Library Services & Policies For Law Reviews

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  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) for Cite-Checking

    If you cannot find material in our library or in Richter library, our Interlibrary Loan Department can most often borrow the material from another library. Occasionally we are unable to obtain certain materials through interlibrary loan, in which case you should work with your ACE and the article author to obtain the cited source material. The law library's interlibrary loan coordinator is Barbara Cuadras (; D137; 305-284-3728). The ILL department's hours are 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.

    Process to obtain an interlibrary loan for cite-checking:

    1. Check the library catalog (uSearch) and make sure to change the drop-down box to "All UM Libraries" to be sure that neither library already owns the material. If you have problems searching our catalog, please see a reference librarian.
    2. Check the Law Library and Richter Library subscription databases as well as the internet to see whether the materials are available online. If you need a print version of an article, some of the databases (notably Hein Online) feature pdf images of the print version, so check the databases before requesting an ILL.
    3. Only after being sure that the material is not available from the Law Library or Richter Library, request an interlibrary loan by submitting an interlibrary loan request form electronically (see links below). Please ONLY use the form designated for your law review and ONLY for cite checking assignments. This request will be sent directly to the law review's ILL liaison. The liaison will approve the request and forward it to the Law Library's ILL department.
    4. Do not make a request directly to our ILL Department. Only the liaison may request an ILL for the law review. Direct requests cannot be fulfilled.

    Please be sure to return the borrowed materials on time. Your Managing Editor is responsible to ensure that borrowed materials are not late. The Library must return the materials to our partner libraries in order to avoid compromising our interlibrary loan arrangement with the lender Library. The law review will be responsible for late fees and for replacement costs for lost or damaged materials.

  • Cite-Checking ILL Request Form

    Important Note: This form should NOT be used if you need to request materials for class work, or for research related to your own law review comment or note. For these requests, use the general Interlibrary Request Form.

  • Circulation

    • The circulation staff can help you with locating materials, directional questions and using library equipment. If you have any further questions about circulation, contact Bill Latham, Circulation Librarian (; (305-284-1935).

      Checking out books:

      Always check out books before bringing them into the law review's office. Any book brought into the law review's office must be personally checked out by a member of the law review staff. This person remains responsible for the book until it is returned to the library. He/She is also the person the library will contact if the book is recalled by another patron.

      In the event that another law journal staff member, professor or law student needs to use the material, the Library can only locate the material if it's checked out. In turn, if you need material being used by another law review in their office and it has not been checked out, we will not be able to locate those materials. Requiring that items be checked out if they are to be kept in law review offices is the only way to ensure that all law reviews will have access to the materials they need.

      Most items in the Library can be checked out to law review members if the material is going to a law review office.

  • Preemption Checking

    A preemption check is the process of determining whether another article has already been written on your topic. If you do not find such an article, your topic has not been preempted, and you can proceed with your research.

    If you do find any articles on your topic, you may still be able to proceed if you plan on addressing the topic from a new perspective or a different point-of-view from the already-written article. The more articles that have been written on your topic, the more difficult this will be.

    For specific steps to conducting a preemption check, view the library's step-by-step Guide to Preemption Checking.

    Databases for Preemption

  • Tips For Law Review Staff Members

    • ASK the reference librarians for assistance!
    • We sit at the reference desk for the sole purpose of helping you. Please do not wander around the Library or search online unsuccessfully looking for what you need, all the while getting more and more frustrated. Stop by the reference desk and we will help you find the best resource for your project.
    • Use the law library's subscription databases.
    • The Library subscribes to many helpful databases that may be accessed through the Subscription Databases webpage on the Library's website. These databases may be accessed from the library or by home by logging on to the Law School network.

    Below is a summary of a few of the databases:

    Hein Online - Hein Online has many major library collections: the Law Journal Library (including older issues of journals), the Federal Register Library (1936-1990), the Treaties and Agreements Library, Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Legislative History Library, and the U.S. Supreme Court Library. All of these libraries are image-based and fully-searchable, meaning that they provide exact page images and enable the researcher to view all pages as they originally appeared in the print version.

    Govinfo - Web site for the Government Publishing Office, contains authenticated versions of federal documents, such as the United States Code, Laws, Congressional documents and more.

    Congressional (Proquest) - Much, but not all, of this material is on Lexis. It contains federal legislative material, such as laws, congressional bills, reports, and hearings. Congressional includes the U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection 1789-1969. Also included are Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Committee Prints from 2004 to present.

    Foreign Law Guide: Current Sources - This resource includes information on major legal publications, such as codes and judicial decisions, as well as where to find specific laws by subject for virtually every country and many regional entities.

    Use Richter and Richter's databases to find non-legal materials.

    Many of the sources cited in the articles you will be editing will not be strictly legal sources. Therefore, you may need to search the "Everything" tab from the libraries' catalog (uSearch).This tab includes many of the online resources available at UM.

    VLex Global is an extensive collection of current foreign law with a focus on Latin America and Europe. Includes legislation, cases, journals, books, news as well as commentary from practicing lawyers in over 100 jurisdictions.

    Bloomberg Law - for law review purposes, Bloomberg Law is useful for court documents, particularly for federal courts. If you do not have a Bloomberg Law password, register using your law school email address from the Register Academic Account link.

    Don't let the BLUEBOOK drive you crazy!

    The following four tips will prevent most (but certainly not all) bluebook frustration:

    1. Use the index to find what you're looking for!
    2. Don't try to read the rules. Rather, look for and then copy citation examples instead. Remember that index entries in italics indicate an example citation.
    3. Use the blue geographic pages to find citation examples for specific jurisdictions (both states and foreign countries).
    4. Use the "Quick Reference" in the inside front cover for law review footnote example formats. (Note that the inside back cover contains example formats for court document citations, not law review citations).

    Let us help you conduct your research for your article or note. We can even help you choose a topic.

    If you are having difficulty choosing a topic for an article or note, or if you are having trouble with the research, contact Robin Schard (305-284-6441 or She can set up an appointment for you to meet with her or another librarian who can discuss topic selection or research strategy. As your research continues you can meet again with the same librarian, who will already be aware of your topic and progress.

  • Further Resources On Topic Selection

  • Telephone Directory