Updated Dec. 3, 2009.
Prepared by Mary Whisner, Cheryl Nyberg & Stacey Etheredge (Law Librarianship Intern 2003-05).
This guide describes online resources and techniques that University of Washington School of Law faculty and students can use to stay up-to-date with recent research topics. Many--but not all--of these options are also available to other users.
Produced by the Gallagher Law Library, the Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP) is a weekly index of recently received law reviews. This timely service provides subject access to new articles weeks before commercial periodical indexes like LegalTrac and the Index to Legal Periodicals.
CILP also includes law review tables of content and links to LexisNexis and Westlaw searches designed to retrieve the indexed articles.
SmartCILP is the electronic, customizable version of CILP. It allows a subscriber to select only those subjects and law review table of contents in which he or she is interested. SmartCILP is delivered directly to the user's email inbox.
UW Law School Faculty & Students Only
To create your SmartCILP profile:
You can edit your user profile or unsubscribe at any time by filling out the form again (to unsubscribe simply deselect your choices).
Note: CILP and SmartCILP are sold as subscriptions to other law schools, law firms, and others. Please do not forward CILP or SmartCILP to other parties.
Some legal scholars post copies or abstracts of new or forthcoming articles online.
The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) includes abstracts and working papers organized by field - including the Legal Scholarship Network (LSN), which "distributes quality research related to law, economics, and business in 61 different subject areas." Legal issues may also be addressed in papers in the Entrepreneurship Research & Policy Network, the Negotiations Research Network, the Political Science Network, or the Social & Environmental Impact Network.
Search or browse the collection of more than 260,000 abstracts (over 215,000 available in full text) for free. Most documents are also freely available to download. Users may also subscribe. See Powerpoint presentation about SSRN.
The Berkeley Electronic Press current provides access to journal articles, working papers, and several electronic-only journals, including the Global Jurist, Issues in Legal Scholarship, and the Review of Law & Economics.
Users can browse search or browse by institution or subject. Tip: the search box on the first screen is the basic search; once you enter a search you can then select an advanced option that allows you to search for terms within title, abstract, author, etc.
Users may sign up to get alerts of new papers via email or RSS feed. Choose from a list of assigned subjects or enter a search that will be updated regularly.
UW School of Law faculty may use the bepress's Expresso service for electronic submission of law review articles. Contact the Associate Dean for Faculty Development for more information.
A related resource is the NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository, which provides access to working papers and similar sources from many East Coast law schools (including Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Suffolk, Vermont, and Yale).
The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) publishes several daily and weekly newsletters. BNA newsletters deliver high-quality information on legal news on many subjects, including corporate law, employment and labor, the environment, health care, intellectual property, tax, and trade.
University of Washington School of Law faculty, students, and staff may sign up to receive one or more email newsletters. After logging in with your UW NetID, select titles in which you are interested. Users may also preview the newsletters and search existing content.
LexisNexis offers an Alerts service to help users stay up-to-date.
To view a list of all of your Alerts, click on the Alerts tab. You may edit, delete, or run any Alert.
For more information, watch the online tutorial by clicking on the "Show Me" link. Note that users may also save Shepard's checks as Shepard's Alerts.
Westlaw also provides a service that periodically runs saved searches called WestClip. As with LexisNexis:
To view a list of all of your saved searches, click on the "Alert Center" link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. You may edit, delete, or run any WestClip.
The Law Library's online catalog permits a user to save "Preferred Searches" that notify the user when a new book matching the user's interests is added to the Library's collection. You can create several "Preferred Searches." Here are step-by-step instructions:
Saved searches are run every night. The subject line of the resulting email reads "Library notification of new arrival." The body of the email message will identify the book(s) that match your search.
You can delete a Preferred Search by:
Users may create preferred searches on the UW Libraries catalog too.
Log in to "Your Library Account" with your UW NetID and follow the same procedure for creating a Preferred Search.
Scores of websites provide email newsletters and alert services. Look for links to these services on the websites you visit. A few sources include:
Cornell's Legal Information Institute email bulletins: Provides new U.S. Supreme Court decisions and case previews.
U.S. Government RSS Library: Links to agency news and information sources.
Washington Courts Notification Services: Provides published and/or unpublished Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions, press releases, form revisions, and other court news.
Washington State agency email lists: Links to dozens of email lists and indicates the number of subscribers for each one.
Email-based "party lines" for users with shared interests. Subscribers
receive messages posted the group.
Sources for information on law-related discussion groups include:
For interdisciplinary and nonlaw-related groups, see:
Discussion Lists is a guide to understanding and using options like suspending mail temporarily, receiving a digest version of postings, and obtaining a list of subscribers.
Blogs are web-based electronic journals ("web log" => "blog") consisting of an individual's or institution's postings. Dozens of legal and law-related blogs (often called "blawgs") are available.
Feed readers enable you to set up subscriptions to blogs (and other feeds, e.g., from newspapers), organize them, and review them when it's convenient for you.
The Gallagher guide on Blogs & RSS Feeds includes links to directories of law-related blogs, information about readers, and information about news feeds.
UW School of Law Faculty Only
Contact the Reference Office for copies or printouts of:
Contact the Circulation Desk to have books and other material in the Gallagher Law Library checked out and delivered to you.
Contact the Library's Serials department to have new issues of specific law reviews, legal newsletters, and other periodicals received by the Gallagher Law Library routed to you.