Featured

Legal Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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The UCLA School of Law Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library has compiled a timely guide (https://libguides.law.ucla.edu/coronavirus) to help locate legal responses to COVID-19.  According to the guide, “many units of government at all levels (federal, state, and local) have issued, and continue to issue, legal responses to the coronavirus epidemic, and some states have laws pre-dating the epidemic but that have become more relevant, such as quarantine statutes and requirements for paid sick leave.  This [sic] goal of this guide is to provide links to primary sources and high-quality summaries to these.”

2 UCLA

The federal materials provided in the guide include links to items published by various federal agencies as well as Public Laws about COVID-19.  While the major focus of the guide is on federal and California resources, there are sections dedicated to other state and local jurisdictions.

There is also a useful section that provides links to “Other Resources” that users might find educational.

3 UCLA

Among the Other Useful Resources is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Kit from LexisAdvance and the COVID-19 Workforce Virtual Toolkit from the HHS.

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For assistance with locating further information on COVID-19, please contact the Law Library Reference Desk between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday via email or phone.

Email:  reference.law@ttu.edu

Phone:  806-742-7155

 

Apply this weekend for Law Library Student Assistant Jobs

The Law School is hiring 2Ls and 3Ls for the Fall Semester for:

Circulation Assistant:

  • This position is the primary contact for patrons in the evenings and on weekends. Duties include assisting patrons in finding library materials, checking library materials in and out, shelving library materials, and collection maintenance.

Research Assistant:

  • This position assists with providing information and research support for the law library. The research assistant position is under the supervision of a librarian, and the average workload is 10-20 hours/week. Duties and responsibilities include conducting research, creating Law Library marketing materials, and drafting blog posts. Other responsibilities vary depending on the supervising librarian.

Applications will be accepted through April 18th and can be found by going to https://www.depts.ttu.edu/law/lawlibrary/about/jobs.php.

For more information, please email circulation.law@ttu.edu. To apply: Return completed application, resume, and cover letter to circulation.law@ttu.edu

March 2021 Law Faculty Publications & News

Throughout the month of March, the Law Library received alerts for full-time TTU Law Faculty publications and news. Below is a compilation of those daily alerts for March 1st to March 31st, 2021.

Articles, Essays, and Reviews

1. Gerry W. Beyer, ed., Keeping Current—Probate, Prob. & Prop., Mar./Apr. 2021, at 32.

2. 13, 14, & 15, Gerry W. Beyer, West’s Texas Forms – Real Property (2nd ed. 2021 Supp.).

3. Cathrine Martin Christopher, Error Correction Mechanisms for Transactional Script Smart Contracts, 69 U. Kan. L. Rev. 493 (2021).

4. Richard W. Murphy, Four Opinions on Access to the Courts from the Supreme Court’s 2019-20 Term, 46-WTR Admin & Reg. L. News 22 (2021).

Op-Eds

1. Prof Loewy, It’s Debatable: Are ERCOT power companies liable in aftermath of a storm, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (March 7, 2021; 4:26a) https://www.lubbockonline.com/story/opinion/2021/03/07/its-debatable-ercot-and-texas-power-companies-criminally-liable/4581435001/  

Citations

1. Prof. Murphy’s book Tax Havens: How Globalization Really Works is cited in the following article: Rifat Azam, Online Taxation Post Wayfair, 51 N.M. L. Rev. 116 (2021).

2. Prof. Murphy’s book Administrative Law & Practice is cited in the following article: Shalev Roisman, Presidential Law, 105 Minn. L. Rev. 1269 (2021).

3. Prof. Myhra’s article The Pharmacist’s Duty to Warn in Texas is cited in the following article: Tanya E. Karwaki, Establishing A Patient-Pharmacist Relationship: Clarifying Duties and Improving Patient Care, 72 Baylor L. Rev. 507 (2020).

4. Prof. Loewy’s article Distinguishing Speech from Conduct is cited in the following article: R. George Wright, A Variable Number of Cheers for Viewpoint-Based Regulations of Speech, 96 Notre Dame L. Rev. Reflection 82 (2021).

5. Prof. Beyer’s book Real Estate Transactions is cited in the following article: Maureen E. Brady, Turning Neighbors into Nuisances, 135 Harv. L. Rev. 1610 (2021).

6. Prof. Casto’s article The Origins of Federal Admiralty Jurisdiction in an Age of Privateers, Smugglers, and Pirates is cited in the following article: Steven R. Wilf, Joseph’s Story’s Republics In A Minor Key: Dark Times And The Astonishing Relevance of Kent Newmyer, 52 Conn. L. Rev. 1281 (2021).

7. Prof. Camp’s article What Good is the National Taxpayer Advocate? is cited in the following article: Danshera Wetherington Cords, Nina E. Olson: A Legislative Legacy, 18 Pitt. Tax Rev. 139 (2020).

8. Prof. Camp’s article Tax Administration as Inquisitorial Process and the Partial Paradigm Shift in the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 is cited in the following article: Joshua D. Blank & Leigh Osofsky, Automated Legal Guidance, 106 Cornell L. Rev. 179 (2020).

9. Prof. Murphy’s article The Evolution of Law and Policy for CIA Targeted Killing is cited in the following article: Jason Hodge, The Legal Challenges in Using Targeted Killing to Fight the War on Terror, 7 Homeland & Nat’l Security L. Rev. 48 (2021).

10. Prof. Murphy’s article Public Participation without a Public: The Challenger for Administrative Policymaking is cited in the following article: Michael Sant’Ambrogio & Glen Staszewski, Democratizing Rule Development, 98 Wash U. L. Rev. 793 (2021).

11. Prof. Casto’s article The Supreme Court in the Early Republic: The Chief Justiceships of John Jay and Oliver Ellsworth is cited in the following article: D.A. Jeremy Telman, John Marshall’s Constitution: Methodological Pluralism and Second-Order Ipse Dixit in Constitutional Adjudication, 24 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1151 (2020).

12. Prof. Gonzalez’s article A Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow: An Economic Incentives-Based Approach to OSHA Whistleblowing is cited in the following article: Tyler L. Jones, Two For Flinching: The Duplicative Litigation of Railroad Whistleblower Claims, 47 Transp. L. J. 1 (2020).

13. Prof. Camp’s article Form Over Substance in Fifth Circuit Tax Cases is cited in the following article: Nathalie Martin & Lydia Pizzonia, Shadow Credit and the Devolution of Consumer Credit Regulation, 24 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1439 (2020).

14. Prof. Rosen’s article America’s Professional Military Ethic and the Treatment of Captured Enemy Combatants in the Global War on Terror is cited in the following article: Francis Grimal & Michael J. Pollard, The Duty to Take Precautions in Hostilities, and the Disobeying Of Orders: Should Robots Refuse? 44 Fordham Int’l L.J. 671 (2021).

15. Prof. Murphy’s book Federal Practice and Procedure is cited in the following article: Ellen S. Podgor, The Dichotomy Between Overcriminalization and Underregulation, 70 Am. U. L. Rev. 1061 (2021).

16. Prof. Christopher’s article Normalizing Struggle is cited in the following article: Megan Bess, Grit, Growth Mindset, and the Path to Successful Lawyering, 89 UMKC L. Rev. 493 (2021).

17. Prof. Huffman & Prof. Rosen’s book Military Law: Criminal Justice & Administrative Process is cited in the following article: James M. Brennan, Incident to Service: The Feres Doctrine and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 81 A.F. L. Rev. 240 (2020).

18. Prof. Murphy’s article Arbitrariness Review Made Reasonable: Structural and Conceptual Reform of the “Hard Look” is cited in the following article: Nikol Oydanich, Chief Justice Roberts’s Hard Look Review, 89 Fordham L. Rev. 1635 (2021).

19. Prof. Spain’s article Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Poor: Is It an Alternative? is cited in the following article: Tom Lininger, Judges’ Ethical Duties to Ensure Fair Treatment of Indigent Parties, 89 Fordham L. Rev. 1237 (2021).

20. Prof. Chiappinelli’s article The Myth of Director Consent: After Shaffer, Beyond Nicastro is cited in the following article: Megan Wishmeier Shaner, Privately Ordered Fiduciaries, 28 George Mason L. Rev. 1 (2020).

Quotes

1.  Prof. Camp is quoted in the following article: Why S Corporation Payments Are Almost Always Wages, 2021 Law360 89-96, (March 30, 2021; 4:49p), available at https://www.law360.com/articles/1369984/why-s-corporation-payments-are-almost-always-wages

News

1. Prof. Gerry W. Beyer was unanimously reelected to a three-year term as a Regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Council (ACTEC) on March 2, 2021. ACTEC is a nonprofit association of over 2,500 lawyers and law professors skilled and experienced in the preparation of wills and trusts; estate planning; and probate procedure and administration of trusts and estates of decedents, minors and incompetents. ACTEC is governed by 39 Fellows who serve on its Board of Regents.

2. On March 5, 2021, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer presented a webinar for the American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education organization titled What Estate Planners Need to Know about Community Property.

3. On March 4, 2021, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer spoke for DC Bar Communities. His presentation and accompanying article were titled Cyber Estate Planning and Administration. He was asked to speak on this topic because DC recently enacted the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act effective on February 12, 2021.

4. On March 23, 2021, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer was the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the Estate Planning Council of Central Texas. Presenting via Zoom to approximately 100 professionals from the Austin and Waco area, Prof. Beyer’s topic was Anticipating Will Contests and How to Avoid Them. His article with the same title was distributed to the attendees.

5. Prof. Gerry W. Beyer spoke at the Spring Judicial Education Session on March 26, 2021, sponsored by the Texas Association of Counties. Prof. Beyer spoke about determination of heirships and intestate property distribution to an audience of over 100 Texas Constitutional County Court judges.

February 2021 Law Faculty Publications & News

Throughout the month of February, the Law Library received alerts for full-time TTU Law Faculty publications and news. Below is a compilation of those daily alerts for February 1st to February 28th, 2021.

Articles, Essays, and Reviews

1. 12, 12A, & 12B, Gerry W. Beyer, West’s Texas Forms – Administration of Decedents’ Estates and Guardianships (4th ed. 2020-21 Supp.).

2. Gerry W. Beyer, Potpourri, 59-1 Real Est., Prob., & Tr. L. Rep., at 4 (2021).

3. Gerry W. Beyer, Intestacy, Wills, Estate Administration, and Trusts Update, 59-1 Real Est., Prob., & Tr. L. Rep., at 5 (2021).

4. Gerry W. Beyer, An Estate Planner’s Guide to Specific Testamentary Gifts, 59-1 Real Est., Prob., & Tr. L. Rep, at 41 (2021).

5. Arnold H. Loewy, The Strange Case of Timothy Hennis: How Should It Be Resolved, 53 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 1 (2020).

Op-Eds

1. Prof Loewy, It’s Debatable: Have Social Media Giants Violated Trump’s Free Speech Rights? Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (February 7, 2021; 4:39a) https://www.lubbockonline.com/story/opinion/2021/02/07/should-former-president-trump-held-accountable-virus-deaths/4393058001/

2. Prof Loewy, It’s Debatable: Should Trump Be Held Accountable for COVID Deaths?, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (February 21, 2021; 3:47a) https://www.lubbockonline.com/story/opinion/2021/02/21/its-debatable-social-media-giants-and-censorship-former-president/6769798002/

Citations

1. Prof. Murphy’s article Abandon Chevron and Modernize Stare Decisis for the Administrative State is cited in the following article: Kristen E. Hickman & Aaron L. Nielson, Narrowing Chevron’s Domain, 70 Duke L.J. 931 (2021).

2. Prof. Murphy’s article Punitive Damages, Explanatory Verdict, and the Hard Look is cited in § 8:8 of Federal Jury Practice And Instructions (February 2021 Update).

3. Prof. Casto’s article The Supreme Court in the Early Republic: The Chief Justiceships of John Jay and Oliver Ellsworth is cited in the following article: Aziz Z. Huq, Why Judicial Independence Fails, 115 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1055 (2021).

4. Prof. Beyer’s article Videotape and the Probate Process: The Nexus Grows is cited in the following article: Anna C. Borea, The Videotaped Will: How the Connecticut Probate Court System Could Benefit From Legislation Validating a Video-Recorded Will, 34 Quinnipiac Prob. L.J. 78 (2020).

5. Prof. Camp’s article The Failure of Adversarial Process in the Administrative State is cited in § 2:13 of the Administrative Law And Practice (February 2021 Update).

6. Prof. Beyer’s article Electronic Wills: What Estate Planners Need to Know is cited in the following article: Naman Anand & Dikshi Arora, Where There Is A Will, There Is No Way: COVID 19 And A Case For the Recognition of E-Wills In India and Other Common Law Jurisdictions, 27 ILSA J Int’l & Comp L 77 (2020).

7. Prof. Henry’s article Chapter 11 Zombies, is cited in the following article: Stephen J. Lubben, Fairness and Flexibility: Understanding Corporate Bankruptcy’s Arc, 23 U. Pa. J. Bus. L. 132 (2020).

8. Prof. Henry’s article Paying-To-Play in Chapter 11 is cited in the following article: Robert W. Miller, A Comprehensive Framework for Conflict Preemption in Federal Insolvency Proceedings, 123 W. Va. L. Rev. 423(2020).

9. Prof. Brie Sherwin’s article The Upside Down: A New Reality for Science at the EPA and Its Impact on Environmental Justice is cited in the following article: Molly Soloway, Measuring Environmental Justice: Analysis of Progress under Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump, 51 ELR 10038 (2021).

10. Prof. Casto’s article The Erie Doctrine and the Structure of Constitutional Revolutions is cited in the following article: Adam B. Sopko, Swift Removal, 13 Fed. Cts. L. Rev. 1 (2021).

11. Prof. Murphy’s article Judicial Deference, Agency Commitment, and Force of Law is cited in the following article: Kristin E. Hickman & David Hahn, Categorizing Chevron, 81 Ohio St. L. J. 611 (2020).

12. Prof. Murphy’s article Abandon Chevron and Modernize Stare Decisis for the Administrative State is cited in the following article: Kristin E. Hickman & David Hahn, Categorizing Chevron, 81 Ohio St. L. J. 611 (2020).

13. Prof. Murphy’s article The Limits of Legislative Control over the “Hard-Look” is cited in the following article: Bret Baker, Prometheus: Giving Life to Formal Retrospective Review through “Thin Rationality” Judicial Review, 81 Ohio St. L. J. 723 (2020).

14. Prof. Robert Sherwin’s article Evidence? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Evidence!: How Ambiguity in Some States’ Anti-SLAPP Laws Threatens to De-Fang a Popular and Powerful Weapon Against Frivolous Litigation is cited in the following article: Caroline Mala Corbin, The Unconstitutionality of Government Propaganda, 81 Ohio St. L. J. 815 (2020).

15. Prof. Camp’s article Dual Construction of RICO: The Road Not Taken in Reves is cited in the following article: Max Steinberg, Arbitrating with the Mafia: Why Civil RICO Statutes are Improperly Used and How Class Action Arbitration May Provide Just Compensation for Forgotten Victims, 22 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 97 (2020).

16. Prof. Black’s article Comparing Genuine and Simulated Suicide Notes: A New Perspective is cited in the following article: Jana J. Haikal, Suicide in the Evidentiary Spotlight: An Analysis of the Trustworthiness of Suicide Notes under the Federal Residual Exception, 62 B.C. L. Rev. 235 (2021).

17. Prof. Brie Sherwin’s article The Upside Down: A New Reality for Science at the EPA and Its Impact on Environmental Justice is cited in the following article: Mark Fenster, Populism and Transparency: The Political Core of an Administrative Norm, 89 U. Cin. L. Rev. 286 (2021).

18. Prof. Spain’s article The Opportunities and Challenges of Providing Equal Access to Justice in Rural Communities is cited in the following article: Maybell Romero, Rural Spaces, Communities of Color, and the Progressive Prosecutor, 110 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 803 2020).

19. Prof. Shannon’s article Incompetency to Be Executed: Continuing Ethical Challenges & Time for a Change in Texas is cited in the following article: Farid Seyyedi, When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With McCoy Defendants, 11 St. Mary’s J. Legal Mal. & Ethics 144 (2020).

20. Prof. Benham’s article Texas Courts: A Survey is cited in the following article: Daniel G. Esquivel, Punishing the Victim: Model Rule 1.16(A)(2) And Its Relation To Lawyers with Anxiety, Depression, and Bipolar Disorder, 11 St. Mary’s J. Legal Mal. & Ethics 108 (2020).

21. Prof. Brie Sherwin’s article After the Storm: The Importance of Acknowledging Environmental Justice in Sustainable Development and Disaster Preparedness is cited in the following article: Noah M. Sachs, Toxic Floodwaters: Strengthening the Chemical Safety Regime for the Climate Change Era, 46 Colum. J. Envtl. L. 73 (2020).

22. Prof. Brie Sherwin’s article Pride and Prejudice and Administrative Zombies: How Economic Woes, Outdated Environmental Regulations, and State Exceptionalism Failed Flint, Michigan is cited in the following article: Rose Mooney, We Still Have Lessons to Learn from Woburn, and Flint is a Good Place To Start, 96 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1319 (2021).

23. Prof. Casto’s article The Federal Courts’ Protective Jurisdiction over Torts Committed in Violation of the Law of Nations is cited in the following article: Gabe Cahn, Is the U.S. Government Violating the Safe Conducts of Noncitizens? How A Turn To Strict Originalism Could Revitalize The Alien Tort Statute, 42 Cardozo L. Rev. 389 (2020).

24. Prof. Watts’ article To Tell the Truth: A Qui Tam Action for Perjury in a Civil Proceeding is Necessary to Protect the Integrity of the Civil Judicial System is cited in the following article: Michael D. Moberly, Can A Nightingale Sing? Assessing The Need for a Nurse-Patient Privilege, 17 J. Heal & Biomedical L. 1 (2020).

25. Prof. Loewy’s article Distinguishing Speech from Conduct is cited in the following article: Mark P. Strasser, Those Are Fighting Words, Aren’t They? On Adding Injury to Insult, 71 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 249 (2020).

26. Prof. Murphy’s book Administrative Law and Practice is cited in the following article: John Patrick Hunt, Bankruptcy as Consumer Protection: The Case of Student Loans, 52 Ariz. St. L. J. 1167 (2020).

News

1.  On January 29, 2021, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer spoke at the 50th Anniversary of the Estate Planning Forum sponsored by the Sacramento Estate Planning Council. Prof. Beyer presented two of his papers: Cyber Estate Planning and Administration and Unusual Will Provisions and Enforcement Issues to an audience of approximately 125 Zoom attendees.

2. Prof. Gerry W. Beyer presented a virtual CLE program for the Tarrant County Probate Bar Association on February 4, 2021 to an audience of over 150 attorneys. His presentation and accompanying article were titled Case Law Update: Intestacy, Wills, Probate, and Trusts.

3. On February 18, 2021, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer was the in-person guest speaker at the February meeting of the South Plains Trust & Estate Council in Lubbock. His presentation and accompanying article were titled What Do You Desire? Will Bequests—A Person’s Last Chance to Be Creative.

4. On February 28, 2021, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer was the guest speaker for the Treasure Coast Exotic Bird Club based in Florida. His presentation and accompanying article were titled What If Your Parrot Outlives You? Preparing for Your Parrot’s Future.

5. On February 26, 2021, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer was a speaker at the 13th Annual Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal CLE & Expo. His presentation and accompanying article were titled Case Law Update: Intestacy, Wills, Probate, and Trusts.

March 2021 New Books

In March 2021, the Law Library added the following new titles to the collection to support the research and curricular needs of our faculty and students.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

1. Erik Nielson and Andrea L. Dennis, Rap on Trial:  Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America (2019).

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, GENERALLY

2. Kimberly K. Smith, The Conservation Constitution:  The Conservation Movement and Constitutional Change, 1870-1930 (2019).

CONTRACTS

3. Ben L. Fernandez, Drafting & Revising Contracts:  An Introduction to Drafting in Plain English and Revising Complex Form Documents (2019).

EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE

4. Paul Douglas Foote, James R. Harrington, and John McCaskill Jr., The Perils of Posting:  Court Cases on Off-Duty Social Media Conduct of Public Employees (2020).

FIRST AMENDMENT

5. Nathan C. Walker, First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers’ Religious Garb:  Analyzing the Historic Origins of Contemporary Legal Challenges in the United States (2020).

HEALTH LAW AND POLICY

6. Mary Ziegler, Abortion and the Law in America:  Roe v. Wade to the Present (2020).

IMMIGRATION LAW

7. J.C. Salyer, Court of Injustice:  Law Without Recognition in U.S. Immigration (2020).

JUDGES

8. John C. Domino, Texas Supreme Court Justice Bob Gammage:  A Jurisprudence of Rights and Liberties (2020).

LEGAL ANALYSIS AND WRITING

9. Cassandra L. Hill, D’Andra Millsap Shu, and Katherine T. Vukadin, The Legal Memo:  50 Exercises for Mastery:  Practice for the New Legal Writer (2021).

10. Melissa Shultz and Christine Tamer, Writing by Numbers:  Legal Writing Made Easy (2020).

11. Kevin Bennardo, Thinking and Writing About Law (2021).

LEGAL HISTORY

12. Sara Mayeux, Free Justice:  A History of the Public Defender in Twentieth-Century America (2020).

OIL, GAS, AND MINERAL LAW

13. Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Landmarks of a Century in Oil and Gas Law:  Twenty Cases that Shaped Texas Oil and Gas Jurisprudence (2017).

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

14. Lucy Endel Bassli, The Simple Guide to Legal Innovation:  Basics Every Lawyer Should Know (2020).

15. Jean L. Batman, Of Counsel:  Forms and Advice for Legal Practitioners (2019).

16. Conrad Saam, Own the Map:  Marketing Your Law Firm’s Address Online (2020).

17. Aaron Street, et.al., The Small Firm Roadmap:  A Survival Guide to the Future of Your Law Practice (2019).

PRESIDENT/EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

18. Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash, The Living Presidency:  An Originalist Argument Against Its Ever-Expanding Powers (2020).

RACE AND ETHNICITY

19. Lawrence Goldstone, On Account of Race:  The Supreme Court, White Supremacy, and the Ravaging of African American Voting Rights (2020).

20. Natsu Taylor Saito, Settler Colonialism, Race, and the Law:  Why Structural Racism Persists (2020).

SPACE LAW

21. Neta Palkovitz, Regulating a Revolution:  Small Satellites and the Law of Outer Space (2020).

TORTS

22. Robert Bilott, Exposure:  Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle Against Dupont (2019).

WATER LAW

23. Makane Moise Mbengue and Rukmini Das, Use of Experts in International Freshwater Disputes:  A Critical Assessment (2019).

24. Farhana Sultana and Alex Loftus, eds., Water Politics:  Governance, Justice, and the Right to Water (2020).

25. Catherine Banet, ed., The Law of the Seabed:  Access, Uses, and Protection of Seabed Resources (2020).

26. Salman M. A. Salman, Notification Concerning Planned Measures on Shared Watercourses:  Synergies Between the Watercourses Convention and the World Bank Policies and Practice (2019).

All of these books are available from the Law Library.  If you would like to check out any of these titles, please contact the circulation desk at either 806-742-3957 or circulation.law@ttu.edu.  Library staff will be able to assist in locating and checking out any of these items.

Scholarly Research and Writing: getting started is the hardest part

Guest Author: Gabrielle Bechyne

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

Scholarly legal research is not an easy task. Whether you are writing for a law school journal, an advanced writing course, a CLE, or a legal magazine, the process is likely going to be largely the same.. All writing endeavors begin at the same place: research. Especially in today’s digital age, information (and misinformation) is so easy come by, and it comes and goes more quickly than ever. On top of the speed at which information comes and goes, it is even harder to hold a potential reader’s attention for longer than the length of a TikTok video.

Well, the process doesn’t have to be so daunting. And whether or not your work gets read, gets published, or gets an “A” does not mean that the legal research process has been a waste of your time. As up-and-coming legal scholars, all of our most valuable skills come together and are strengthened throughout the legal research process. Below you will find some resources and tips for getting started and staying organized throughout your writing project.

Choose a topic that interests you. If you are going to spend the amount of time and energy that scholarly legal research requires, try to choose a topic that you get excited about. This is the step where spending extra time can go a long way—you will thank yourself later if every time you sit down to research or write you don’t fall asleep or feel like throwing your laptop out of the window. This is also the step where you get to be as creative as you want to be when it comes to research. Some good places to get topic ideas include blogs, news outlets, or tracking current legislation.

Secondary Sources—use them! Secondary sources are the quickest way to find relevant cases, statutes, and regulations on point. Examples of secondary sources include: scholarly articles, treatises, and legal encyclopedias. If you are writing a student comment or a paper for a writing course, do a quick search for other articles written on something close to your topic. I like to think of secondary sources as letting someone else do the background research for me. When you research secondary sources, you are checking a lot of boxes off of your scholarly research to-do list:

  • Preemption check
  • Background research on your topic
  • Quickly locating primary authority on your topic

Wow! Did you know you were being so productive, just by locating some articles and skimming O’Connor’s? However, don’t stop there. It’s important to stay organized while you do this!

Staying organized. Lastly, the importance of organizing your research can’t be stressed enough. Just as it is important to do good legal research, it is important to keep track of your research so that you do not unnecessarily repeat work. Utilizing folders on Westlaw and Lexis is a good way to stay organized. If you like hard copies, print out your research and create a research binder. For more information, visit our scholarly research guide https://libguides.law.ttu.edu/scholarlyresearch

If you get stuck, feel free to reach out to your friendly neighborhood law librarians!

Email:  reference.law@ttu.edu
Phone:  806-742-7155
Chat: Use the “Ask a Librarian” chat feature on the Law Library’s Homepage.