University of Maryland College of Information Studies
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Spring 2003

Roberta I. Shaffer, MLn, JD
Course Instructor
Office: 4111H Hornbake
Tele: 301-405-1260
Office Hours: Tuesday, 4 to 5 p.m. and by appointment

Required Texts and Readings
Talking Points


This course will introduce students to legal information from the perspective of:

· Its historical roots;
· American research process;
· Development of products, tools and services for legal research;
· Specific research requirements for specific applications within specific legal settings;
· Particular attributes of users of legal information
· Non-law resources and their role within the legal research process
· Ethical and legal considerations in the creation, distribution, access to, and use of legal information

The course will not focus on providing students with legal research skills per se, but students will use legal materials directly and actively during the course, and should begin to appreciate the peculiar characteristics of legal research, and legal materials and their proper citation.

The course is oriented towards students who wish to pursue a career in the information professions in which knowledge of legal research and resources will have some importance. It will not be assumed that every student will choose a career as a law librarian, although career opportunities in law librarianship will be discussed.

There are no specific pre- or co-requisites for the course. However, it is expected that students have a basic understanding of user behavior, government documents, the legislative process, and general reference and research practices within the information professions. Prior experience with or education in law, public policy or paralegal studies will be useful, but will not be duplicative with the topics covered in this course.


The course goals are derived from the Subject Competencies identified for Law Librarians and approved by the American Association of Law Libraries (1988) [ and] to enable students to:

· Locate pertinent materials of both a law and law-related nature, and recognize their importance and relevance to the issue at hand;
· Comprehend the relationships among branches and levels of governance in terms of both the substance and procedural aspects of law;
· Acquire a thorough understanding of the processes by which law is created and applied to a given problem or situation;
· Possess some knowledge of the legal professions and the public to appropriately address the legal information needs of the population being served;
· Develop a working vocabulary of legal terminology, and a facility with legal citation and abbreviations;
· Gain knowledge of the literature of the law in its various formats; and
· Use and disseminate information in ways that are both ethical and legal, and in keeping with generally accepted professional standards and practices.


Note: The topics indicated below will roughly coincide with class sessions. Dates are provided as a guideline, but may not be adhered to strictly. Students are encouraged to read materials as assigned in order to balance their workload.

Jan. 28 Course Introduction
Structure of the American Legal System
Readings: Friedman, A History of American Law, pgs. 17 – 27 and pgs. 621 – 632
(Wasserman Reserve) and Nutshell, pgs. 1-- 18

Feb. 04 Structure of the American Sources of the Law
The Settings of Legal Research and Use of Sources
Readings: Dragich and Shuldberz articles (Wasserman Reserve) and Nutshell, pgs. 19 - 43

Feb. 11 The Sources of the Law
Readings: Nutshell, pgs. 44 – 167; 206 – 242; 243 – 262

Feb. 18 Legislative History
Readings: Nutshell, pgs. 168 -- 205 and Gebbia-Penett and Schank articles
(Wasserman Reserve)
Additional Readings to be distributed in class by guest lecturer
Charlotte White, [retired] Legislative Historian, Covington & Burling

Feb. 25 The Process of Legal Research
Readings: Nutshell, pgs. 263 – 298 and Berring articles-- On Not Throwing Out the Baby and Legal Information and the Search…(Wasserman Reserve)

Mar. 04 Online Legal Research: Westlaw/KeyCite
Readings: Anzalone, KeyCite Research Guide & McClaren, Westlaw Research Guide and Dabney article (Wasserman Reserve)

Mar. 11 Online Legal Research: Lexis/Nexis/Shepard’s
Readings: Readings TBA and distributed in class

NOTE: Class on both Mar. 4th and Mar. 11th may take place in downtown Washington at the offices of the two vendors. They are both near metro stops.

Mar. 18 Legal Citation
Characteristics of Legal Information and Users
Readings: Bouchoux, Cite-Checker: A Hands-On Guide to Learning…
pgs. 1 – 91 skim only (Wasserman Reserve)
Odgen, Hibbitts, and Schauer & Wise articles (Wasserman Reserve)

Note: Final Exam will be distributed in class/Due May 13th

Mar. 25 SPRING BREAK—No class
Readings: Please be up to date on all previously listed readings by April 1st.

Apr. 01 Tour: Law Library of the Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave., SE/Meet at kiosk near entrance
Madison Building, 2nd Fl.
Metro: Capitol South

Apr. 08 Tour: Bureau of National Affairs
1231 25th St., NW
Meet in front of building
Metro: Foggy Bottom

Apr. 15 Tour: Law Firms/Downtown Washington
Metro: Metro Center

Apr. 22 Tour: Howard University School of Law Library
2929 Van Ness St., NW/Meet at inside entrance to the
Mercer Law Library at bottom of stairway.
Metro: Van Ness

All tour dates and locations listed above are tentative.
Tour of the United States Supreme Court Library--TBA
Due to security regulations must occur during normal
business hours

Apr. 29 Student Project Presentations

May 06 Student Project Presentations

May 13 Review of Final Exam
Course Wrap-up


Note: A detailed description of each assignment may be found at the end of this syllabus


Tour Reports (20%) April 29th
Student Projects (20%) April 22nd (topic approval by Mar. 18th)
Final Exam (20%) May 13th
Personal Legal Glossary (20%) May 13th
Law in the News (7%--7 articles) Weekly Feb. 4th through Mar. 18th
Class Participation (13%) Ongoing


· All assignments and requirements must be submitted as indicated on the date that they are due. Students who anticipate that they will not be able to submit an assignment on the due date and in the format required, must contact the instructor before the class due date. A penalty will be imposed by any improper or late submissions as follows: 5 points for one day late, and then 50% credit thereafter up to one week. Assignments will not be accepted seven days after they are due. A student will not be eligible to get credit for the class unless all of the assignments have been submitted by the end of the semester;
· All work must be presented in any entirely professional way, and be free of any grammatical, typographical or citation errors or inconsistencies;
· All work submitted must be the original and independent work product of the student’s, unless the instructor has indicated a different expectation;
· All discussions must be open, and opinions must be clearly stated as such;
· Any statement of fact must be verifiable to a recognized source;
· Full respect and attention shall be given to colleagues’ ideas and comments;
· Every member of a team must contribute and participate to the full benefit of the team;
· Students must be flexible in their approach to learning and be open to learning opportunities;
· Students must be willing to have fun, maintain a sense of humor, and be able to laugh at themselves.


Anzalone, KeyCite Research Guide (West Group, 2000). To be distributed in class.*

Berring, “Legal Information and The Search for Cognitive Authority,” 88 California Law Rev. 1673 (2000). (Wasserman Reserve)

Berring, “On Not Throwing Out the Baby: Planning the Future…,” 83 California Law Rev. 615 (1995). (Wasserman Reserve)

Bouchoux, Cite-Checker: A Hands-On Guide to Learning Citation Form (West/Thomson Learning, 2001). On Wasserman Reserve.

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (The Harvard Law Review et al, 17th ed.) May be purchased at Maryland Book Exchange or most bookstores.

Cohen and Olson, Legal Research in a Nutshell (West Group, 2000). To be distributed in class.*

Dabney, “The Curse of Thamus: An Analysis…,” 78 Law Library J. 5 (1986). On Wasserman Reserve.

Dragich, “Will the Federal Courts of Appeals Perish If They Publish,” 44 The American Univ. Law Rev. 757 (1995). On Wasserman Reserve.

Friedman, A History of American Law (Simon & Schuster, 1985). On Wasserman Reserve.

Gebbia-Penetti, “Statutory Interpretation, Democratic Legitimacy…,” 21 Seton Hall Legis. J. 233 (1997). On Wasserman Reserve.

Hibbitts, “Last Writes? Reassessing the Law Review…” 71 NYU Law Rev. 615 (1996).
On Wasserman Reserve.

McClaren, Westlaw Research Guide (West Group, 2001). To be distributed in class.*

Ogden, “Mastering the Lawless Science of our Law…” 85 Law Library Journal 1 (1993). On Wasserman Reserve.

Schank, “An Eassy on the Role of Legislative Histories…,” 80 Law Library J. 391 (1988). On Wasserman Reserve.

Schauer and Wise,“Nonlegal Information and the Delegalization of Law,” 29 J. of Legal Studies 495 (2000). On Wasserman Reserve.

Shuldberz, “Digital Influence: Technology and Unpublished Opinions…,” 85 California Law Rev. 541 (1997). On Wasserman Reserve.

Students are strongly urged to purchase a pocket-style law dictionary. These are available at most bookstores and through web booksellers.

Note: During the course of the semester various articles and other materials will be distributed during class. It is expected that students will treat these as required readings for the course, unless some other expectation is stated.

* Indicates that the materials were generously donated by the publisher. This also includes free access to the WESTLAW database.


Berring and Edinger, Finding the Law (West Group, 1999).

Berring and Edinger, Legal Research Survival Manual (West Group, 2002).

Garner, Black’s Law Dictionary (West Group, 2nd pocket ed, 2001).

Kunz, Schmedemann, Downs and Bateson, The Process of Legal Research (Aspen Law & Business, 4th ed., 1996).

McKinney. Legal Research: A Practical Guide and Self-Instructional Workbook (West Group, 3rd ed, 2001) and Woods, Computer-Assisted Legal Research Problem Set (West Group, 3rd ed, 2001) Note: Woods is a companion text to McKinney.


Roberta I. Shaffer, Instructor
Spring 2003


Students are expected to participate in all the scheduled tours and submit a report on the tour sites. The report is due on April 29th in class, but may be submitted electronically before the beginning of class. Reports should be word processed and double-spaced. The entire report should not exceed four (4) pages. You may address each site separately, or compare and contrast them. The tour report should cover the following points but your additional commentary is encouraged.

· Who are the clientele/users of the library?
· Do these users present any unique or specific research needs? How does the library and staff address these needs in terms of services, collection, staff expertise, and physical layout?
· Were there any particular issues that the tour leader addressed, which intrigued, concerned or challenged you?
· Would you consider employment at this site? Give your reason(s) for your affirmative or negative response.


Students may work on a project independently or in teams of two. Choose a topic of substantive law; a pressing legal issues that has a strong legal information component; a technological application relating to law or legal research; a “hot topic” relating to legal research, legal publication, information public policy or the like. Submit this topic for instructor’s approval before the beginning of class on March 18th. Please feel free to consult with the instructor before the 18th for topic ideas or assistance in refining your topic.

You will then write a research paper that addresses the topic in a way that demonstrates your understanding of the legal research process, the tools thereof, and any particular strengths or weakness in the information per se or the formats in which information on the topic is collected, accessed and distributed to its intended clientele(s).

Your paper should not exceed twelve (12) pages of double-spaced word-processed text. Any citation to legal materials should conform to the rules set forth in A Uniform System of Citation (17th ed.). The project’s report is due in class on April 22nd, but may be submitted electronically before the beginning of class. Project papers will be placed on Wasserman reserve by Wednesday, April 23rd . These are required reading. Students will make 10 to 15 minute oral project presentations to the class in class on April 29th and May 6th. In addition, the class and the instructor will be afforded 5 to 10 minutes per presentation for questions/comments.


The final exam will present you with a series of basic legal research questions that you will be required to answer. Your answers must conform to the rules set forth in A Uniform System of Citation (17th ed.). You must also outline the approach you took to do the research and the steps you took to arrive at your answer(s).

The exam is due in class on May 13th, but will be distributed in class on March 18th. Students may work in teams and may enlist the assistance of anyone who has expertise in legal research. However, any teamwork or assistance must be noted with the answers to the questions. The instructor will make herself available at selected area law libraries to assist students, as well. We will discuss our answers and research process during class on May 13th.


During the course of the semester, students should come across unfamiliar terms or words used in the context of law, and should begin to maintain a personal legal glossary of these terms and words. It is expected that any unfamiliar word or term or its usage in a legal context will be verified through use of a dictionary, thesaurus, directory, or other legal research tool, by way of class discussion, or through conversation with the instructor. These words and terms should be defined in a way that the student will best understand them (in the student’s own words) and captured in the glossary.

The Personal Legal Glossary is due in class on May 13th with words and terms presented in alphabetical order, word processed, and single-spaced entries. The length of the glossary will be entirely dependent upon the student’s knowledge coming into the class, and the depth of knowledge that the student desires upon completing the course.


Every day the popular media is filled with news stories that are directly about the law or have some significant legal aspect to them. Beginning with our class on Feb. 4th and up to and including our class on Mar.18th, students should identify a law or law-related article to bring to class each week and discuss. Each student is responsible for a total of seven (7) article submissions. It is not necessary to provide any written analysis or personal commentary about the articles. Be sure to include your name on the article and a full citation to the source.

As you find materials in the media, consider their topics/issues as possible areas for your class project. You may also use this assignment as an opportunity to begin to collect background materials on the topic that you have chosen.


Everyone in the class has something to contribute, which is drawn from where they have been or where they are going within the information profession. Those who are new to legal research will bring their fresh perspectives and experiences using materials in other disciplines. Those who have already done legal research can share their impressions and war stories.

It is important that we all participate, but we should be sure that we do not loose sight of the fact that participation includes being a good listener and reactor, as well as expressing our own ideas. Class participation is an excellent vehicle for peer-to-peer learning, which is one of the defining characteristics of the graduate school experience.

Class participation is particularly valuable in bring salient points from readings into the classroom lectures and discussions, or in presenting areas in the readings, the tours and the assignments that are not clear to the student. There will be ample opportunity for active participation in the “law in the news” discussions in class and in the Q&A during the project presentations.

Caveat: If a student has any question about an assignment’s purpose, parameters, or proper approach to problem solving, the student should seek clarification and guidance from the instructor directly. Office hours, meeting by appointment, email, the telephone, and pre- and post-class offer a number of options.

Access to Legal Information Talking Points

Roberta I. Shaffer
College of Information Studies/The College with Connections
University of Maryland—College Park
Office: Hornbake South Wing 4111h
Tele: 301-405-1260

Two major legal systems in world today: Civil and Common Law

Common Law—derived from England with triangular origins in Property, Contract & Torts. Came to US colonies, but amended greatly even from early pre-republic years do to different cultural climate in US—business and territorial expansion

HOWEVER, look at how many states have legal roots that are not in Common Law: 15 from Louisiana Purchase (La, Ak, Mo, Iw, ND, Tx, SD, NM, Nb, Ks, Wy, Mn, Ok, Co, and Mt), add Spanish colonies: Florida, Calif, and Az. Consider Dutch in NY, French in Maine, religious influence on laws of MD, Ut, Pa, and Ma.

Unique features:

· Follow precedent/Stare Decisis
· Judicial Review (the only key balancer not in Constitution)
· 2 legal jurisdictions with parallel authority: States and Federal Government
· Look at legal problem from perspective of legal SUBSTANCE and legal PROCEDURE. Are of equal value.
· Custom called “common law” is “memorialized” and built (Dragich uses Coral Reef analogy) through case law


· Transaction
· Litigation
· Advocacy
· Judicial
· Legislative
· Academic


· Judicial
· Scholarly
· Practice & Process
· Adversarial
· Legislative
· Academic (the unique nature of the casebook)


· Primary/Mandatory
· Secondary/Persuasive
· Finding Tools or Practice Guides (no authority/not cited)

· VIP in US law is also concept of COGNITIVE AUTHORITY

PRIMARY/MANDATORY AUTHORITY (can use primary authority to locate other primary authority through citators)

· Constitutions
· Statutes (official & annotated)
· Cases (official/nominative & commercial/value-added)
· Administrative Rules & Regulations (official & looseleaf )
· Ordinances and local codes (official)

SECONDARY/PERSUASIVE AUTHORITY (Collective or Critical—Use these sources to locate primary authority)

· Treatises
· Law Reviews
· Hornbooks
· Restatements
· Official [Government] Reports, Statistics, Maps, Election Results…
· Primary Sources of other “peer” jurisdiction
· Uniform Laws and Model Codes

Secondary Authority for Limited Purposes:

· Legal Encyclopedias
· American Law Reports

FINDING TOOLS & PRACTICE GUIDES (no authority/not cited)

· Digests (Century/Decennial/General, Regional, Jurisdictional, and Subject)
· Citation & Abbreviation Guides
· Citators (Shepards & KeyCite)
· Legal Dictionaries, Legal Thesauri & Legal Maxims (The big Bs)
· Words & Phrases
· Legal Periodical Indexes
· Looseleaf Services
· Directories
· Form Books
· National Reporter Bluebook
· Computer-assisted databases and websites
· Legal Bibliography


· Descriptive Word Indexes
· Legal Concept
· Citing/Cited Authority
· Annotations
· Footnotes
· Popular Name Tables
· Topical Outlines
· Topic and Key Number
· Alphabetic Listings
· Full-text/key word or phrase

US Contribution to Law is in large part through its system of bibliography that is about 120 years old and has been evolving:

· Comprehensive and Integrative
· Provides Mechanisms for Currentness
· Provides Mechanisms for Harmonization/Comparative
· Developed in a culture that values “sharing and access to information”
· Developed in a culture that sought to balance enterprise and regulation
· Delegation of “authority” to publish and distribute taken very seriously (Evil Empires or Benevolent Despots)
· Found role for “legal looseleaf, ” citator, law reviews
· Early adopters of digital formats
· Early adopters of full-text searching despite fluidity of language of the law
· Private Sector Model

Negative Impacts:

· Taxonomy dependent
· Loopholes to Access
· Financial considerations for distribution
· Lack of editorial diversity


· Looseleaf Replacement Pages
· Pocket Parts
· Advance Sheets
· Web-based or database
· Slip laws or slip opinions
· Supplements

LEGAL Encyclopedias (straddle line betw. Secondary & Finding)

American Jurisprudence 2nd (AmJur2d)—federal/statutory
Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS)—state/case law, common law, x-ref to treatises

PLUS state legal encyclopedias for 8 most populous states

West Federal Procedure, Lawyers’ Edition: specialized encyclopedia with Federal civil, criminal and administrative law for both substantive and procedural issues.

Treatises & Hornbooks (Strong Secondary Authorities)

· Originally written by legal scholars; today editorial boards
· Historical development of a specific legal concept in specialized areas of law
· Updated through one of traditional methods (usually pocket parts/supplements)
· Very respected by courts
· Scholarly writing style
· Not practice or “how to” oriented

Notable Examples: Moore’s Federal Practice; Wigmore on Evidence; Prosser on Torts; Corbin on Contracts; LaFave & Scott Substantive Criminal Law; McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition; Chisum on Patents; Nimmer on Copyright; Collier on Bankruptcy; Rotunda & Nowak Treatise on Constitutional Law; Wright & Miller Federal Practice and Procedure; Scott on Trusts….

Blackstone Commentaries (The Bible and The Bard—The Three Bs)
Kent Commentaries

Restatements (Strong Secondary Authorities)

· 1932 – 1946 Response to overwhelming case law going in different directions; influence of civil law trained immigrant lawyers
· American Law Institute: Leading Thinkers from among practitioners, bench, teachers; and legislators (today some “expert” laymen)
· Black Letter Law “Restated” in simple, but legal terms
· Provide examples and variations
· “best practices” and evolving practices

Restatement Topics: Agency; Conflict of Laws; Contracts; Judgments; Property; Restitution; Security; Torts; and Trusts

Added: Foreign Relations; Trusts—Prudent Investor; Unfair Competition; Suretyship & Guaranty; and Property—Wills and other donative transfers

Law Reviews & Journals (Strong Secondary Authority/Source for new theories of law)

· Often first place to introduce or critique a new legal doctrine
· Law school or scholarly institutions sponsor
· Very American form of scholarly legal writing
· Cover law generally with some second-tier reviews and journals that focus on specific subjects: international; environmental; intellectual property; taxation; gender; law and _________.
· Scholars (as well as practitioners and judges) write articles and students edit (check citations in footnotes)
· Students also write “comments” and “casenotes”
· Highly analytical
· Valued for narrative and FOOTNOTES
· Often catchy titles

Access to articles:

· Shepards and KeyCite
· Index to Legal Periodicals (1908 – present); subject access loosely based on West; author access; case and statute tables; added books in 1994; scholarly with coverage limited to law only sources
· Current Law Index/Legal Resources Index/Legal Trac (same content with different titles for different format); began in 1980; Uses LCSH; includes newspapers and other materials not “law” per se; more practice and practitioner oriented


Play critical social role in US Society: opinions of court promote basic values of stability, certainty, predictability, consistency, and fidelity; highly important in diverse population. REACTIVE to social issues.

· Decisions of courts (cases) are published in books called Reporters.
· Most precedent in appellate and courts of last resort, except on Federal level.
· West Publishing Co. leading editor, publisher and distributor of federal cases at District Court (Trial/one in every state, DC and federal territories)—set of books called Federal Supplement now in second series. Official publication of about 1/5 cases.
· and Courts of Appeals (intermediate appellate—13 Circuits with states grouped by geography)—set of books called Federal Reporter now in third series. Official publication of about 50% of cases.
· Federal Rules Decision—collection of federal district court cases not published in Federal Supplement. This cases deal only with procedural, not substantive, legal issues.
· Issue of “official publication” (see NYT article distributed in class)
New rule of law (overturning or substantially changing an established precedent; Entirely new doctrine; resolving conflict among peer or lower courts; or high public interest.
· US Supreme Court has official (government) set of books plus many others that are commercially published with added editorial features.
· States mostly given up publishing official case reports and allow West to serve as official reporter through the 7 regions of the National Reporter System. This started in 1887 with Digest system. Regions here based loosely on geography and more on common interests in 1887.
· Can find official state reporter citations in National Reporter Bluebook. White pages give state cite from regional. Blue pages give regional from state cite. Also can get in Shepards and KeyCite.
· Cases first come out as Slip Opinions, then Advance Sheets, and finally bound volumes with cases placed in chronological order of receipt at West.
· West and certain looseleaf services will publish decisions from specialized federal courts. Examples of these Reporters are Military Justice; Bankruptcy; Federal Claims; Veterans Appeals; US Tax Court; Maritime; Environmental; Patents; Fair Employment Practices; and Trade.
· The Administrative Office of the US Courts is the governance body for all federal courts.
· The Federal Judicial Center is an independent, but official government agency that studies trends in courts.
· The National Center for State Courts is like the FJC, but for states. It is located in Williamsburg, Va.

Finding Tools for Cases:

· Digests (Century, Decennial [after 1986, every 5 yrs], General, jurisdiction specific and subject-specific.
· Shepard and KeyCite: The HISTORY AND TREATMENT of a case
· Encyclopedias
· Law Review and Treatise footnotes
· Looseleaf Service (practitioner oriented)
· Words & Phrases—legal definition from cases and statutes of vernacular words
· Legal Dictionary (Blacks, Bouvier, Ballentine)legal words and legal (many Latin phrases)
· Maxims (Broom’s)
· Burton’s Legal Thesaurus (3rd ed, 1998)
· American Law Reports Annotated (ALRs)
· Annotated Codes
· Fred R. Shapiro Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations (1993)

Statutes (including Constitutions) compare to cases--PROACTIVE

Constitutions set up the structure of government and the relationship of government to citizens and government entities relationships to each other
(balance of powers and division of authority).

Copies of constitutions usually found in official and annotated codes.
Codes are organized by subject and accessed by way of an index, title outline, or table of popular names of the statute or act.

Session laws are issued in sequential order of passage and are usually “official.”
USCAAN and USCS track legislative life of a statute
USCA and USCS track the application life of a statute. These are unofficial annotated codes that add much information to the mere reproduction of the statute under the appropriate title (50 Titles in USC)

· There are subject compilations of state codes that give you all state statutory cites for a particular subject.
· Uniform Laws—starting with UCC. All collected and annotated in ULA
· Model Codes
· Suggested State Legislation (Council of State Governments)

Administrative Law (often called the Fourth Branch of Government)

1800’s—not too much administrative law on federal level; states’ rights and laissez-faire public policy to encourage expansion west and growth of agriculture and manufacturing.

By 1930’s—social welfare (labor laws!) and business regulation (anti-trust, securities regulation)

1960’s—child care and health care; education; environment

2000’s—treaties; world organization (NAFTA, WTO, WIPO)

Federal Register 1936—administrative agencies pass regulations
CFR 1938—50 titles roughly akin to USC. Annual updating with about ¼ of titles at a time. Check List of Sections Affected (LSAs) to update CFR with FR activity.
Administrative Procedure Act of 1946—set out standards since agencies were hearing two hats—that of legislature by enacting regulations and that of judge by enforcing those regulations.

By 1940’s American law invention of looseleaf service—access to agency rules, regulations and decisions in one place with much practitioner oriented advice. Big names in publishing—CCH and BNA.

Cover most of the highly regulated industries: tax, securities, environment, banking, antitrust, labor, transportation, educational and health entitlements…

Shepards and KeyCite cover CFR citations in court decisions and law review articles.

States have regulatory agencies and codes much akin to CFR. BNA publishes “Directory of State Administrative Codes and Registers” (2d ed, 1995) and “A Guide to Administrative Regulations of the States and Territories” (annual).

Local Codes and Ordinances—often not published and disseminated except for very large cities. Usually have to go to county law library to find collection or now on websites. Carroll is national publisher that publishes selected codes and comparative guides to large cities and counties.


Lawyers—Martindale-Hubbell and West Legal Directory (WLD)
Judges—Yellow Books, WANTS, BNA, and introductory pages of case reporters
Agency Staffs—yellow books and website of agency

Form Books divided by forms that cover transactional practice needs (fill in the blanks and exemplars) and litigation forms and checklists. In litigation, big name is AmJur (connected to encyclopedia and ALRs). In other areas, big names are West, Rabkin and Johnson, Bender’s, Moore’s, and Michie.

Newspapers and Bar Journals

National Law Journal; Law and Technology News; ABA J; Legal Times of Washington…

Attributes: Practical, Newsy, Ethics and Professional News, Product Reviews

Key Professional Associations

SLA Legal Division
ABA and state bar associations

Citation Guides

· Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations (4th Ed., 1998)
· David Raistreck, Index to Legal Citation and Abbreviations (2d ed, 1993)
· The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (17th ed., first edition mid-1920’s)
· Various Court Rules (consult specific court’s citation and document formatting requirements)
· AALL Universal Citation Guide (1999)
· Deborah E. Bouchoux, Cite Checker: A Hands-On Guide to Learning Citation Form (2001)
· Association of Legal Writing Directors, ALWD Citation Manual (2000)


University of Maryland

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