Summer ELR Courses: Registration Opens April 3rd!

Summer 2017 ELR Schedule

It’s almost that time-to register for the law library’s awesome summer Excellence in Legal Research Program classes!

Registration will open via Blackboard on Monday, April 3rd at 9:00am.

Here’s what we’re offering:

EL 12: Special Topic: Law Practice Technology & Legal Ethics (Dell):  Monday, May 22nd, from 1:00-3:00pm

EL 5: Practice and Litigation Materials (Baker):  Tuesday, June 6th from 2:30-4:30pm

RE 4: Case Finding Tools (Drake):  Monday, June 26th from 2:30-4:30pm

RE 3: Federal Administrative Materials (Drake):  Tuesday, July 25th from 3:00-5:00pm

If you’re going to be around Lubbock this summer, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get a jump start on the program or make some major progress.  Need to know what classes you still need to complete the program?  Be on the lookout for an email from Alyson Drake, the Director of the Excellence in the Legal Research Program, with your progress report before the end of March.  Want to register for the program?  Email Alyson at

The fall schedule will be released this summer.

Black History Month Display

In honor of Black History Month, the Law Library has featured a display of prominent black attorneys and judges in the United States. The display will be up in the Collaborative Commons through the month of February. Take a moment to stop by and peruse the posters and biographies of people who helped pave the way for equality and racial freedoms in the United States.

display-picture-2The display includes prominent figures such as:

  1. Thurgood Marshall – The first African-American justice of the Supreme Court
  1. Fred Gray – Attorney who defended both Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks
  1. Constance Baker Motley – The first female African-American federal judge in 1966
  1. George Washington Williams – A pastor, attorney, legislator, and the first African-American to serve in the Ohio House of Representatives
  1. Wade H. McCree – The first African American appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the second African-American Solicitor General in the history of the United States
  1. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. – The youngest and first African American to ever serve on a federal regulatory commission—the Federal Trade Commission.
  1. Charles Hamilton Houston – Dean of the Howard University School of Law where he had direct influence on nearly one-quarter of all the black lawyers in the United States—including former student Thurgood Marshall
  1. Charlotte E. Ray – The first Black American female lawyer in the United States
  1. Eleanor Holmes Norton – Lawyer who specialized in freedom of speech cases, and represented women’s rights to be reporters at Newsweek in 1970.
  1. Donald L. Hollowell – A civil rights champion who helped defended Dr. King and hundreds of civil rights activists in the historic civil rights campaign in Georgia

display-picture-4      display-picture-3

Library Student Services: Spring 2017

As always, the library is offering many services for TTU law students this spring.  Please take advantage of any or all of these, and stop by any time you need any research-related help!

  1. Excellence in Legal Research Program:  Our award-winning ELR program is always open for registration.  Follow our Facebook page or Twitter page for reminders of upcoming classes so you are not one of those new hires that has your boss bemoaning your lack of research skills.  Go here for the full spring ELR schedule.
  2. Scholarly research help:  Last semester, we wanted to make big strides in helping students with their scholarly writing endeavors.  If you’re writing a seminar paper this semester or just trying to finish up your student note, contact Alyson Drake to set up an appointment.  We met with more than 40 seminar and/or journal students last semester to help with selecting research topics, conducting efficient and authoritative legal research, organizing the structure of papers, and perfecting those Bluebook sessions–and many of those students reported getting A’s on their seminar papers!  For additional scholarly research help, stop by one of the Scribes Student Writing Group events (the first one is next Thursday, January 26th on help with topic selection).
  3. Citation assistance and journal resources help: If you’re checking sources for law review or a specialty journal and are having trouble locating materials cited, please stop by Prof. Drake’s office or stop by the Circulation Desk between 8:00am and 5:00pm and ask for the librarian on call.  We can also help you figure out those weird Bluebook citations.
  4. Research help: Are you participating in one of TTU Law’s clinic this semester?  Are you working part time for a law firm?  If you get stuck researching an issue, don’t spin your wheels!  See the on-call librarian or email us at
  5. Topical research presentations: Are you the president of one of TTU Law’s many student groups?  We’re happy to set up a presentation on resources relevant to your group.  Last spring, we did topical presentations on health law, business & bankruptcy, and family law resources for TTU student groups.  Contact Prof. Drake if you’d like to set up a presentation for your group

Don’t hesitate to contact us if there’s anything you need.  The library is here to help!

Spring ELR Schedule

Now is the time to sign up for Excellence in Legal Research classes to show your employers that you have the practical skills necessary to succeed in the practice of law! Registration opens on Friday, 11/11, at 9:00am. Please see our program website for more information on the program requirements.

If you’re interested in signing up for ELR classes, please contact Alyson Drake (, the Director of the Excellence in Legal Research Program, so she can register you for the program in Blackboard.  Once you are registered for the program, follow our registration guidelines to sign up for individual classes.  If a class is full, it will no longer show up on the registration page, but you can be added to the wait-list by contacting Alyson.

Here’s our spring course list:


We hope to see many of you in ELR classes this spring!

Library Halloween Festivities

happy-halloweenThis year, the Law Library has several events going on to celebrate Halloween and let the students and faculty de-stress.

We are starting the festivities off with our week-long Halloween Monster Coloring Contest. Students can color pages starting Monday, Oct. 24th until Monday, October 31st at noon for prizes. Students have the chance to win by showcasing their artistic talents by coloring Halloween monster and pumpkin pages available in the Library Commons area on the first floor. Turn your entries in to the Circulation Desk.  Judging will take place on Monday, Oct. 31st at 12:30pm and the winners will be announced. Winners will get either a Starbucks gift card so they can get their own Pumpkin Spice Latte, or an iTunes gift card so they can download the ultimate Monster Mash playlist.halloween-photo

We’ll also have Trick-or-Treating deep in the bowels of the library. If you dare, peruse through the librarians’ offices and the rest of the library workspace for tricks, er… I mean, treats! This delicious candy walk will be available right after the law school’s Costume Contest winners are announced on October 31st.

Secondary Sources Research Guide

Secondary sources are the first resource that students should look at when they begin researching a new issue.  Secondary sources will save student researchers time and help lead them to the most important primary resources on their topic.

Here are a few helpful tips for getting started with secondary source research:

  1. When in doubt, start with a legal encyclopedia.  They will give you a broad overview of the law without going into all the intricacies that can be overwhelming when you’re just starting your research.
  2. When possible, use a secondary source that’s specific to the jurisdiction in which your case is being heard.  The law discussed will be directly applicable to your case and the primary sources cited to will be from your jurisdiction.  For example, try using Texas Jurisprudence (the legal encyclopedia for Texas) if you are researching a Texas state law issue.
  3. Not sure what secondary sources to use or how to locate them in Westlaw or Lexis?  Check out our Secondary Sources research guide for screenshots of where to locate each type of secondary source in your favorite electronic database.  It includes a page for each of the key secondary sources: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Treatises, Journals, ALRs, Restatements, & Practice Aids & Forms.
  4. Ask a librarian where resources might be particularly helpful.  We’re here 8:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday to help you with all your researching needs.


Scholarly Research Resources

Are you researching and writing a journal comment or a scholarly research paper for a seminar course or independent study?  The library has many resources to help you succeed!

For one-on-one assistance, contact Instructional & Student Services Librarian Alyson Drake to set up an appointment to talk research strategies specific to your research topic.  We can also talk paper organization, academic paper Bluebooking, and publication strategies when the time comes.

If you prefer a group setting, join the Scribes Student Writing Group on Wed., September 7th from 2:00-3:30pm in the Collaborative Commons to talk about the writing process, outlining, and the parts of the comment or seminar paper.  The students at the first meeting, covering topic selection, reported that it was a helpful experience.

To get information on topic selection, preemption checks, and the scholarly research process, check out our newest research guide, Scholarly Research Resources.  It has many useful tips for writing a strong paper or comment.