First-Year Legal Research (Jan. 4 to Jan. 8)

Congratulations UCI Law 1Ls!

You have successfully navigated your first semester of law school.

We’ll start the next year with one week of Legal Research, which is held from Jan. 4 to Jan. 8.

The class will include:

  • 4 Readings
  • 1 Pre-class assignment
  • 5 In-Class Exercises
  • 4 Practical Assessments
  • 1 Final Assessment

The class is designed to prepare you to take on the research assignments typically encountered at school and in the workplace.  Concepts will build on those introduced in your first semester.

Before the first class, login to TWEN, and

  1. Read the syllabus.
  2. Complete Reading 1.
  3. Complete the pre-class assignment.

Send pre-class questions to Lisa at

Yay and happy new year!

New on the shelves – November 2015

dissentCoverOur list of new books is now updated. Last month, the Law Library received books on a variety of topics, including several casebooks that’ll be on course reserve for Spring classes.

One of our new titles was reviewed in the New York Times by Supreme Court expert Dahlia Lithwick:

“[L]egal historian Melvin I. Urofsky’s ambitious new look at the role of dissents throughout our constitutional history offers some useful tools for making sense of the Roberts court’s recent predilection for personal, non sequitur and ad hominem dissents.”

“Urofsky is riveting when detailing the arguments and rhetorical workings of the nation’s great dissenters….”

Ambitious! Riveting! That’s quite an endorsement. Check it out upstairs in the Reading Room at KF 8748 .U76 2015.

The Law Library’s collection is constantly growing as we purchase books and other resources to support the scholarly and clinical work of faculty and students. Please let us know if you have a suggestion for a new book.

Hours – December and January


Our hours are different in December and early January because of Reading & Exam period and Winter Break. Check our up-to-date calendar: Law Library Hours.

Our visitor policy is also different during the Reading & Exam period so that our space is conducive to study. During that time — Nov 30 through Dec 18 — only UCI Law students and UCI faculty and staff can use the Law Library.

Related links: UCI Law Academic Calendar | Law Library Hours

The quiet zone

Over the next few weeks, please be extra careful to keep the noise level in the Library as low as possible so we can provide law students  with a quiet place to study.

The California Room on the lower level has been designated as a “quiet zone” for silent study. Try this area if you’re hoping to minimize distractions.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Voices carry. When it comes to noise, the biggest source of complaints is from talking. So if conversation is necessary, keep it brief and be attentive to how well others can hear you. Whispers can carry quite far in some parts of the Library. And cell phone calls are not permitted anywhere in the Library.
  • Even behind doors. The computer lab and group study rooms are not entirely sound-proofed, so your classmates nearby can definitely hear it if things get boisterous.
  • Kindness wins. We encourage you all to be patient with each other during the exam season. We also encourage all law students to contact anyone on the Library staff with Library-related questions or concerns.


Employment Law Research

employment-law-booksFor students who are interested in employment, labor, and related issues, here are some research pointers based on a the Law Library presentation to students enrolled in Professor Robinson-Dorn’s Fall 2015 Employment Law class. Highlights include:

  • Suggested sources and starting points – see our Labor & Employment Research Guide.
  • For more information about primary and secondary tax sources, see Chapter 5: Federal Labor and Employment Law in Specialized Legal Research.
  • Important online tools for federal and California labor and employment sources include:
    • BNA
    • BloombergLaw (BNA content, plus PLI treatises)
    • CCH Labor & Employment sources – available in Westlaw
    • CEB – California-specific treatises
  • VPN — required for many law-only resources — is supported by UCI Law IT Services.

Public Access to CRS Reports (2015 update)

The publicly funded reports you can’t read” is a recent piece over at Politico that provides a bit of background on some recent legislation that would make these wonderful reports available to the public.

The last time I noted the ongoing push to open up CRS reports, in 2012, I highlighted two points that are still true today:

Cover – CRS Report R41664

1) CRS reports are outstanding sources. These reports are:

  • usually fairly brief (under 30 pages);
  • written in plain English;
  • meticulously researched; and
  • heavily footnoted.

If you are looking into a federal legislative history question or a public-policy issue that is of interest to Congress, you would be remiss if you didn’t check for a CRS Report. If you don’t find a  report, noting that absence in your research log makes you look like you know what you’re doing, research-wise. And if you do find one, it’s guaranteed to clarify your issues and lead you to other sources.

UCI community members can search for CRS Reports in ProQuest Congressional.

2) Most CRS reports are not freely available. ProQuest Congressional does indeed include a comprehensive set of non-classified CRS reports, starting with 1916. But this access is subscription-based—you’re out of luck if you’re not a member of the UCI community. Various legislative efforts over the years have tried to change that. So if you’ve found CRS reports valuable in the past, and if you’d support making them more widely available, this is a great time to contact your representative and let him or her know. – give it a try! (by Oct. 31)

search facets - - including date, legislative source, party, gender
Search facets from

Let the UCI Libraries know what you think of, a system that lets you efficiently search government news and other information from a variety of sources, including social media.

What this means for researchers is that you can search for something like “Benghazi Hearing,” and then narrow by legislative chamber, date, political party, and even gender. Search results seem to indicate that Republicans are saying a lot more about this issue than Democrats. (Does your favorite free Google-Bing-iPedia search do this well? Mine doesn’t.) From their “About”:

  • Find official U.S. Federal Government documents, legislation, releases and social media updates from all three branches of the U.S. Federal Government, offices, officials and elected representatives
  • Data includes official news, media and information including press releases, transcripts, fact sheets, newsletters, bulletins, speeches, statements, Legislation, Congressional Documents, the Regulatory Documents and much more
  • See what U.S. Federal Government offices, officials and elected representatives say on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
  • Side-by-side comparison of government documents based on a wide range of selectable groups
  • Content is both archival and near real-time, current news
  • Search suggestions based on content trends and popular queries
  • Drill-down to easily investigate topics, people or issues.

Send any feedback to Dan Tsang, The UC Irvine trial runs through October 31, 2015.

New on the shelves – September 2015

water-coverOur list of new books is now updated.

Last month’s new books included titles on intellectual property, academic success for law students, and international law, among other topics. One of these “other” books covers a newsworthy topic in Southern California right now—water. Historian John R. Burch, Jr surveys the history of this area in Water Rights and the Environment in the United States : a Documentary and Reference Guide. From the publisher’s abstract:

“[The author] reviews the conflicts among state, federal, and international agencies in dealing with water supply and points to competing legal rulings and laws as undermining the creation of a cohesive policy for all. Through an analysis of key documents, [the author] examines the recent calamities befalling the American water system—including droughts, oil spills, and natural disasters—and considers the future of water distribution to the American people. Organized into six parts, sections include doctrines and rights, waters of the West, border regions water management and flood control, environmental issues, and water supply and safety.

Check it out upstairs in the Reading Room at KF 5569 .B87 2015.

And for a more current, on-the-ground take on state and local water issues, come to the law school’s October 28 lunchtime talk with guest speaker Felicia Marcus, Chair of the California Water Resources Control Board.

The Law Library’s collection is constantly growing as we purchase books and other resources to support the scholarly and clinical work of faculty and students. Please let us know if you have a suggestion for a new book.