Thursday, April 27, 2017

Researching International Criminal Law

The 2013 and 2017 chemical weapon attacks on civilians in Syria have generated ongoing conversations about the role of international criminal courts in humanitarian crises. A new book in the Goodson Law Library, Christopher Rudolph's Power and Principle: The Politics of International Criminal Courts (KZ7230 .R83 2017), explores the history and politics behind international criminal courts, and their role in humanitarian law.

To learn more about international criminal tribunals, check out the Goodson Law Library's recently-updated research guide to International Criminal Law. This brief guide links to print and electronic resources for researching the International Criminal Court and other specialized international criminal tribunals, as well as guidance for locating books and other materials in the Law Library's collection. A more extensive overview of online research resources for international criminal law can be found on the American Society for International Law's Electronic Resource Guide for International Criminal Law, maintained by Penn State University Dickinson Law Library Director Gail A. Partin. (The Law Library's guide links to this and other helpful research starting places.)

For assistance with researching international criminal law in print or online resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

New Source for Supreme Court Records and Briefs

The Goodson Law Library has recently subscribed to ProQuest Supreme Court Insight, a source for U.S. Supreme Court case histories and records. By the end of 2017, this database will include records and briefs dating from 1975-2016. (Currently, the service covers from 2004-2016; earlier dates will be added throughout the year.)

At the moment, the new database duplicates years of SCOTUS brief and docket materials which are freely available through the Court's own website and through the ABA's Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases. Once complete, though, Supreme Court Insight will fill in gaps for electronic coverage of U.S. Supreme Court case materials, picking up around the tail end of The Making of Modern Law: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs 1832-1978. (Records and briefs earlier than 1832 are not available at Duke Law, although they can be requested via interlibrary loan service from the set Appellate Case Files of the Supreme Court of the United States.)

For more information about locating court records and briefs, check out the Goodson Law Library research guide, which describes the electronic, print, and microform access to records and briefs which are available through Duke. For help using ProQuest Supreme Court Insight or other sources for court records and briefs, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Summer Access to Legal Research Services

Whether you're heading to a summer job or graduating this May, your access to legal research services like Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law will change.
Continuing Students
For rising 2Ls and 3Ls, your Law School access generally continues uninterrupted over the summer. Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law both allow student usage over the summer for educational as well as for commercial purposes. (However, check with your employer before using your Law School accounts for paid work – many employers prefer that summer associates avoid using their school accounts for researching firm matters.)

Westlaw restricts students' summer access to Westlaw, Practical Law and other Thomson Reuters products to non-commercial research purposes only. The eligible categories for summer access include:
  • Summer Coursework
  • Research Assistant Assignments
  • Law Review or Journal Research
  • Moot Court Research
  • Non-Profit Work
  • Clinical Work
  • Externship Sponsored by the School
2017 Graduates
For graduating 3Ls and LLMs, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law automatically extend educational accounts for 6 months following graduation.

Lexis additionally offers the ASPIRE program, providing 12 months of free access to graduates who work in public interest. Proof of work with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is required. To learn more about ASPIRE, visit

Westlaw's "Grad Elite" access continues for 18 months after graduation. Under this program, law grads are allowed 60 hours of usage per month for services like Westlaw and Practical Law, with no restrictions against using them for professional purposes.

For help with your summer access to these or other Duke resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian. The library's summer hours, which take effect at the end of final exams, are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.