends are living on $4 a day, the budget of a food stamp recipient. Their goal is to raise awareness and better understand the challenges faced by people who depend on SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to help meet their basic needs. You can read more about the challenge and their experiences here and here.

This brings up a great research question–how might you go about researching a government program you’ve heard about in the news? What if you’d like more information on who is eligible for SNAP, what SNAP covers (or doesn’t cover), or statistics on the program?

One good place to start is with a secondary source. AmJur, CJS, & Federal Procedure, Lawyer’s Edition all have entries on various government programs. Here, try 79 Am. Jur. 2d Welfare § 27, 3 C.J.S. Agriculture § 36, and 17 Fed. Proc., L. Ed. § 42:812 for some background information on SNAP. Remember to keep your list of search terms broad–a keyword search for “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” on Westlaw or Lexis will bring back relevant results, but it’s not necessarily a term you’ll find if you’re looking in the index. You may need to think more broadly and look for terms like food stamps, welfare, or public welfare to find relevant entries. And don’t forget to check ResultsPlus on Westlaw or More Like This on Lexis to find additional relevant sources that might not have been retrieved through your keyword search.

Secondary sources are a great place to start because they give you cross references to other relevant information,  such as topics and key numbers for the West digests and cites to ALR entries, relevant cases, and statutory and administrative authority. Use these to expand your search into a state, federal, or regional West digest, or look up the cited statute or regulation. An annotated US Code, such as West’s U.S.C.A. or Lexis’s U.S.C.S. will give you additional research references, as well as decisions interpreting aspects of the statute. You can also run a KeyCite or Shepard’s report to find more analysis, including journals and law review articles. Here, look up 7 U.S.C.A. § 2011 or 7 C.F.R. § 271 to read more on SNAP and its administration.

Agency websites are also a great source of information. Having read a secondary source for some background, you likely know what administrative agency is administering the program you’re interested in, but if not, a quick Google search on the name of the program will usually bring back the agency’s website. Here, we’d go to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/.

Finally, don’t forget to check the library catalog. Try a keyword search on your topic to see what we have available. We’ve got lots of great books and links to electronic documents and government reports. Try this one from the Council of State Governments on issues and trends relating to SNAP, with a table comparing SNAP data by state.

These are just a few resources and suggestions to get you started– feel free to list your favorite resources in the comments.

LibGuides for Every Subject

There are so many law librarians out there making legal LibGuides on various areas of legal scholarship and research that I thought I should highlight several in blawg posts to show what is currently available.  Let’s start with legal writing and research. Drake University Law Library has a great one on legal writing that is for law students and practitioners, http://libguides.law.drake.edu/LegalWriting. Karen Wallace has accumulated a lot of information on legal writing materials with links to Westlaw databases and practitioner form sources. The book links are to Drake University Law Library but the materials are standard and the Library of Congress numbers will give you the area to look in your library if they do not have the resource cited. She also has several other guides to legal research books and methods.  

UCLA has a very good LibGuide, http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/researchandwritingguide, on legal research and writing. They also have one on writing a research paper that is very good, http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/researchpaper.   UCLA has also covered online legal research, http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/onlinelegalresearch.  Our own Terrye Conroy has one on free online legal resources,  http://guides.law.sc.edu/internetlegalresources. These are just examples. Go to Libguides http://libguides.com/community.php?m=i&ref=libguides.com and looking you area of interest or just Google your subject with LibGuides in the search. You will be amazed at what is available to save you a lot of time and work. [DEL]

Federal Rules eBooks

Following up on David’s prior post on iPad apps, I wanted to highlight an exciting new app. It comes from two of my favorite legal information organizations: CALI, the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (http://www.cali.org/) and the Legal Information Institute (http://www.law.cornell.edu/). Everyone loves the pocket copies of the Federal Rules printed by Lexis and Westlaw for carrying to class, but now you can take a copy of the Federal Rules with you wherever you go– CALI and LII have created eBook versions of the Federal Rules of Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and Civil Procedure.


There are both epub and mobi versions of the books, so they can be read on Nook, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, and any other device that supports the epub format. Best of all, they’re free (though a donation to LII is suggested). You can find and download them at http://elangdell.cali.org/content/federal-rules-ebooks-legal-information-institute.

Have a great Fall Break and Happy Outlining!