Category Archives: Law Library Resources

Fastcase on HeinOnline







In addition to its incredible collection of law reviews, congressional documents, and international materials, HeinOnline now offers case law via Fastcase.   You can also save and bookmark cases by creating a MyHein account, making access to favorite cases quick and easy. All HeinOnline content is available to Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law students on campus or remotely with your ASURITE.

Case law coverage in HeinOnline includes the judicial opinions of the Supreme Court (1754-present), Federal Circuits (1924-present), Board of Tax Appeals (vols. 1-47), Tax Court Memorandum Decisions (vols. 1-59), U.S. Customs Court (vols. 1-70), Board of Immigration Appeals (1996-present), Federal District Courts (1924-present), and Federal Bankruptcy Courts (1 B.R. 1-present). The state case law covers all fifty states, with nearly half of the states dating back to the 1800s. Coverage for the remaining states dates back to approximately 1950.

HeinOnline On the Go

Hein app

A new app is available for HeinOnline!  The app allows you to view the database’s image-based PDFs, access content by citation, browse by volume, navigate a volume with the electronic table of contents, and use full advanced searching techniques on an iPhone or iPad.  The app can be downloaded from iTunes. HeinOnline has also created a User’s Guide to maximize your use of the app.

Note on access:  ASU utilizes IP authentication for students, faculty, and staff access to HeinOnline, so in order to IP authenticate using this app, you must be on campus. After you IP authenticate via the app on campus, the authentication will be good for 30 days.  After 30 days you will need to once again authenticate on campus.

Library resources beyond WestlawNext/LexisAdvance/Bloomberg Law

We received a great student question recently: What can I do if I need something for work and I cannot access it on my academic Westlaw/Lexis/Bloomberg account due to use restrictions?

Answer: Each of the legal vendors imposes use restrictions on your academic account.  The restrictions vary, but generally limit use of your account to educational purposes related to law school coursework.  If you need to conduct research for work or for another purpose outside of your coursework, however, the library has a number of resources you can utilize without worrying about violating a license agreement:

WestlawNext Patron Access (accesisble on four public computer workstations in the library’s reading room)
WestlawNext Patron Access resources include state and federal primary law (cases, statutes, and regulations), select secondary resources including law review articles, and legal forms.  You can e-mail or download up to 20 documents from this online resource.

LexisNexis Academic (accessible on campus and remotely via ASURITE)
LexixNexis Academic provides access to state and federal primary law (cases, statutes, and regulations), select secondary resources including law review articles, news sources including newspapers, and business resources such as company directories and financial reports.

HeinOnline (accessible on campus and remotely via ASURITE)
HeinOnline provides full-text page-image (PDF) format access to law reviews and journals; historical volumes of federal documents like the Federal Register; classic legal texts from the 17th through early 20th centuries; U.S. treaties; Supreme Court cases as they appear in U.S. Reports; and Attorney General opinions. HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library offers access to pre-1980 legal-periodical scholarship that is not available on LexisNexis or Westlaw as well as recent articles.

BNA (accessible on campus and remotely via ASURITE)
BNA resources provide access to news, practice tools, and expert analysis for a broad range of legal practice areas including tax, labor & employment, intellectual property, banking & securities, trade, health care, environmental law, and family law.

West Study Aids Available Online to All College of Law Students

West Study Aids are available online to all Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law students. Gilbert Law Summaries, Concise Hornbooks, Nutshells, Sum & Substance Quick Reviews, Exam Pro Series, and others covering more than 350 areas of law are available

To access the online collection, go to

You will need to login to your Westlaw account to gain access to the collection. A link to the study aids is also available under the Services for Law Students section of the Law Library’s home page.  Accessing these books through your Westlaw account allows you to personalize use, including highlighting text, full text searching and creating a list of favorites.

So if your favorite study aid is checked out from the Law Library’s Study Skills Collection, no worries.  Just check to see if it is available on Westlaw.

What Summer Break?

While students and faculty are largely absent from campus over the summer, we at the Law Library are here all summer long!  That means we are available to help you with any research project you tackle this summer, whether it be for a job, externship, or professor.  You can contact a librarian via phone or e-mail if you are off campus, or come see us in person in the Reference Office (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm).  We want to support both your academic AND professional success, so please contact us this summer so we can help you ace your research projects and wow your employer!



Research tip #4: Capitalize on the knowledge of experts

Starting your research with secondary sources will save you a lot of time – instead of you spending hours first searching for the cases, statutes, and regulations relevant to your topic, and then toiling to decipher overarching legal principles from those laws, by cracking open a relevant secondary source you will often find citations to the core primary sources for your topic as well as clear explanations and expert analysis of the issue(s).  Which secondary source you choose will depend on your research needs.  To quickly learn about an unfamiliar area of law and get guidance from legal experts on your topic, we recommend practice materials.

What are practice materials?
Practice materials are publications written by legal practitioners for use by other practitioners.  They are often authored by attorneys who are experts in their field, and provide authoritative guidance on the practice of law in a specific area.  As their name implies, practice materials are very practical – they generally take a “brass tacks” approach to legal issues with a focus on real world legal problems.  Often these publications also include sample forms, checklists, and illustrations based on real cases.

Finding relevant practice materials
You can identify practice materials relevant to your topic by consulting the Ross-Blakley Law Library’s Arizona Practice Materials and General/Federal Practice Materials research guides for a listing of practice materials available through the Library.

You can also search the ASU Libraries Catalog for other practice materials.

To find sample forms, check out the Law Library’s research guides on Arizona Legal Forms and General/Federal Legal Forms and consider consulting one of the following multi-volume resources:

Research Tip #2: Stay current on your topic

It is important to keep abreast of changes in the legal world that pertain to your paper topic; statutes are amended, new cases are decided, and novel issues arise, all which can affect the validity of your research.  Below we have provided information on three legal news sources you can utilize to stay up-to-date on your topic, as well as linked to two research guides that detail other legal current awareness resources.

BNA reports
BNA is a subscription resource for legal and business news that provides daily reports as well as topical libraries that cover the full range of legal practice areas.  BNA content includes primary and secondary resources as well as company and market information; it is an excellent resource for information on current legislative, administrative, and judicial developments.  BNA resources are available through the Law Library’s website as well as on Bloomberg Law.  You can also receive BNA updates via e-mail.

Law 360 is also a continually updated subscription source for legal news, and is now available on Lexis Advance.  Content includes daily news across 37 practice areas, in-depth topical analysis by legal practitioners, and real-time tracking and reports on over 10,000 companies. You can set up alerts in Law360 and have information on developments in the area of law you are interested in delivered to you via email – Lexis offers an informational video on how to set up alerts in Law360.

News in WestlawNext
WestlawNext offers access to legal news through its News page, which contains information from newspapers, magazine, journals, television, and radio transcripts.  To have news content delivered to your e-mail simply set up an alert – Westlaw offers information on how to set up alerts in WestlawNext.

Current Awareness Tools Research Guide – Ross-Blakley Law Library, Arizona State University

Resources for Staying Current Research Guide – Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington

CALI: Like Having Your Own Tutor

CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, is a consortium of law schools that researches and develops computer-mediated legal instruction. The CALI Library of Lessons includes more than 800 lessons covering over 30 legal education subject areas. They are designed to augment traditional law school instruction, and are written by law faculty and librarians.

As an ASU Law Student you have access to hundreds of CALI lessons and tutorials.  Stop by the front desk of the Law Library for your free authorization code and register online at  We also have free CALI cds at the front desk.

You can also obtain a password here:  CALI Guide.  You will be asked for your ASUrite login and password.

Some lessons that might be useful for first year law students include:

Have fun with CALI!


The Socratic Method and You

“I cannot teach anybody anything.  I can only make them think.”
– Socrates

As a law student you have no doubt experienced the Socratic Method instructional model, which is based on the asking and answering of questions in class with the goal of stimulating critical thinking.  You can thank Christopher Columbus Landell for that, who as the Dean of Harvard Law School from 1870 to 1895 introduced this method to legal education.  Before Landell, legal instruction was based on the lecture model, in which students memorized material from an instructional textbook and were lectured on that material in class.

Many law professors now combine the Socratic Method with the Case Method, in which they question students about appellate-level court cases to help them explore the rules that can be derived from those cases.  While this instructional model has a fair number of critics, it is something that you will need to become comfortable with in law school.  Below are a few ideas from the Law School Academic Support Blog on turning the Socratic Method into a more positive experience:

1)      Recognize what questions the professor almost always asks about each case during class.  Think about the answers to those standard questions during your class preparation.

2)      Before class, consider the case from 360 degrees.  In addition to understanding the case deeply (its separate case brief parts and details), consider the case more broadly (how does it fit with the other cases read for that day and into the larger topic).

3)      When called on, think about the question asked and take a deep breath before answering.  Many mistakes are made because students blurt out something they immediately realize is wrong or answer a different question than actually asked.

4)      Remember that most people in class are not judging you when you are the student called on for Socratic Method.  About a third are relieved it was not them.  About a third are looking ahead frantically because they realize their turns are coming up.  About a third are busy taking notes and looking for the answers.

Be sure to also check out Cracking the Case Method: Legal Analysis for Law School Success or  1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School , both available in the Study Skills Collection of the Law Library, for more ideas on how to master the Socratic Method.