This Week in the Law Library …

This week in the Law Library, we’re preparing for our move to the new building, continuing to look at bar exam resources, providing new summer legal research tips, and celebrating Disability Pride Month.

Law Library Access in Old & New Buildings

Student and visitor access to the current building will end on Friday July 22nd. General access to the new building will begin on Monday August 8th. Students will have 24/7 access to the new building starting at that time.

Take a sneak peak inside our new home! Peruse renderings and progress photos in our image gallery, watch in real time as our new home is constructed with the Construction Camera, and get the full picture of what to expect by reviewing the new building features.

Bar Exam Study Resources

Congratulations! You have made it through law school but now the bar exam looms. Don’t worry, the Law Library’s got your back. When you’ve caught your breath and you’re ready to start your bar studying, we have resources that can help. Check out our Bar Exam Research Guide.

The July bar examination will be administered July 26-27, 2022 at the Roberts Centre, 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, Ohio.

5 More Bar Exam Resources

The Bar Exam is not a sprint, it’s a marathon so pace yourself! You can see the previous week’s featured bar exam resources on our July 11th, July 5th, June 27, June 21st, June 13th, June 6th, and May 24th posts. Check out this week’s Bar Exam Resource highlights below on what to do this last week before the bar exam.

The End Is Near – What to Do During the Last Week of Bar Prep, JD Advising

Zoila Sanchez, Strategies for Bar Exam Week, Bar Exam Toolbox (July 13, 2022)

The Week Before the Bar Exam: Top Tips, Kaplan Test Prep

The Bar Exam is a Week Away – Now What?, Pass the Bar

7 Tips For Success The Week Before The Bar Exam, AdaptiBar (Feb. 14, 2022)

Summer Legal Research Tips

Previously, we looked at initial steps to take when you get a summer research project, researching secondary sources, the structure and organization of statutory codes and where to find them, finding and searching within annotated codes, how to update and validate statutes, and researching historical codes. This week we will cover statutory surveys.

Statutory Surveys

Sometimes a researcher is asked to find statutes from multiple jurisdictions on a particular topic. These can be extremely time consuming to compile AND difficult to compile because different statutes can use different language to describe the same thing and you won’t know what terms each jurisdiction uses. If someone had already done all or part of the work for you, why not take advantage of that? That’s where a statutory survey can come in. Just be aware going in that there is no guarantee that a survey exists on the topic you need and that these surveys are just a starting point to the primary sources—the state laws themselves. Surveys can be very informative guides, but likely will need to be updated and verified before placing final reliance upon them.

Statutory Surveys on Lexis & Westlaw

Lexis and Westlaw both have 50-state surveys. You can search or browse these surveys. The surveys are on selected subjects and you will definitely want to verify statutes you will be using.

The State Law Comparison Tool in Lexis Practice Advisor allows you to efficiently compare laws across multiple states for a variety of practice areas and topics. To produce a comparison document, start by selecting the “Practical Guidance” icon located on the left-hand side of the Lexis+ homepage. Then click the State Law Comparison Tool link on the right. You can then select your practice area, topic, jurisdiction, and question.

Westlaw also has a service called Jurisdictional Surveys. Start with the citation of a statute you know, index terms that describe your topical target, or from a predefined topic page. The result list is a curated list of statutory sections that uses algorithms to account for varying terminology across all jurisdictions.

Subject Compilations of State Laws

Another place you can find a state code survey is in a publication called Subject Compilations of State Laws. This is an annual publication that identifies and describes multistate surveys that have been published since the 1960s in various types of sources, including books, articles, government documents, and websites. The series now includes over 20 volumes, with new volumes being added every year. Unfortunately, the volumes are not cumulative, so you need to consult each one if you want to find surveys on a certain topic from all time periods since the 1960s.

The publication gives you a citation to the survey. It does not give you the full-text of the survey. Still, it is an excellent way to find a treatise or law review where someone has done a survey. It is much more comprehensive subject-wise than the Lexis and Westlaw state surveys.

This publication is now searchable online through HeinOnline.

State Law Charts on Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law has a chart builder that you can use to create custom state law surveys. The Chart Builder feature is under the “Practitioner Tools” tab. Bloomberg Law organizes the charts into 9 broad practice areas: Banking & Consumer Finance, Bankruptcy, Blue Sky/Securities, Corporate, Data Security & Privacy, Health Care, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, and Tax. Each practice area has multiple subjects within it.

Once you find your desired subject, select the jurisdiction(s) and topic(s) you are interested in and create the chart.

Additionally, some of the Practice Centers on Bloomberg Law also let you build state law charts, reports and track developments.

Smart Charts on VitalLaw

VitalLaw also has smart charts that you can use to create custom state law surveys. Access all of the smart charts through the Practical Content tab.

National Conference of State Legislatures

One organization that compiles high quality surveys on a wide variety of topics is the National Conference of State Legislatures. They are much better on reporting legislation as opposed to codified statutes, but you can still find surveys on a wide variety of topics. Some of their resources are for members only but much of it is available to the public.

Other Organizations & Associations

In addition to these sources, keep in mind that many organizations and associations may conduct code surveys. Just be aware that it is often harder to tell how up to date such a source is and you don’t know who compiled it or how accurate it is.

Don’t forget that you can always find out more about researching statutes in our Researching Statutes Guide or watch our videos on finding and searching within annotated codes.

July Is Disability Pride Month!

Disability Pride Flag

Disability Pride Flag. A black flag with a lightning bolt of blue, yellow, white, red, and green. Source: Ann Magill/Public Domain

About Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month is an annual worldwide observance holiday during the month of July. It promotes awareness of disability as an identity, a community, a culture & the positive pride felt by disabled people. It directly challenges systematic ableism and discrimination.

5 More Resources on Accessibility & Disability Issues

Critical Readings in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies (e-book)

This edited volume includes chapters on disability studies organized around three themes: Theory, Philosophy and Critique. Informed by a range of scholars who may or may not fashion their work beneath the banner of disability studies in explicit terms, it draws connections across a range of identities, knowledges, histories, and struggles that may, on the face of the text seem unrelated. The chapters are cross-categorical and interdisciplinary for purposes of complicating disability studies across international contexts and multiple locations that consider practice-oriented and intersectional approaches for analysis and advocacy. This integrative approach heralds more powerful ways to imagine disability and the conversation on disability.

Disability Studies: Educating for Inclusion (e-book)

Education systems worldwide will only successfully serve the needs of people with disability when we inclusively examine and address disabling issues that currently exist at school level education as well as further and higher education and beyond. The chapters contributing to this edited volume are presented to assist readers with a critical examination of contemporary practice and offer a concerted response to improving inclusive education. The chapters address a range of important topics related to the field of critical disability studies in education and include sections dedicated to Schools, Higher Education, Family and Community and Theorising. The contributors entered into discussions during the 2014 AERA Special Interest Group annual meeting hosted by Victoria University in Australia. The perspectives offered here include academic, practitioner, student and parent with contributions from Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, the UK and the US, providing transnational interest.

The Disability Studies Reader (e-book)

The Disability Studies Reader collects, for the first time, representative texts from the newly emerging field of disability studies. This volume represents a major advance in presenting the most important writings about disability with an emphasis on those writers working from a materialist and postmodernist perspective. Drawing together experts in cultural studies, literary criticism, sociology, biology, the visual arts, pedagogy and post-colonial studies, the collection provides a comprehensive approach to the issue of disability.

Occupying Disability: Critical Approaches to Community, Justice, and Decolonizing Disability (e-book)

This book explores the concept of “occupation” in disability well beyond traditional clinical formulations of disability: it considers disability not in terms of pathology or impairment, but as a range of unique social identities and experiences that are shaped by visible or invisible diagnoses/impairments, socio-cultural perceptions and environmental barriers and offers innovative ideas on how to apply theoretical training to real world contexts. Inspired by disability justice and “Disability Occupy Wall Street / Decolonize Disability” movements in the US and related movements abroad, this book builds on politically engaged critical approaches to disability that intersect occupational therapy, disability studies and anthropology. “Occupying Disability” will provide a discursive space where the concepts of disability, culture and occupation meet critical theory, activism and the creative arts. The concept of “occupation” is intentionally a moving target in this book. Some chapters discuss occupying spaces as a form of protest or, alternatively, protesting against territorial occupations. Others present occupations as framed or problematized within the fields of occupational therapy and occupational science and anthropology as engagement in meaningful activities. The contributing authors come from a variety of professional, academic and activist backgrounds to include perspectives from theory, practice and experiences of disability. Emergent themes include: all the permutations of the concept of “occupy,” disability justice/decolonization, marginalization and minoritization, technology, struggle, creativity, and change.

Vulnerable Bodies: New Directions in Disability Studies (e-book)

This book offers new direction in disability studies, by integrating the medical and social model of disability. The first aim is to provide an integral approach to thinking about impairment and disability through the integrative lens of being vulnerable. The second aim is to transcend the normative trap which impairment and disability debate finds itself locked in. Disability debate is trapped in a normative struggle to escape oppressive norms. Either, by legitimizing the desire to be free from impairment, where a legitimization identity is promoted through the medical model. Or, by resisting discriminative social norms, where the desire is to be free from oppressive social barriers that exist on top of having impairment. Identifying with one’s vulnerability, or embodied uncertainty, allows for the possibility of forging meaning and building new identity. It allows freedom to express embodied difference, rather than to transform or defend it.


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