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Recently in Legal Research Tips Category

January 29, 2014
A quick primer on Justis and JustCite --two complementary and easy-to-use databases for researching the law of the United Kingdom. read more!
December 11, 2013
Visitors to are now being redirected to What does this mean? read more!
October 9, 2013
Looking for company filings? Need to learn about a new financial regulation? Want/need to learn about financial topics or securities laws? Here are just a few government agency websites which can serve as a great resource: the SEC, the CFTC and the CFPB. read more!
August 26, 2013
Whether it's because of the state's close proximity to Philadelphia or because you are interested in corporate law, you may find yourself working in Delaware. The Biddle Law Library has compiled a list of useful electronic resources which provide free access to the state's legal materials. read more!
July 25, 2013
A look at some free New York state legal research resources. read more!
May 1, 2013
If you are a summer associate in Pennsylvania, if you intend to join a Pennsylvania firm after graduation, or if you are taking a clinical class, you may find it useful to know about some free legal web-based Pennsylvania resources. While these sites will not replace Lexis Advance or WestlawNext, they are great starting points to begin your research. This post collects a sampling of some free Pennsylvania primary sources covering case law, statutes, bills, administrative codes and regulations, and the constitution. read more!
April 18, 2013
Tracking federal rules can be tricky sometimes. The Regulation Identifier Number can help. read more!
March 27, 2013
Some helpful guidance on finding United Nations documents, from Biddle's Foreign and International Law Librarian. read more!
February 20, 2013
QUESTION - TRUE OR FALSE: You need an amicus brief or a memorandum for a case. You know it's a document in the docket, and that means accessing PACER, but only the Biddle librarians can access that resource. read more!
February 6, 2013
Have you ever found yourself looking for a basic introduction when researching a new area? Look no further than Biddle Law Library's Research Guides. You can find a list of guides for several topics, including Legal Research Basics, Foreign and International Law, and Intellectual Property. read more!
January 16, 2013
Looking for decisions of international tribunals, or interested in the application of international law in a foreign country’s courts? This kind of research can be challenging, since there is no consolidated database of all such case law, and when these decisions are published, they normally lack the headnotes and other editorial content American lawyers and law students are used to relying on. read more!
December 12, 2012
Law students are often inundated with information. Who needs more? But everyone acknowledges the growing influence of social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Blogs are another social media tool that today's law student and attorney needs to use. The judicious use of information from quality legal blogs is a skill that today's law student needs to master, along with skillful use of Lexis Advance, Bloomberg Law, or WestlawNext. read more!
November 7, 2012
The IBFD Tax Research Platform is a key resource for researching international tax law. Containing extensive analyses of international tax treaties and national tax legislation and case law for 136 countries, IBFD also incorporates helpful tools for comparing the tax law of multiple jurisdictions and calculating applicable tax rates for cross-border transactions. read more!
July 25, 2012
Does your summer associate or post-graduation legal employment plans entail heading south to the Sunshine State? The Biddle Law Library has compiled a list of free legal resources that you can use to further your legal research projects--and maybe save some money in the process. read more!
March 7, 2012
 Biddle Law Library recently acquired four Lexis Nexis databases of foreign law, to assist in researching Chinese law, Canadian law, French law, and European Union law.Lexis China is a bilingual database incorporating laws, regulations, case law, and government documents from... read more!
February 22, 2012
 By Merle Slyhoff, Collection Development LibrarianMany law students and faculty depend on the William S. Hein Company for easy access to pdfs of journal articles, U.S. Code, U.N. materials and more.   Access is now even easier with the new HeinOnline app. HeinOnline (HOL), the largest... read more!
February 8, 2012
 Reviewed by Tim Von Dulm, Head of Reference ServicesAre you new to the law and confused about how to read legal citations and approach legal research problems? Maybe you would like to learn about how to conduct federal legislative histories?  Perhaps you are looking... read more!
December 14, 2011
 By Genevieve Tung, Biddle Law Library Intern You may already know and love HeinOnline for its collection of law reviews, administrative materials, Supreme Court decisions, treaties and more. Now you can enjoy the easy-to-read PDF format on the go (and without printing)... read more!
November 2, 2011
You need to find books for a research paper on antitrust in baseball. Are you a Shelf Browser or a LOLA Browser? Do you find the area in the Biddle stacks where books on your topic are shelved and browse, making you... read more!
September 21, 2011
The Biddle Law Library recently acquired ProQuest Legislative Insight, a new database to assist with your legislative history research.Like Penn's subscription to ProQuest Congressional (formerly LexisNexis Congressional), ProQuest Legislative Insight provides full-text PDF scans of many legislative documents. Unlike ProQuest... read more!
September 7, 2011
 By Emily Schreiber, Biddle Research Associate   Among the many innovations of WestlawNext is a mobile version for your smart phone. While I haven’t worked out exactly how this fits my needs as a student (my own Droid is pretty much exclusively used... read more!
July 28, 2011
Animal Law is an emerging field of law which includes any and all legal matters relating to nonhuman animals. This includes companion animals like cats and dogs, wildlife, animals used in entertainment, animals raised for food, and animals used in... read more!
June 20, 2011
For students doing clerkships in New Jersey or law graduates working for firms and other organizations in the state, there are a number of legal research resources freely available on the internet. Many of the websites listed below are maintained by... read more!
June 6, 2011
  If you are a summer associate in Pennsylvania or if you intend to join a Pennsylvania firm after graduation, you may find it useful to know about some free legal web-based Pennsylvania resources. While these sites will not replace... read more!
May 11, 2011
    Many of us are familiar with government search engines such as GPO Access, launched in June 1994, where the Government Printing Office provided electronic access to collections of official federal documents produced by the three branches of government.   GPO Access'... read more!
April 25, 2011
(This is a modification of a 2009 legal research blog post that you may find useful)Going to California to clerk for the summer or to begin a full-time practice? Given today’s challenging economic climate, you may want to consider eschewing traditional... read more!
March 30, 2011
 Google Scholar is a free and popular online search engine, which links to full-text scholarly articles.  As is the case with most search engines, Google Scholar users may wonder whether they are using all of the features to its fullest.     Google Scholar for Legal... read more!
March 24, 2011
        We all love HeinOnline’s easy access to law review and journal articles, but did you also know Hein is a great tool for foreign and international legal research? HeinOnline is an especially user-friendly resource for treaty... read more!
March 10, 2011
 Written by Christopher Milla, Biddle Law Library research assistant and 2010 University of Pennsylvania J.D. and M.A. candidate.(This is a repost of a 2010 legal research blog entry that you may find useful.) Are you spending your summer at a law firm... read more!
February 11, 2011
 Eat Local – buy Local – much is made of these current popular movements for food and local businesses. But don’t forget to Research Locally also. City and county ordinances are important sources of law that may in fact be more relevant... read more!
November 19, 2010
Have a research project involving foreign or international law for your coursework or journal, clinic or public service-related activities? Biddle Law Library offers access to a wide variety of specialized electronic resources on foreign and international law. Biddle subscribes to country-specific databases,... read more!
July 14, 2010
 Would you like to see the research that helps Congress frame issues?  If so, you will want to look the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. As an agency of the Library of Congress, CRS functions as the "personal librarian" to congressional members, providing... read more!
March 9, 2010
Fascinated by the law and politics of stem cell research? Interested in exploring how public opinion on gay marriage relates to the recent Proposition 8 challenge in the federal district court in San Francisco? If you are considering  writing a seminar or independent... read more!
February 3, 2010
You find a reference to a book or an article that is on point for a seminar paper – but it isn’t at Biddle, on campus, or available as a pdf. Do you give up in defeat and look for a... read more!
December 8, 2009
 When you use an online catalog to find materials for a research and writing assignment, do you usually start with a keyword search? Many library patrons do!    A keyword search may miss some relevant items, though, as it often only searches the most... read more!
December 1, 2009
  Throughout their law school careers, Penn Law students must complete 70 hours of pro bono service. While fulfilling this requirement, many students may encounter an unfamiliar and somewhat arcane system – the Philadelphia courts. Other students end up involved in a Philadelphia... read more!
November 18, 2009
 Have you ever wondered why your Lexis/Westlaw searches yield too many hits or too few? Even if you have mastered the L/WL help screens on boolean (i.e., terms and connectors) searching or asked for help many times from L/WL Reference attorneys,... read more!
November 4, 2009
Dear Online Search Expert,I am an experienced searcher. I use Google all the time, but I am new to Westlaw. When I searched the Westlaw databases ALLSTATES, ALLCASES with the terms "power of attorney" and "conservator," it turned up the... read more!
September 30, 2009
Although animal law is often spoken of humorously, more and more folks are talking about this area of law. Penn Law offers an upper level seminar on Animal Law, and Penn Law students publish the Journal of Animal Law and Ethics.  Penn Law also has... read more!
May 4, 2009
Given today's challenging economic climate, more attorneys are choosing to turn away from fee-based databases (e.g. Lexis and Westlaw) and are instead conducting basic legal research utilizing free (and reliable) internet resources.  Although not appropriate for every situation, free... read more!
April 2, 2009
As we enter the March Madness of The Final Four, here is a legal research tip that should help you to visualize the relationships between four primary legal sources.  I like to call them "The Big Four."The Big Four comprises the following... read more!
March 20, 2009
If you have access to Biddle Law Library's electronic resources, you now have access to a new database: AudioCaseFiles (ACF). ACF provides multimedia access to audio opinions and trial video. You can search by course or casebook to locate material from 1L... read more!
February 12, 2009
You’ve heard that a regulation is due any day now, and you can’t wait to see it.  Where do you turn? The Office of the Federal Register has created the Public Inspection Desk to provide online access to materials that will... read more!
February 6, 2009
Penn Law School is fortunate to be a beta site for Bloomberg Law (BLAW), a division of Bloomberg, a major provider of business and financial information.Bloomberg describes BLAW as an "all inclusive tool providing in-depth legal analysis, filings, opinions, real-time and archival news, indexes, rankings,... read more!
December 1, 2008
Many of us, if not most, use popular online search engines like Google and Yahoo! to search the web. While these search tools often locate what we want, we might still wonder to ourselves, "What else can I have find... read more!
November 25, 2008
Reference librarians like to help people find useful information; it is one of the joys of our jobs.  Recently, I have been asked by several patrons where they can access PDF copies of information produced by the Federal Government.  As a... read more!
November 11, 2008
Here's a scenario with which you might be familiar.  You're working on a paper, and you know that the trend of what Americans think about some aspect of your topic is likely to be helpful in making your point. It... read more!
October 21, 2008
Did you know that October 14 was Open Access Day?  No?  That's ok, because Ed Greenlee and I didn't either until we were asked by Shawn Martin, Head of Scholarly Communication at Van Pelt library, to commemorate the event by... read more!
October 16, 2008
Law librarians are regularly called upon to provide information with regards to how individual members of Congress have voted on certain topics.  As both a lawyer and a librarian, I am constantly amazed by the availability of U.S. Government information,... read more!
February 5, 2008
Think blogs are fair game for citation in law review and journal articles, and even court opinions? You're not alone. (More after the jump.)... read more!