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Research Assistants' Guide

Research Essentials

College of Law Legal Databases
This compilation of resources the Ross-Blakley Law Library offers is essential for researchers seeking primary, secondary, or historical legal research. WestlawBloomberg Law, and Lexis require individual passwords; Ask a Law Librarian if you need access. Highlights of this collection include:

  • HeinOnline: This resource includes current and historical legal materials, including law reviews and journals; historical primary law; current and historical regulatory provisions; and international materials. Most materials are presented in PDF format, retaining original graphic elements and pagination.
  • VitalLaw: This legal database has a strong focus on tax, securities, banking, bankruptcy, and related areas of law.
  • ProQuest Legislative Insight: Research involving statutes typically will benefit from an exploration of the legislative history leading to their enactment. This resource enables users to easily search federal legislative history.

A-Z Databases
This list maintained by the Arizona State University Library is searchable and includes hundreds of databases concentrating on specific fields of academic study or general interest.

Google Scholar
This resource is searchable by keywords or author, and some entries include free, full-text PDF files.

The Social Science Research Network includes full-text PDFs of published scholarly work as well as working drafts, searchable by title, keywords, or author. 

Law Librarians' Role

Librarians' Work with the Faculty
The Ross-Blakley Law Library reference librarians frequently work with faculty on their research projects and thus know the scope of the faculty member's current research interests and activities. They also keep abreast of faculty research interests through browsing periodicals and new books that may be pertinent.

We Can Assist You
Since our reference librarians are involved in faculty research activities, they can also serve as an important resource for you. The librarians can advise you on likely places to find the information you seek, law-related or not. They can also provide training in using the resources of the law library—from searching the online catalog, to accessing resources available through the ASU network, to using the Internet as an effective research tool. They can even help you navigate and interpret the rules of the Bluebook if your assignments involve legal citation. 

Whom to Contact?
To request assistance, please contact Tara Mospan, the Associate Director of the Library and Head of Research Services.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check out books in my faculty member's name? 
If you need to check out library books as part of your work as a research assistant, we encourage you to talk with your faculty member about naming you as a proxy borrower. This will allow you to check out books using the faculty member’s library account.  To apply, submit the completed, signed form to the Circulation Desk on the 3rd floor or email it to Carrie Henteleff.  

Please familiarize yourself with Library Borrowing Policies. If you have questions, contact the Law Library Circulation Desk, 480-965-6144. 

How do I request resources?
If a resource you need is held in print by any ASU library, please use the request options available through the library catalog.  You can request scans or have books sent to the Law Library for checkout.  If you are a proxy borrower, you will not be able to place requests through the faculty member’s name using the catalog.  To place a request as a proxy borrower, please contact the Circulation Desk or place the request under your name and let us know when you come to check out the book.

If a source you need is not available through ASU, we can obtain the material from another library through interlibrary loan (ILL).  ILL requests can be placed through the request process in the library catalog or by using our ILL Request form.   

How do I renew books? 
Renewals for eligible items will be automatically processed five days before the due date and are unlimited for most library books.  Interlibrary loan books are not automatically renewed.  To request an ILL renewal, please use our ILL Renewal form.

For circulation or interlibrary loan assistance, please contact Carrie Henteleff.