Research and Reference Resources to Support Your Journal Ambitions

At the end of the semester, you will have the opportunity to take a marathon write-on exam to test your Bluebook and writing skills under challenging conditions. The reward could be a staff position on Law Journal for Social JusticeJurimetricsSports and Entertainment Law JournalCorporate and Business Law Journalor the Arizona State Law Journal

Working on a journal is a great educational experience, giving you the opportunity to work with professional legal and policy arguments by law professors and legal practitioners while honing Bluebook skills. And it can help employers appreciate your resume.

So, how can you boost your chances of getting on Journal? The Law Library has resources to give you a leg up.

At the end of a rush of oral arguments, final briefs, and four final exams, you may all be welcoming the opportunity to wave goodbye to 1L. But, our First Year Legal Writing Guide provides many great resources to help you prepare for the written portion of your exam. So, just think of the All-Journal Write-on exam as your last act as a 1L. Resources for brushing up on memo writing will be critical, because this time you have only hours, not weeks, to polish a solid piece of legal writing. 

We recommend Legal Method and Writing by Professors Charles Calleros and Kimberly Holst. This resource is particularly useful for refining your logical demonstrations of why the law applied to your facts would create a particular outcome. Examples & Explanations: Legal Writing, which retired Professor Judy Stinson co-authored, helps you demystify the process and write fast, clear, efficient CREACs (or IRACs or CRuPACs). One of the big challenges will be organization: this will help you craft a logical, coherent, modular argument that marshals unfamiliar resources quickly. You can find this E&E on the Aspen study aids website. Professor Stinson’s own The Tao of Legal Writing provides a framework for achieving your full potential as a legal writer—and most importantly for write-on purposes, an efficient strategy for outlining and writing your response that will leave you plenty of time for revising and polishing to help you stand out to the journals.

You will also face a test of your citation acumen, and we have you covered there, too. Our Legal Writing library guide can help you navigate the Bluebook in the Legal Citation section, which features books and online resources that provide examples and explanations of the rules. Speaking of that, Examples & Explanations: Legal Research can help you brush up on the principles of citation in its appendices, so that you can better understand why we cite the way we do and begin to make complex citation decisions second nature. We recommend Understanding and Mastering the Bluebook to help you make sense of some complicated rules in the white pages of the Bluebook, which are the main focus of law journals but not first-year writing courses. 

The Interactive Citation Workstation on Lexis will put your skills to the test in advance of the write-on. The Bluebook can be notoriously finicky, so the instant feedback and machine precision that the workstation provides can help you get accustomed to the cite checking life. By clicking on the different topics, you can practice forming citation sentences, and the program will check to ensure compliance with standards for italics, small capitals, spacing, and abbreviation, and it can help you practice citing to unfamiliar sources such as administrative regulations, legislative histories, and law journals.

Finally, our Journal Cite Checking Research Guide will help you with one of the tasks most dear to the hearts of librarians—finding older or obscure resources in print or online. We have resources in place to help you do your research for cite checking, from interlibrary loan, to digital book repositories, to research databases, to government archives. And when you get stumped, our reference librarians are here to help.

Feel free to Meet with a Librarian; we can help you walk through complicated citation problems and get you started on research for your note or comment. 

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Talk the Talk: Law Library Resources Enhance Oral Advocacy

Lawyers and librarians alike have a way with words, spending much of their time with books and internet databases, reading, researching, and writing. But we also must step up and let our voices be heard. Whether law students are undergoing the first year rite of passage of delivering oral arguments in their finest legal attire or honing their presentations for a moot court championship, the librarians can help budding public speakers maximize their persuasiveness.

Students preparing for the Legal Advocacy argument should check out the Law Library’s First Year Legal Writing page. This research guide points to useful resources for modeling and enhancing oral arguments. Our print study skills collection includes the updated classic Little Book on Oral Argument, which can help students nervous about public speaking channel their energy into a powerful oratorical performance. Other resources include commentary from legal communication experts and a late U.S. Supreme Court justice.

We point you to resources such as an online treatise titled Art of Advocacy—Appeals, which provides tips on presenting and engaging and persuasive case, with full length, annotated examples of effective oral arguments from which students can draw lessons about tone, style, and structure. It also helps prepare students preparing for a career in litigation for what to expect in navigating judicial procedures at courthouses.

The library also provides links to archives that enable students to observe real world court proceedings across the country, including in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Arizona Court of Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Arizona. Students may learn from the examples of the professionals, and get a sense of how quickly the judges will begin peppering them with questions.

The library’s Advanced Legal Writing: Persuasion guide includes further resources to help orators prepare persuasive presentations. Books include discussions of cognitive science as the basis for recommending certain persuasive techniques, and provide concrete examples of effective rhetorical tools to employ in writing as well as oral argument.

For critiques of your oral argument’s content and technique, contact your professor or teaching assistant. And for more guidance on library resources, feel free to Meet with a Librarian.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Know Your Future Boss: Law Library Offers One-on-One Help in Job Hunt

Advances in technology aren’t just making our jobs as attorneys easier. They’re making it easier to land a job in the first place.

The Ross-Blakley Law Library’s research experts know the tools that can be the difference maker when employers decide who will get a callback.

Our Law Employment Research guide gathers materials to help you decide what job you want, develop networking connections, and get information on law firms, judges, and other potential employers.

Even more helpful in landing a job are the one-on-one appointments we offer to all students looking for a job. Click here to make an appointment! We can help you use new and old research tools, from cutting edge Litigation Analytics software to simple examinations of firm websites and blogs.

The information you gather can help you decide which experiences to emphasize in your resume and cover letter to maximize your chances, and it can even help you choose which writing sample you have that will be most appealing to particular employers.

Career Services can assist in constructing effective resumes and cover letters, as well as interview prep. But before you reach that stage, consider a brief, 15 minute meeting with a law librarian to make sure you know all you need to know about your potential future boss before you apply,

Trust Us, Our Antitrust Guide Will Make Your Research Competitive

Antitrust law is the body of federal and state rules designed to prevent unfairness and promote competition in the business sphere.

The Ross Blakley Law Library’s Antitrust guide is designed to help students, researchers, and practitioners make sense of and make use of these rules.

The Primary Sources tab gathers resources that contain all the federal statutes, cases, and regulations researchers will need, including the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Federal Trade Center’s rules. The Arizona Antitrust Law tab gathers state law resources and multistate resources that help identify the distinctions of Arizona law.

The Secondary Sources tab provides important treatises and reference works for practitioners, including resources explaining the intricacies of antitrust law as well as the field of economics in general. For students, the guide includes the latest study aids, including a brand new entry in the revered Examples & Explanations series. We also provide key journals an guidance on using legislative history to make arguments about the construction of statutes.

Along with resources gathering news, commentary, and interdisciplinary research databases, the resources introduced above make our new Antitrust Research Guide an essential early step in the research or study process.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

May It Please Your Prof: The Law Library Can Help You Develop Your Persuasive Skills

Legal research is not a one size fits all process. Different tasks require different strategies, different databases, different secondary sources. Few assignments will be as jarringly different as the first semester objective memo and second semester persuasive brief in Legal Advocacy class.

The Law Library is here to help. Our JD holding reference librarians have all been through the transition from dispassionate legal analysis to loyal, tenacious persuasion. If you make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian, we can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that can befall all research and find all you need to state your best case in court.

We can critique your research trail. Looking over your research and refining your strategies and search terms can make sure you can find your opponent’s best case to defuse it before it’s thrown at you.

We can also point to secondary sources that will be helpful for your particular assignment. Objective treatises and encyclopedias can help you grasp the law in the beginning. Practice guides can help you make sure you’re fully representing your client’s interests. And persuasive law review articles that can inspire you to construct your own arguments for why the law should be interpreted in favor of your client.

The librarians can also suggest texts and treatises that can build the writing skills necessary to craft a compelling brief. See our First Year Legal Writing and Persuasive Legal Writing research guides to get a jump start on honing your craft. The guides discuss everything from effective organization of your document, to choosing the best words to change a judge’s mind.

And our assistance doesn’t end with the four corners of your document, because we can help make sure your oral argument pleases your professor. We have a number of guides from the experts on how to craft compelling presentations for your judges, and how to field their questions to advance your client’s interests. We also have tips for calming and channeling the nervous energy that comes from facing a panel of decision makers in your best suit. To improve your skills, few things are more effective than watching the experts, so you should also check out our our compilation of links to oral argument recordings from the Ninth Circuit, Arizona Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court.

Finally, even with the experience of Bluebooking your first objective memos behind you, citation can be tricky. We are more than happy to field questions about your citation sentences; just Ask a Law Librarian.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

The Law Library Can Help You Shine for On Campus and Virtual Interviews

Law students send resumes far and wide with the hope of landing their dream placement. During On Campus Interviews, or OCI, you won’t have to venture far, or maybe you’re interviewing via Zoom or similar software. The Law Library can help you highlight the knowledge and skills that will help you stand out from the crowd.

The Library’s reference librarians are happy to meet with job seekers to help you research firms and other employers. We can help you identify cases that attorneys have argued to assemble talking points, find judges’ past decisions, and gather details such as the types of cases that law firms tend to handle most frequently. This can help you keep a steady rapport with your interviewers when they ask you what you’d like to know about the placement.

We can also help you identify ways to stay up to date on developments in your field. Reading through blogs and other legal news, as well as engaging with expert commentary, are ways you can highlight your mastery of and dedication to your particular field during interviews and networking events. We can help you set alerts on your favorite research databases so you can be sure that you’ll have the latest information when you need it.

In addition, we can introduce you to tools of the legal trade, including materials in the library collection that practitioners frequently consult. Online practice guides and document templates can help you impress interviewers, and then produce professional work efficiently. We have experience using specialized tools and research databases for particular practice areas, which can give you a leg up over competitors with more baseline research skills.

Furthermore, our Law Employment Research Guide assembles tools job seekers can use to tailor your resumes and cover letters and to prepare for interviews. Books from the library’s collection provide focused advice on landing particular jobs and thriving in the legal profession. Legal news websites can help you stay current. We have focused advice on researching law firms, with websites and litigation analytics tools that provide data on employers.

The guide also has advice if you are seeking a clerkship. It lists texts and blogs that provide tips on standing out, as well as resources on finding job openings and reading up on judges’ work. Finally, within the Professional Development topic, we introduce networking opportunities, such as specialized legal associations in Arizona as well as student organizations at ASU. The law librarians have firsthand experience navigating the legal employment landscape, and the skills and experience that can help you land your dream job during OCI. Meet with a Librarian to get an edge before you button up your best interview suit.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Research certifications keep you in business during winter lulls

Bloomberg Law, a research platform best known for its extensive collection of court dockets and for integrating business and legal research, has a new certification program. This program, along with similar offerings–Westlaw’s Knowledge Center and Lexis Learn—provides opportunities to hone your research skills and stand out to employers. They’re perfect for downtime during winter break.

Bloomberg’s training program gives students guidance on research fundamentals including primary and secondary sources. Other subjects include legal ethics, litigation practice, transactional practice, and subject specific lessons on tax research. Likewise, Westlaw provides basic and advanced legal research along with litigation and transactional training. Lexis Learn delves into constructing keyword searches, the basics of case and statutory research, and drafting legal documents.

Bloomberg’s new BLAW Skills Center contains more than just the certification program, with recorded webinars on legal research and career preparation. It provides checklists on handling a legal research assignment from beginning to end, along with a handy flowchart of the research and writing process. How-to guides help readers unlock the full potential of Bloomberg’s search tools, including dockets, EDGAR (a collection of filings the Securities and Exchange Commission uses), and litigation analytics.

All of these skills will be invaluable to law students making their early forays into externships or associateships in the legal profession. Moreover, all three platforms’ training programs require minimal commitment. They’re free with your academic login, and students can complete prerecorded video lessons and quizzes at their own pace.

For more guidance on advanced legal research, researching businesses, and preparing to enter the legal job market, Meet with a Law Librarian!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

New Titles in the Law Library Collection – Indigenous Peoples

In January the Indian Legal Program (ILP) at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and the American Bar Association (ABA) are hosting the Intersection of Tribal Rights with Environmental, Energy and Resources Development Conference. The conference will focus on natural resource development, water quality and water rights, clean energy and climate change resiliency, and international best practices. The Law Library’s Indian Law collection has a number of books relevant to the subjects that will be explored at the conference – we have highlighted two new titles in this collection below.

A Nation Within: Navajo Land and Economic Development (Ezra Rosser, 2021)
In A Nation Within, Ezra Rosser explores the connection between land-use patterns and development in the Navajo Nation. Roughly the size of Ireland or West Virginia, the Navajo reservation has seen successive waves of natural resource-based development over the last century: grazing and over-grazing, oil and gas, uranium, and coal; yet Navajos continue to suffer from high levels of unemployment and poverty. Rosser shows the connection between the exploitation of these resources and the growth of the tribal government before turning to contemporary land use and development challenges. He argues that, in addition to the political challenges associated with any significant change, external pressures and internal corruption have made it difficult for the tribe to implement land reforms that could help provide space for economic development that would benefit the Navajo Nation and Navajo tribal members.

Indigenous Peoples, Consent and Rights: Troubling Subjects (Stephen Young, 2021)
Analyzing how Indigenous Peoples come to be identifiable as bearers of human rights, this book considers how individuals and communities claim the right of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) as Indigenous peoples. According to international human rights discourse, ‘Indigenous peoples’ have the capacity to claim ‘free, prior and informed consent’ (FPIC) to influence and control decisions that concern First Nation Peoples. The book argues that the subject status of Indigenous peoples emerged out of international law in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Then, through a series of case studies, it considers how self-identifying Indigenous peoples, scholars, UN institutions and non-government organizations (NGOs) dispersed that subject-status and associated rights discourse through international and national legal contexts. It shows that those who claim international human rights as Indigenous peoples performatively become identifiable subjects of international law – but further demonstrates that this does not, however, provide them with control over, or emancipation from, a state-based legal system.

Sean Harrington, Electronic Resources Librarian

The Law Library Can Help with Homework on Employers

No matter how glorious your resume or how many glowing recommendations you collect, you have to know a lot about a job opportunity to let a potential employer know that you are the right person for the position. Success in the legal job market, as in law school, takes a lot of homework.

And we at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are here to help! Our Law Employment Research Guide compiles resources to help you get tabs on law firms, land a clerkship with a judge, or just build essential lawyering skills such as networking and compiling contacts.

The Researching Law Firms tab gathers resources to help you get a feel for how your potential employer operates, and how you can set yourself up to be its most appealing interviewee. Litigation analytics tools give you insight into practice areas, specialties, biographical details about attorneys. Legal news resources can help you brush up to keep the conversation flowing. Books give you background information on legal employment opportunities, and advice on your application materials and interviewing strategies. Online resources provide general career tips, and other online tools help you get a more complete picture of the life and culture of a law firm before you try to dive in.

The Clerkship Interviews tab features litigation analytics on judges, their histories of motions, and the practice areas in which they tend to work. Books and legal news will help you connect with your judge on a human and intellectual level, and advice on finding your judge’s opinions will help you get more personal. Online resources help you find openings and land your clerkship.

Finally, the Professional Development tab includes resources to help you build the skills to be a more effective attorney, and to be a better-known job candidate. Networking opportunities resources will help you connect with different facets of the legal community to build a higher profile that can translate into job opportunities. Books will help with the transition from law school to legal practice, keeping yourself happy and balanced as you meet the challenges of life as an attorney.

Make an appointment with a Law Librarian so we can give you some pointers on research tools to uncover the information you will need to wow your future employers in cover letters and interviews. Career Services will also be an invaluable resource for career information and assistance with developing professionally. Good luck on all your interviews to come!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

New Titles in the Law Library Collection – Animal Law

The descendants of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s four captive hippos have made their way to the Magdalena River and now number nearly 100 animals, becoming a major problem for Colombian officials. A Colombian court case, in which the Community of Hippopotamuses Living in the Magdalena River is the plaintiff, is considering officials’ plans for the hippos. An American animal organization asked a U.S. federal court in Ohio to allow the attorney for the hippos to gather expert testimony in the U.S. – the court granted the request, and in doing so, recognized the hippos as legal persons, a first in the U.S. You can read more about this case via Bloomberg Law News, and if you are interested in animal law issues like this, you should check also out the two new titles in the Law Library collection described below!

Animals in International Law by Anne Peters (2021)
Anne Peters is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, as well as the director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. In her book Animals in International Law, Peters takes a global perspective, identifying and analyzing the top international laws and treaties addressing animals, as well as those regarding international trade law and laws of armed conflict, in terms of their impacts on animals. Ultimately finding that the current body of international law creates more harm than good for animals, Peters proposes new legal strategies for ensuring animals are protected.

The Future of Animal Law by David S. Favre (2021)
David S. Favre is a professor at Michigan State University College of Law and founding officer of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. His forward-looking book The Future of Animal Law focuses on the legal rights of animals in the future, with an eye towards how to think about obtaining legal rights. While briefly recounting the historical path that has led to the current animal rights framework, the book centers on dogs as companion animals that are the most likely vehicle for increased protections, with the ultimate goal of creating a legal framework that views animals as more than property and recognizes their feelings and needs. The book looks at laws of the U.S., as well as those of other countries, and includes model language for new laws and suggested legal reforms.

Dan Kimmons, Reference Librarian