This page presents tips for identifying and locating supporting sources and guidelines for using library materials and services to help with your law review and journal work.
To use this guide, click on the tabs above (or the links below) for information about:
- Beginning your Research
- How to Select a Note Topic
- Preemption Checking
- Current Awareness Sources
- Other Research Sources
- How to Cite Sources
See Finding Library Materials for more information on how to find materials referenced in this guide.
If you encounter problems finding sources as your research progresses, please visit our Cite-Checking page which can help you locate materials.
During the regular academic year, reference librarians are typically available Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. to provide research guidance. Consult the reference schedule for the most current information.
John Edwards (271-2141, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rebecca Lutkenhaus (271-2053, email@example.com)
Karen Wallace (271-2989, firstname.lastname@example.org)
David Hanson (271-2077, email@example.com)
Deborah Sulzbach (271-3784, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Julie Thomas (271-2052, email@example.com)
See the computer help directory for guidance on who to contact for your issue.
What Makes a Good Note Topic?
A crucial step in the writing process, topic selection merits careful consideration. The time invested in topic selection can pay off many times over in the forms of fewer, more enjoyable hours of research and writing and a more robust final product. Consider these words from a law student writing his note: “I almost certainly should have taken more care in choosing my note topic, concentrating not only on what I wanted to write and research, but on the audience that I would be expected to address.” (See the Note archive on the blog Three Years of Hell to Become the Devil.)
To select a good note topic, you must first clearly understand your objective. The staff manuals for both the Law Review and Journal explain that “a Note should identify ideas and trends, highlight weakness, and provide an analytical framework for better understanding the complexities of the subject matter.” Reviewing student notes published in recent issues of the Drake Law Review or Drake Journal of Agricultural Law can be informative, as can discussion with senior staff and faculty.
It may also be helpful to review advice from other publications, such as the one listed below. (You will want to remember that they may have different writing requirements for their staff members and filter their advice accordingly.)
Stanford Law Review – Guide to Student Submissions
The Notes Committee of the Stanford Law Review produced a Guide to Student Submissions, which summarizes ten characteristics of notes that have been accepted for publication (see pp. 4-5).