Law Library News for the Week of May 26, 2008

Cheryl Nyberg, editor.

Free Alternatives for Your Summer Research

by Kelly Aldrich

For those of you with no access to LexisNexis or Westlaw during your summer employment, you might be wondering what you're going to do if you have a legal research issue. Gallagher Law Library is here to help!

First, remember to review the legal research guides our reference librarians prepare. They're good starting points and often link to free online resources.

Second, consider visiting Gallagher Law Library or a law library near where you'll be working. (See the Gallagher guide on Law Libraries in Washington State & the U.S.) In addition to a wealth of books, you will also have access to several commercial databases.

Third, check out these online databases: Loislaw and Casemaker.

What is it? Provides national coverage. Federal and state statutes and cases. GlobalCite is Loislaw's citator tool (like Shepard's or KeyCite) and is available for all types of primary law. Remember to check the Currency link for each database within Loislaw to find out when it was last updated. Pay attention to anything marked with a $ as this signifies that a particular material type is outside your law school access (e.g., treatises are not available to law students).

How do you access it? To register for Loislaw, you need a "special access code" from a reference librarian . Once you've obtained the special access code, go to and click on "New to Click here" on the upper left-hand of the homepage. Your user name and password will be emailed to you, and they'll be good until 6 months after graduation.

What is it? A consortium of state bar associations; those states that are part of the consortium make some of their state materials available to other states in the consortium. Federal materials also included. Casemaker also includes a case-checking tool, called Casecheck (not available for federal cases). Casecheck lists all the cases - in the same jurisdiction - that have subsequently cited the case you're looking at. If you want to see if another state's court has cited a particular Washington case, for example, you'd have to run a search in that other state's library for the citation to your Washington case.

How do you access it? The Washington State Bar Association provides courtesy access to law students in Washington to be used for educational purposes only. Contact the Reference Office for the password.

How to use it: Review the PowerPoint tutorial and Quick Reference Guide.

Finally, contact us in the Reference Office by email or phone: (206) 543-6794. We can offer suggestions for how to best approach your research.

Website of the Week: Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College

The Strategic Studies Institute "conducts strategic research and analysis to support the U.S. Army War College curricula, provides direct analysis for Army and Department of Defense leadership, and serves as a bridge to the wider strategic community." Both civilian research professors and uniformed military officers provide research and analysis on global, regional, and strategic issues. The Strategic Studies Institute publishes many books and analytic reports for the military, congress, and the public. "The Strategic Studies Institute . publishes security and strategic reports and publications which serve to influence policy debate and bridge the gap between Military and Academia." Many of these publications are available as free downloads on the website. Publications are organized by subject (e.g., global war on terrorism, homeland security and defense) or region (e.g., Asia Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa).  Some titles available:

  • Global Climate Change: National Security Implications, edited by Dr. Carolyn Pumphrey (2008).
  • Political Warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa: U.S. Capabilities and Chinese Operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, by Dr. Donovan C. Chau (2007).
  • U.S. Foreign Policy and Regime Instability, by Dr. James Meernik (2008).
  • Baloch Nationalism and the Geopolitics of Energy Resources: The Changing Context of Separatism in Pakistan (2008).
  • The North Korean Ballistic Missile Program, by Dr. Daniel A. Pinkston (2008).
  • Dissent and Strategic Leadership of the Military Professions, by Dr. Don M. Snider (2008).
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom: Selected Bibliography (strategy, operational, and policy dimensions)(2008).
©2011, Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington