|Finding Books||Finding Cases||Finding Practice Guides||Help with Research|
|Finding Articles||What are Depublished Cases?||What is a Hornbook?||Help Writing Seminar Paper|
|Finding Law Reviews||Finding Statutes||What is a Treatise?||Help for Journal Members|
|Using the Library Catalog||Finding Legislative History||Finding a Law Dictionary||Shepardizing & KeyCite|
Searching for Books at Hastings:
The best way to find books at Hastings is with the Hastings Catalog. You can use the advanced search option for more complex title, author and subject searching.
Browsing for Books:
If you find a book that looks interesting and you are not on campus, locate the book in our catalog, then click on the book title, and then scroll to the bottom of the screen to virtually browse the titles nearby on the shelf.. Of course, if you are on campus, browsing the shelves is a great way to find relevant books.
Borrow Books through Interlibrary Loan:
Use Inter Library Loan to locate a wider selection of available books.
Use Google Books to search a wide variety of books. You may have an option to view the contents of the book, but often online access is very limited.
Locate the Journals Hastings Subscribes to in Print and Online:
Articles in Lexis, Westlaw, LSN & HeinOnline:
Good sources for journal articles include:
San Francisco Public Libray:
If an article you have found is not in one of the online resources at Hastings, you may want to search the online databases collection at the San Francisco Public Library. Any resident of California may apply for a SFPL Library card to get online full-text access.
You can search a large number of law and social science journals using Google Scholar .
Most law review articles are available online:
The library also has a limited number of law review volumes in print on the 4th floor in call numbers K1 - K29. Generally, speaking, the library maintains the print volumes because they are not available online.
The Hastings Online Library Catalog allows users to search the Hastings Library collection for books, journals, and videos.
The Catalog indicates if a particular title is in the collection, on order, checked out, or placed on course reserve. The Catalog also shows if the item is available in print or online.
When you search the catalog you have the choice to search for:
Click on "Advanced Search" to see more search features and tips.
Cases in Print:
The Library has a number of case reporters in print including:
Hastings students and faculty have access to cases through online subscription research services:
What is ALR?
American Law Reports (ALR) is a selective case reporter that includes detailed analysis of the case topic.
Case Finding Tools:
If you can't find cases on a particular topic with simple keyword searching in Lexis or Westlaw, you might try searching:
Opinions of the California Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal are public record, whether published or unpublished. The majority of Court of Appeal opinions are not certified for publication and are thus not published in the Official Reports. These opinions are known as "unpublished"; they generally cannot be cited or relied upon in other cases (see California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115).
California Court of Appeal cases originally designated for publication in the official California Appellate Reports (Cal. App.) can be depublished and become "not citable" due to actions taken by the California Supreme Court.
Appellate cases are not automatically depublished when the Supreme Court grants review
Published and depublished decisions are all included in the Official Advance Sheets of the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal; the library has these volumes (from 1979 to current) in the 5th Floor Stacks.
The librarians at USF Law Library have created an informative Guide to Depublication of California Cases.
Legislative history refers to the Congressional documents produced as a bill is introduced, studied, and debated. These legislative history documents are often used by attorneys to try to determine Congressional intent or to clarify vague, unclear or ambiguous statutory language.
The Hastings Law Library has produced two legislative history guides:
The Rutter Group and Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) publish many of the best practice guides:
Browse or Search the 4th floor Research Alcove for other practice guides.
A hornbook is a scholarly one-volume treatise that contains a fundamental explanation of one area of law. In 14th century Europe, students used wooden paddles to learn basic texts. These "hornbooks" were covered with a very thin layer of horn as a means of preservation.
In this tradition, West Publishing company produces a collection of treatises on particular areas of law called their "Hornbook Series." Today any one volume legal treatise is commonly referred to as a hornbook.
Most hornbooks are located in the 5th floor library stacks. A few hornbooks are located at the 4th floor Library Circulation Desk. The library catalog will indicate the call number and location of a given hornbook. You can also find call numbers for most of the hornbooks on the study aids webpage.
Treatises are scholarly publications containing an organized summary of the law on a particular subject such as contracts, bankruptcy, civil procedure, or copyright law. They are usually multi-volume sets that are updated regularly.
Treatises typically contain:
Black's Law Dictionary is the preeminent American law dictionary. It is available:
In addition, you might consider using:
Students are encouraged to consult with a reference librarian for:
Students can also submit online reference questions.
Additionally, the reference staff publishes a number of research guides (California Law, Federal Law, Foreign & Int'l Law, State & Local Law, Topical Research Guides) to assist patrons with legal and library research.
The library has also created an online reference collection with links to commonly-used legal reference materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and treatises.
Books on Scholarly Research:
Two books that might be helpful when you start thinking about writing your law review note or seminar paper are below. They both include information about choosing a topic, writing & editing your paper, and getting your paper published.
Circuit splits provide students with an opportunity to examine and analyze an unsettled area of law where lawyers and judges are in disagreement. Read the arguments in each circuit and then decide how the circuit split should be resolved. See the following resources:
Current Awareness Resources:
Look at subject specific current awareness resources such as Bloomberg BNA International Trade Reporter and Family Law Reporter. These resources list hot topics of current interest to practitioners and academics.
Newsletters & Topical Highlights:
How do I complete my journal team edit?
Each journal has a reserved section of shelf space on the 5th floor of the library for members to use for cite checking and source checking assignments. These reserved shelves are located on the South end of the 5th floor. Journals have established their own guidelines regarding how these shelves are to be used.
More information is available on the library's Journal Research Webpage including Team Edit Procedures
How do pick a topic and write my Note?
Use the Preemption Check Guide to make sure that an article on your topic has not already been published.
If you have questions about your note or the Preemption Check ask for assistance at the library reference desk.
See advice above on Seminar Papers for helpful information about picking topics, writing, and editing your Note.
Lexis Shepard's and Westlaw KeyCite are citation services that allow researchers to view the history of a case to help determine whether it is still good law. Researchers also use Shepard's and KeyCite to analyze cases by locating all of the important cases that have cited the case being Shepardized or KeyCited.
Hastings no longer has print Shepard's volumes in the library.