This week in the Law Library we are welcoming our LLM students, providing resources to help students prepare for the year ahead, and looking at summer legal research tips on researching administrative law.
Welcome LLM Students
A warm welcome to our LLM students! We’re so happy that you joined us.
LLM Introduction to the Law Library
- Tuesday, Aug. 10
- 1:30 – 2:30pm
- Room 204
Law School Academic Success
Last week we covered some useful podcasts for law school success. This week we’re going to cover 5 resources to help you prepare for the year ahead.
5 Resources to Help Prepare for the Year Ahead
The resources below are available through the Law Library’s study aid subscriptions. For more information on accessing our study aids, view our Introduction to Study Aids video and our 1-L Study Aids page on the 1-L Survival Guide.
Law 101, available through the Lexis Nexis Digital Library study aid subscription (Lexis Overdrive), gives a behind-the-scenes look at what law school’s really like. The advice covers all aspects of law school, and ranges from academic advice on such topics as study techniques, classroom skills, and tips for exam success, to the best ways to participate in extracurricular activities, maintain healthy relationships outside of law school, and get a job after graduation.
This book, available through the West Academic study aid subscription, gives law students weekly checklists explaining the skills necessary to successfully navigate their first year of law school. Each chapter provides a checklist of things to do that week, such as briefing cases, going over notes, outlining classes, or doing practice questions. When a new concept is introduced, this book clearly explains the concept and its purpose and provides examples. It also includes a bank of over 100 short, medium, and long practice questions in six first year subjects.
Summer Legal Research Tips
Last week we covered researching state legislative history. This week we will briefly cover researching administrative law.
Federal Administrative Law Research
Any time you have a statutory issue, you will need to find any applicable administrative regulations and update those regulations. You will also want to consult administrative adjudications. Congress creates administrative agencies and delegates to them the authority to act, but they are part of the executive branch. Administrative agencies generate rules and regulations, much like a legislature generates statutes. These administrative rules and regulations help further interpret a statute. Additionally, agencies may conduct hearings and issue decisions concerning matters that fall under their jurisdiction, much like a court. Finally, agencies may also investigate and enforce violations.
Rules that are immediately effective are integrated into the “Electronic Code of Federal Regulations” also known as the e-CFR. The e‐CFR is an unofficial editorial compilation published by the Office of the Federal Register and the Government Printing Office. It is the most up-to-date version of the CFR.
The official publication of Federal rules is the Code of Federal Regulations that is published annually by the Government Printing Office. The CFR is divided into 50 subject matter titles. Each of the 50 titles are republished each year on a staggered, quarterly basis. Titles 1-16 are revised as of January 1, titles 17-27 are revised as of April 1, Titles 28-41 are revised as of July 1, and Titles 42-50 are revised as of October 1. Each title is divided into chapters usually bearing the name of the issuing agency. At the back of each CFR volume is an Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the CFR, showing the title and chapter where an agency’s regulations are codified. Each chapter is further subdivided into parts which cover specific regulatory areas. Large parts may be subdivided into subparts; all parts are organized in sections, and most citations to the CFR will be provided at the section level.
Secondary Sources & Annotated Code References
So how do you find regulations? If you are following the research process, hopefully your secondary source would have given you some citations to regulations when talking about your issue. For example, if we were researching a Fair Labor Standards Act issue of overtime for outside sales employees, we would find references to the applicable regulations in the secondary source, FLSA Employee Exemption Handbook.
Your annotated code also will often refer you to relevant CFR sections. In Westlaw codes, you can find this under Context and Analysis. In Lexis Codes, it is under Research References.
If you are using online sources on Lexis or Westlaw, you can just jump to the hyperlinked CFR citations. If using a print secondary source or code, once you have a citation to a specific CFR section, you can retrieve the section by citation in Lexis and Westlaw just like you would any other document. You can also retrieve it by citation in HeinOnline and you can retrieve it by citation for free at the e-CFR or govinfo.gov.
Finding Regulations by Subject
If you don’t have a citation from a secondary source or the annotated code, you might also want to look at finding regulations by subject. The CFR has an index. You can access this index on Govinfo.gov and on HeinOnline. Lexis and Westlaw also have a CFR Index. Note that it is not the same index as the one that the Government Printing Office provides. To access the index on Westlaw, simply go to the CFR, look off to the right under Tools and Resources, and select the CFR Index. To access the index on Lexis, begin typing CFR Index in the big search box. When using either the GPO Index or the indexes on Lexis or Westlaw, one helpful hint is to start by looking under the agency or sub-agency. Remember that you can also do keyword searching for regulations. When searching administrative regulations on Lexis or Westlaw, you can add a little precision to your search by using fields and segments.
More on Researching Administrative Law
For more on researching Federal Administrative law, check out the resources below:
- Federal Administrative Law Guide
- Administrative Law Research Using the CFR Video
- Updating Regulations from the CFR Video
- Administrative Law Research: Tracking Regulations Video
- Administrative Law Research: Administrative Decisions Video
- Administrative Law Research: Judicial Review of Agency Actions Video