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Law Faculty Services: Research

The law library can be reached via chat, phone, email, or in person.

In-Depth Research

The law librarians are expert researchers and are happy to look for material you might need for a research project, discuss approaches and ideas for finding information on particular topics, or help you develop your own search strategies or identify good places to look. Please contact anyone staffing the Reference Desk or your particular faculty liaison with your questions.

We can assist with complex research projects in addition to answering some quicker questions (see the bottom of the page for examples of answers we've tracked down). Here are a few of the more complex questions we've researched for faculty:

  • Locating early state statutes granting executive powers to non-executive branch officials, as well as court cases from the late 18th and early 19th centuries interpreting these statutes in light of separation of powers concerns
  • Help with a strategy for obtaining class action settlement agreements from various state courts around the country in which the court authorizes an attorney fee award
  • Finding and obtaining New York Administrative Law Judge decisions on Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) cases and evaluating journals for article placement on this subject
  • Obtaining a group of unpublished immigration court and Bureau of Immigration Appeals decisions determining whether asylum is granted, even if certain identifying information needs to be redacted
  • Compiling nineteenth- and twentieth-century municipal ordinances on cross-dressing, "impersonation," and other matters relating to dress and gender
  • Finding information on the number of federal prosecutions brought under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
  • Examining the history of the term “violent extremism” as used in government and other publications

The Research Commons

University Libraries has created the Research Commons, a space on campus open only to faculty and graduate students, where you can schedule a consultation with experts from the Copyright Resources Center, Data Management, the Knowledge Bank, the Libraries Publishing Program, the Office of Research (including funding experts and the Office of Responsible Research Practices), and others on campus. The Research Commons also offers conference and project rooms, data visualization rooms, and classroom and colloquia space equipped with innovative technology to facilitate your scholarly endeavors.

Help with Database Access

If you have trouble with your Bloomberg, Westlaw, or Lexis database access, contact Susan Azyndar,

Keeping Current

We understand that it is often critical that you know the latest developments in your field. To help you stay current, we can assist you in the following ways:

  • E-Routing - The law library subscribes to hundreds of journals in print and online. We can help you subscribe to updates if you'd like to start receiving emails with links to articles in particular journals or on particular subjects.
  • SmartCILP - The law library also subscribes to SmartCILP, a tool that sends you a weekly email identifying articles published on the topics of your choosing. Contact Stephanie Ziegler ( if you'd like to get set up with SmartCILP.
  • Alerts - Looking for the latest developments on a case, by a judge, or in the news? We can help identify the best search to save to Westlaw, Bloomberg, Lexis, and other databases to get the information you need sent to you on the schedule of your choosing. We can also help you set up citation alerts to know as quickly as possible when your work as been cited.

Please contact your faculty liaison to discuss the best way we can help you keep current. If you'd like assistance managing the variety of emails, feeds, and other alerts you receive, please let us know.

Search the Library Catalogs

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Ordering Books

The law library welcomes suggestions of books to purchase for our collection, particularly if they will assist in your scholarship and teaching. The books will become part of the law library collection, and they can be checked out to you on request.

If you'd like a personal copy of a book, we are happy to purchase those for you as well; such purchases will be made from your research budget and will be delivered to you on arrival at the law library.

Please send book order requests to your faculty liaison.

Research Assistants

We provide a training session for all research assistants (RA) at the start of the summer. An email announcement is sent to all faculty with details about this session if you'd like your RA to attend.

We are also happy to meet one-on-one with RAs and provide more specialized training, or you are welcome to direct them to us for their specific questions. They are welcome to contact anyone staffing the Reference Desk or your particular faculty liaison.

You may authorize your RAs to check out books on your books on your behalf (and take advantage of your longer lending period). To do so, contact Kaylie Vermillion ( and provide the name(s) of your RA(s).

Research Guides

The law library has created and maintains a series of research guides on a variety of topics. The guides may be useful to you as a starting point for your research, or you may consider referring your students or RAs to these.

Research Databases

The law library subscribes to dozens of research databases, which you can access on and off campus. The databases include legal content, historical collections, multi-disciplinary journal articles, and a wide range of topics including gender studies, business, and science. You can access all of these databases, and those the University Libraries subscribe to, here.

Quick Questions from Faculty

We answer a wide variety of queries from faculty---some are complex projects while others are simply hard-to-find answers. If you are curious about the kinds of things the law librarians can research for you, here is a sampling of some questions we've addressed in the past:

  • What is the status of a proposed amendment to Wisconsin statute 813.22?
  • How searchable are America's leading newspapers from the 1820s?
  • What was the weather like May 21, 1873, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada?
  • Please send me recent articles (from the past ten years) that describe use of the business school case method in law schools.
  • Did James Madison record any of his views on getting "gerrymandered" while running for the Congress in Virginia?