U.S. Federal Agency Documents, Decisions, and Appeals

A new library collection is available through the Law Library’s HeinOnline database: U.S. Federal Agency Documents, Decisions, and Appeals. This library features:

… the reports, decisions, and records, this library is a complete collection of the official case law of some of the United States most important U.S. Federal Agencies such as: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It also includes more than 65 GPO best selling legal titles (from HeinOnline).

Users can browse this collection by Agency, Agency document, or GPO best sellers.

To access this collection: from the Law Library Homepage > Research Resources > Research Databases > HeinOnline, and the US Federal Documents, Decisions, and Appeals library will be available from the HeinOnline homepage.


Written by CDS.


New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) Materials

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses are intended to maintain the professional development of practicing attorneys. Often, CLE courses yield publications or handouts, which are great resources for research into current practices in certain practice areas.

Where can you find NJICLE materials:

  • In the Law Library. In the Law Library catalog, run an Author search for “New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education” (no quotes). You can search within these results to find subject-specific materials by using the “Limit/Sort Search” button above the search bar.
  • On BloombergLaw. From the home page, select the Legal Analysis & News tab, and then select Books & Treatises. One of the selections will be for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE). Select a resource to browse the Table to Contents.
  • On Lexis Advance. From the home page, select Browse Sources. In the search bar on the left, search for “NJICLE” (no quotes). By clicking on a resource, you can add that resource to a search, or you can click the link to view the Table of Contents.

For more information about NJICLE, visit their website.

Written by CDS


Judicial Internships, Externships & Clerkships

It’s that time of year, again.

Many first-year students (and probably some 2Ls and 3Ls) are applying, or have already applied for, internships, externships, or clerkships with local state and federal judges. While some of you have an idea of the most important criteria for applying or accepting a position, consider supplementing your considerations with other practical information about the judges for whom you might be interested in working.

The interview is critical for any job, especially for such competitive positions. In some cases, having some background information on a judge you wish to work for can lend insight into that judge, and can give you an edge over other potential candidates. Information can include the judge’s career summary, case history, current docket, and more. Here are some sources to get your research started:

This free Wikipedia site allows you to search for or browse judges by state. Information includes: Education, career, and awards & associations.

Almanac of the Federal Judiciary on Westlaw Next
This well-known resource provides objective judicial profiles of every federal judge (including bankruptcy judges and magistrates) from interviews with the lawyers that have argued before them. Information includes each judge’s academic and professional background, experience on the bench, noteworthy rulings, and media coverage along with candid, revealing commentary by lawyers.

Litigation Profile Suite on Lexis Advance
Information includes rulings history, jury verdicts & settlements, dockets, cases, news coverage, publications, and more.

People Search on Bloomberg Law
Though it does not explicitly state what types of people can be searched, the People Search can provide really in-depth information about a particular judge. This information includes career history & education, cases, news, and more.

If you have any questions about applying for job, please contact the Career Planning Office.

If you have any questions about the resources mentioned, please contact a Reference Librarian.


Administrative Law Research

This chart came from the GSU Law Library Introduction to Legal Research guide.

It is no surprise that many second- and third- (and sometimes even fourth- and fifth-) year law students cannot explain the difference between a regulation and a statute; it’s not exactly a hot-topic in the first-year curriculum.  This gap in knowledge leads to a lot of uncertainty in the area of administrative law research.

So, what is administrative law, exactly? Simply:

  1. Legislation. A statute (passed by the legislative branch) creates an administrative agency; this statute should also state the purpose, mission, and jurisdiction of this agency.
  2. Regulations. Agencies act on behalf of some public interest or need, and may issue both regulations and decisions, offering further guidance in that area of law where a regulation remains open to interpretation or has been violated by some action, respectively.
  3. Administrative Law. Much like statutes produced through legislative activities, these regulations define, prohibit, or require specified activities. These regulations tend to be very detailed in order to “fill in gaps” left open by broad legal framework of the authorizing statute.

Okay, so then what?  Here are some key sources to know for administrative law:

  • Federal Register. This is a daily publication of proposed rules, final rules, and public notices from federal agencies, published in chronological order.  The final rule sets the effective date of that regulation.
    • The table of contents of each publication offers a list of agencies that have new rules (regulations).
    • Each rule and notice is accompanied by contact information for an expert on that regulation within the promulgating agency.
    • The body of the Order is the legislative history.
    • A citation to the Code of Federal Regulations is given at the end of the Order (where applicable)
  • Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This is an annual publication of all Federal regulations, arranged by subject! There are currently 50 titles of the CFR, each representing a broad topical area for regulation, arranged by agency!
    • Annual new volumes of the CFR only contain regulations that were in effect on its publication date.
    • The Government Printing Office (GPO) updates a specific range of CFR titles each quarter, as opposed to updating all 50 titles all at once. The updating schedule can be found from GPO website.

What about agency decisions? In addition to regulation-making authority, some agencies have the authority to interpret their regulations by issuing opinions (judgments) arising from alleged violations of the regulations. These opinions may be found in agency-published reporters, subject-specific loose-leaf or online services, like BNA, or in subscription databases, like Westlaw and Lexis.

One last bit of useful information: If you’re not sure what federal agency is responsible for a given industry or area of law, check out the U.S. Government Manual (a print copy is available at the reference desk).  This publication contains a listing of every federal agency, including its functions and its mission.  Another useful source is USA.gov or the agency website, itself! Our law library has a list of some select agencies with links directly to their homepages.

One of my colleagues here at the law library, Prof. A. Hays Butler , teaches  an advanced legal research course on administrative law and legislative history; I had the great privilege of being able to sit in on this class earlier this semester.  I’d love to tell you more about this class, so stay tuned for the legislative history blog post!

Additional Sources:

Georgetown Law Library, Administrative Law Research Tutorial, part 2.

Georgia State University College of Law Library. Introduction to Legal Research Guide. Available from http://libguides.law.gsu.edu/content.php?pid=154797.

Written by CDS.

Finding Materials within the Rutgers University Libraries System

As members of the Rutgers University system, law students  have access to materials available from all of the Rutgers University system libraries, spread out among the three  campuses: Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick.

Our Law Library catalog is a good place to start your search, whether you’re looking for something school- or research-related, or if you’re after some downtime reading material.  There is a direct link to the catalog from the Law Library’s main page.  Using our catalog, you can search for materials by keyword, title, author, subject, or call number.  The entry for the item you’re looking for will tell if that item is available, and if so, where it is located.  If the item is available electronically, there will be a direct link to the material.  (Quick tip: if your search is returning too many results, check out some Search Tips offered from the Advanced Search page.)

Also available from the Law Library’s main page is a direct link to the main Rutgers University Libraries catalog page.  From the menu on the left, there are links to find articles and to browse through other Research Resources.  Check out the research guides and electronic databases, including specialty legal research tools.

Still haven’t found what you need?  Stay tuned for the next post: Finding Materials outside of the Rutgers University Libraries System.   Or stop by the reference desk and ask a librarian for help!

The content of this post was inspired by Genevieve Tung.

Written by CDS.