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Are you looking for an interesting topic on which to write a research paper, or for a good case on which to base a casenote? Here are some suggested sources. Some are online; others are in paper. Some are new; others have been around for a long time. All of them are meant to be browsed. Once your law school days are behind you, you may want to return to some of these resources to keep current in a specialty, or the law generally.

General Sources


U.S. LAW WEEK: This service is updated weekly. Each issue provides legal news and analysis with synopses of recent important Federal and state cases; there is a separate Supreme Court section. This is a particularly good tool to use if you need to write a casenote. U.S. Law Week is available online (Lexis Advance, WestlawNext, and Bloomberg/BNA.

AMERICAN LAW REPORTS (ALR): While primarily a case finding tool, ALR can be used to identify areas of the law that are developing or undergoing change. The ALR editors choose the subjects for their “annotations” by monitoring both court reports and current legal publications. Each annotation contains an exhaustive review of the case law on its topic, and provides a bibliography of periodical articles and practice materials; a table of jurisdictions lists which states have case law on the subject. Available on Lexis Advance and WestlawNext.

Subject-specific Sources

NEWSLETTERS: A newsletter focuses on recent developments in a specific area of the law. They often provide abstracts of new cases or current legislative or administrative actions. They are usually published weekly or monthly. We receive a number of newsletters on a wide variety of topics; current issues are kept in Periodicals section on the 11th floor. Examples : Maryland Employment Law Newsletter and Maryland Family Law Monthly. Many legal newsletters are available through Lexis Advance and WestlawNext.

Since Fall of 2006, all of the BNA looseleaf services are only available online through Bloomberg/BNA.


These are just some of the ways in which you can find ideas for your research papers or casenotes. If you wish to know more about any of these sources,please ask one of the reference librarians.

Law Library August 2015