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Seminar Topical Research Guides

Research Guides

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 Ross-Blakley Law Library 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.

Racial Justice Resources 
The Racial Justice Resources guide from the Ross-Blakley Law Library includes information on advocacy organizations, demonstrators' rights, and research tools.

News and Analysis

ABA Journal news
News and analysis on topics such as access to justice and diversity.

Bloomberg Law News (Bloomberg password required)
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)
Exploring 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 legal professionals features news and analysis arranged by topics including immigration and civil rights.

Westlaw News (Westlaw password required)
Searchable database of news and analysis, highlighting topics such as immigration and criminal justice.


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.

Chicano Database
This database provides a wide range of materials discussing issues facing Chicano, Mexican-American, and Latino communities, including racial and ethnic discrimination.

De Gruyter: IBZ Online
This is an integrated comprehensive research portal for access to primary sources, text collections, reference works, and bibliographies across multiple disciplines. Academic journal articles discuss social justice issues from around the globe.

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, including race and contemporary social problems.

Indigenous Peoples: North America
Indigenous Peoples: North America includes manuscripts, monographs, newspapers, photographs, motion pictures, government documents, and images of artwork to inform researchers on the cultural and historical heritage of indigenous people.

SAGE Knowledge Social Sciences
SAGE Premier includes journals dedicated to social sciences, including coverage of congressional proceedings, historical documents, encyclopedias, and reference guides linked to issues arising in the social justice umbrella, including race.

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.

Sociological Abstracts
This database covers journal articles, conference papers, books, dissertations, and conference papers, book reviews, sociology, social science, and policy science. It includes overviews of scholarly research regarding social justice issues.

Books and Treatises

There are a number of treatises in the Law Library collection related to race and the law. You can search for relevant books in the library catalog by using subject headings such as Civil Rights, Race Relations, and Racism.

Civil Rights Stories (Myriam E. Gilles & Risa L. Goluboff, 2007) (available on West Academic on campus or with password)
Discussing key moments in the development of civil rights law in contexts of race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender equality, and ability.

Critical Race Theory: A Primer (Khiara M. Bridges, 2019) (available on West Academic on campus or with password)
Discussing the development and application of critical race theory in the legal context, with focus on privilege, implicit bias, and intersections with sexuality, religion, disability. Modern issues explored in depth include criminal justice, education, and healthcare.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander, 2012)
Arguing that the criminal justice system in effect imposes a familiar caste system of racial oppression in America.

Race and Racialization: Essential Readings (Tania Das Gupta et. al, eds., 2018)
Examining racial theory, Colonialism, and modern problems with racism in society and its institutions, and exploring the impact of privileged identity categories.

Race as Phenomena: Between Phenomenology and Philosophy of Race (Emily S. Lee, ed., 2019)
Taking account of the unique characteristics and perspectives of individual authors to more fully explore contemporary social issues regarding race, from interactions with law enforcement, psychology, politics, and intersectionality.

Race Law Stories (Rachel F. Moran & Devon Wayne Carbado, 2008) (available on West Academic on campus or with password)
Tracing the racial legal history of the United States, from slavery and Native American displacement to the Jim Crow era following the Civil War, to racial segregation of Asian-Americans during World War II and continuing intersectional bias and resistance to equality.

Racial Ecologies (LeiLani Nishime & Kim D. Hester Williams eds., 2018)
An anthology of scholarly work within frameworks such as indigenous people and critical race theory examining the outsize impact of environmental degradation on communities of color.

Suspect Race: Causes and Consequences of Racial Profiling (Jack Glaser, 2015)
Examining the causes of racial profiling such as stereotypes and implicit bias, and suggesting that mere efforts to ban profiling practices are inadequate to address a problem that may worsen crime and the mass incarceration problem.

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement (Wesley Lowery, 2016)
Examining recent flashpoints in calls for racial justice, such as the demonstrations against deadly police actions.

Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in Business in America (Michael Klarman, 2007)
Analyzing the effect of the law and courts on the development of racial civil rights from the Founding of the United States to the present.

Law Reviews and Journals

Law Journal for Social Justice
Arizona State journal discussing social problems and suggesting reforms on topics including race and racism.

HeinOnline collections: featuring journals devoted to legal issues involving:

  • Civil Rights: dozens of journals dedicated to matters including racial justice, largely in the U.S.
  • Human Rights: journals dedicated to social justice issues worldwide, including foreign and international periodicals
  • Indigenous People: journals dedicated to legal issues involving Native North Americans