Public Access to CRS Reports – Finally.

Authoritative overviews of policy and legislative issues, written by the experts at the Congressional Research Service, are now available online to the public! See

For now, the site includes a limited set of reports: 1) The R-series of “active” reports that were published since early 2018 and 2) the “Appropriations Status Table,” which includes updates on legislative activity related to the appropriations process.

In the future, the Library of Congress plans to have a “full inventory” of reports, with a complete migration “targeted for completion by spring 2019.” See, archived at

UCI community members have access to a large archive of CRS reports in ProQuest Congressional at .

The public site is great news, because these non-partisan reports are fantastic starting points for researchers, and because policy experts, librarians, and other researchers have been pushing for access for years. See my earlier posts: “Public Access to CRS Reports” from July 2012, and “Public Access to CRS Reports (2015 update)” from October 2015.

Are you interested in even more background on making these reports public? Check out this July 2018 critique by several experts who developed a site that had put over 14,000 CRS reports online:

Our website cost under $20,000 to build and maintain with full functionality and fewer than 100 hours of programming time; the Library’s CRS website will cost $1.5 million, have limited functionality, suffer from significant design limitations, and not be completed for more than a year after the law was enacted and six months after the statutory deadline for completion.

Historical California legislative publications

are now available in HathiTrust, the home of scanned materials from research institutions and libraries. The new collection* is called “California Legislative Publications 1850-2009” and includes scanned versions of:

  • bills,
  • statutes (“Chapters”),
  • bill histories,
  • constitutional amendments,
  • final calendars, and
  • other materials.

These materials can supplement research into primary materials for the legislative history of California statutes, which we cover briefly in the “State Laws” section of our Research Guide to Legislative History.

Legislative history can be a complex area to research, and librarians often suggest starting with a secondary source. In California, that can include the January issues of the University of the Pacific Law Review, where new state legislation has been summarized every year since 1971.

* See “Thousands of Historical California Legislative Publications Digitized and Openly Available Online!” at

Construction update

photo of downstairs doors under construction
July 25: Construction team member works on the new after-hours access doors in the California Room

Twenty-four hour library access for law students is coming soon!

This week, the construction team is working on a new doorway to the California room downstairs. When the law library is closed, law students will be able to use a key card to open the doors downstairs and get into the California room for late-night study.

The main entry to the Law Library will remain upstairs, and we’ll continue to use the existing lobby for check outs. This way, we’re doing a cost-effective building update that provides expanded access for law students who prefer to study late at night or early in the morning. We’re also preserving the quiet space downstairs when the library is open, to support our students who work best without distractions.

We are very excited about showing off these improvements next month when our students are back on campus. Look out for further updates!

Coffee & Treats

photo of pastriesWe have coffee and pastries available this morning, upstairs near the stairway.

The staff of the law library would like to wish all of the students good luck with writing and studying during this exam period!

(Looking for online or print study aids, like Concise Hornbooks? We’ve got you covered: Law Library > Research > Study Aids.)


Librarian Weekend Hours

We are happy to offer special hours for the reference desk this weekend:

Noon to 4:00pm.
Saturday, November 11, 2017

Student journal editors: come to the desk with any final source questions! And if you can’t make it in to the law library, email us at

New on the shelves – July 2017

Our list of new books is updated at Research > New Books. In July, the Law Library received titles on Abortion, International Law, Intellectual Property, and Employment Discrimination, among other topics.

We also received several new editions of legal study aids in print, including books covering First Amendment
Wills and Estates, Appellate procedure, Criminal law, and Estate Tax. “Legal Study aids” are meant to help students with coursework, or provide a very brief introduction to a legal topic. Series titles include Nutshells, Understanding, and Concise Hornbooks. More information about study aids — including access to online versions from West Academic and LexisNexis Digital Library — is online at Research > Study Aids.

Our collection supports the scholarly and clinical work of faculty and students. Let us know if you have a suggestion for a new book:

Chicago Manual of Style – 17th Edition

CMOS cover imageA new edition is here! The online version is live, and the print arrives in early September. (We’ve been waiting patiently since it was announced in March at

Changes include:

  • Internet is no longer a proper noun; it’s just lowercase internet.
  • The singular they is the preferred personal pronoun, even in formal writing.
  • Twitter gets citation samples.

In September, the new print Chicago Manual will live with other general-purpose dictionaries and style guides, downstairs at Z 253 .U69. Online, UCI community members can use (Off-campus users: log into the VPN beforehand.) The free online Q&A section also provides gleefully opinionated guidance on style and grammar minutia.

Law students should (of course) still consult specialized sources for legal writing like the Bluebook for citation and Bryan Garner’s classic Redbook—among other titles—for grammar and style. In print, both of these titles live upstairs in the KF 250 call number range. The Chicago Manual, however, can supplement these sources when you’re drafting scholarly papers and other types of writing for a more general audience.

Audio @ the Law Library

headphones graphicAre you tired of your current podcast selections? Looking for new legal stuff to listen to at the gym or during your commute? The UCI Law Library collection includes a couple of options that you can try out.

  • Courtroom View Network. CVN has audio case files. Yes, you can listen to somebody read the text of opinions that are covered in your law school classes.
    • Audio files are downloadable as .mp3 files.
  • West Academic Study Aids – Audio Lectures. West Academic Study Aids has audio lectures in the Law School Legends and Sum and Substance Audio series. Readers of the Law School Legends series include law professors like the founding dean of UCI Law, Erwin Chemerinsky.
    • Audio files are played directly in the browser.

To register for and use these systems:

  1. Start on the UCI Law network – either by using the Law VPN on your own device, or by using one of the public computers in the law library.
  2. Create an account online.
  3. Log in on your laptop or mobile device with your account information. (Once you have an account, you don’t need to be on the UCI Law network anymore.)