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Seminar Topical Research Guides

Getting Started

Choosing a Paper Topic Research Guide
This research guide from the Ross-Blakley Law Library is designed for students who are writing a substantive legal research paper and are looking for guidance on how to begin. The guide details sources for help in selecting a paper topic and offers insight in how to check whether your paper will add new information to the field of law.

Conducting a Preemption Check Research Guide
This research guide details the recommended steps for conducting a preemption check, as well as provides information on and links to a variety of resources for conducting a thorough check.

News and Blogs

ABA Journal news
The American Bar Association, the national organization overseeing the legal profession, provides news and analysis on topics such as access to justice and diversity.

American Constitution Society Blog
This group dedicated to advancing "democracy, justice, equality, and liberty" includes two blogs. One, In Brief, features news updates on legal developments and advice for advocates. The other, Expert Forum, provides commentary on the criminal justice system, voting rights, access to justice, LGBTQ issues, and racial inequality.

Bloomberg Law News (Bloomberg password required)
The legal research database provides news and analysis including social justice topics, from sexual harassment to racial discrimination. Searchable for keywords such as gender and race.

Law 360: Access to Justice (available on campus)
This service from the legal research database Lexis explores issues related to the criminal justice system, including immigration, policing, criminal law, incarceration, and disparate impacts on racial, ethnic, and other minority groups. News 
This website aimed at providing practical guides to legal professionals concerning practice areas and law firms features news and analysis arranged by topics including immigrationwomen in the law, and civil rights.

Think Immigration
This blog from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, a professional network, provides news updates and commentary on the law governing U.S. immigration.

Westlaw News (Westlaw password required)
The legal research database provides a searchable database of news and analysis, highlighting topics such as immigration and criminal justice.

Primary Authority

The U.S. Code's provisions intended to promote acceptance and belonging include:

  • Title 8: Aliens and Nationality (The Immigration and Naturalization Act, found in Title 8 of the US Code, serves as a base for immigration law)
  • Title 18, Chapter 69: Nationality and Citizenship
  • Title 42, Chapter 21: Civil Rights 

The Law Library's Federal Legislature: Statutes and Legislation LibGuide provides information on where federal statutes can be accessed. 

Texts and Treatises

There are a number of treatises relevant to the topic of this course in the Law Library collection. You can search for books in the library catalog by using subject headings such as Racism in EducationCitizenship -- United States, and Human Rights.

Affordable Housing in U.S. Shrinking Cities: From Neighborhoods of Despair to Neighborhoods of Opportunity? (Robert Mark Silverman et al., 2016)
This titles examines the failings that render housing unaffordable and cause cities to shrink, and suggests a more prosperous and inclusive way forward.

Cognition, Intelligence, and Achievement (Timothy Papodopolous et al., eds. 2015)
Examines an interplay of factors including intelligence, cognition, and cultural issues on academic achievement.

Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America (Laila Lalami, 2020)
In Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America, the author recounts her personal journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen. The book illustrates how circumstances beyond an individual's control, such as country of origin and race, continue to hamper full acceptance of naturalized citizens.

Essentials of Immigration Law (Richard A. Boswell, 2009)
This title offers a broad survey of immigration law, covering the passage of the first immigration-related statute to the current state of affairs. Topics addressed include citizenship and naturalization, deportation and removal, waivers, asylum, criminal violations, family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, and administrative/judicial review. 

Fragomen on Immigration Fundamentals: A Guide to Law and Practice (Austin T. Fragomen et al., 2015)
Fragomen's provides in-depth coverage of bedrock immigration legislation, current USCIS rules and programs, and foundational court decisions.

Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban Schooling (R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy, 2014)
Examines social causes of lower academic achievement among racial and economic minorities in suburban schools. 

Inequality, Power and School Success: Case Studies on Racial Disparity and Opportunity in Education (Gilberto Conchas and Michael Gottfried, 2015)
Examines the social issues facing different groups of students and the resulting educational inequality-related effects.

Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress (Becky Pettit, 2012)
The author of Invisible Men argues that longstanding practice of ignoring incarcerated people in national surveys has helped hide decades of inequality as Black men continue to be targeted for prison sentences in starkly disproportionate terms.

The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (Lani Gunier & Gerald Torres, 2002)
This title explores how racial disparity creates a signal of dangers threatening society as a whole, as racially marginalized individuals are the first to experience distress.

The Pursuit of Racial and Ethnic Equality in American Public Schools (James E. Ryan, 2015)
This anthology traces the history of racial inequality in education from segregation to modern barriers to full integration through landmark legal cases. It also plots strategies for future advances in equality. 

The Road to Citizenship: What Naturalization Means for Immigrants and the United States (Sofya Aptekar, 2015)
Examines the evolution of the American immigrant's image throughout history, noting the immigration system's role in exacerbating inequalities, and considering whether to decrease barriers to citizenship.

Interdisciplinary Databases

Alt-Press Watch is a full-text database of articles from independent magazines, newspapers, and journals.  The database offers an alternative to mainstream media perspectives on local, national, and international issues. Coverage is from 1970 to the present, and includes perspectives on social change issues.

Elsevier eBook Complete Collections
This resource provides access to eBooks published by a range of publishers, covering the Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities subjects. Topics include law and social change.

Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints
This resource includes viewpoints, reference articles, infographics, news, images, video, and audio. It offers a range of opinions on various social issues, such as feminism, racism, LGBTQ equality, poverty, and police brutality.

SAGE Knowledge Social Sciences
SAGE Premier includes journals dedicated to social sciences, including coverage of congressional proceedings, historical documents, encyclopedias, and reference guides.

Social Services Abstracts
This database covers current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including academic research on efforts to diminish the impact of racism, sexism, and other modes of discrimination in law and society.

Law Reviews and Journals

Crime, Law and Social Change
Highlighting the intersections and tensions between social justice and the criminal justice system in the U.S. and worldwide, including examinations of punishment strategies and disparate treatment of particular people. Full-text access to the journal is publicly available on the website. 

Georgetown Immigration Law Journal
The Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, published quarterly since 1985, is a specialized law review that focuses exclusively on issues relating to immigration law. Full-text access to the journal is available on Westlaw (Westlaw password required), Lexis (Lexis password required), and HeinOnline (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE). 

Harvard Journals and Publications on Law and Social Change
A variety of publications examining social justice issues such as civil liberties, human rights, gender, race, and ethnicity. Full-text access to these journals is available on the website. Individual journals may also be found by searching Westlaw (Westlaw password required), Lexis (Lexis password required), or HeinOnline (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE). 

HeinOnline’s Women and the Law Collection
Includes journals concerning feminism, gender equality, LGBTQ+ protection, and social justice.  Full-text access to the journals is available on HeinOnline (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE). 

Law and Inequality
This journal from the University of Minnesota concerns gaps in inclusion, including educational inequality, civil rights, disability accessibility, and immigration law. Full-text access to the journal is available on Westlaw (Westlaw password required), Lexis (Lexis password required), HeinOnline (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE). 

Law Journal for Social Justice
Arizona State journal discussing social problems and suggesting reforms on topics including incarceration, sexual abuse, and discrimination. Full text access to the journal is publicly available on the website. 

N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change
Exploring legal and ethical concerns about topics such as immigration, criminal justice, and child welfare governance. Full-text access to the journal is publicly available on the website or on Westlaw (Westlaw password required), Lexis (Lexis password required), or HeinOnline (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE). 

Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Critiquing the legal system’s effects on social justice in areas such as immigration, race, and policing. Full-text access to the journal is publicly available on the website or on Westlaw (Westlaw password required), Lexis (Lexis password required), or HeinOnline (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE).  

Racial Justice Resources

The Law Library's Racial Justice Resources guide includes information on advocacy organizations, demonstrators' rights, and research tools.