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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.

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.

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.

HeinOnline’s Women and the Law Collection
Includes journals concerning feminism, gender equality, LGBTQ+ protection, and social justice.

Law Journal for Social Justice
Arizona State journal discussing social problems and suggesting reforms on topics including incarceration, sexual abuse, and discrimination.

N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change
Exploring legal and ethical concerns about topics such as immigration, criminal justice, and child welfare governance.

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.

University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change
Examining social justice issues such as access to justice, community planning, and the criminal justice system.

Interdisciplinary Databases

Alternative media archives, including perspectives on social change issues.

De Gruyter: IBZ Online
Academic journal articles discussing social justice issues from around the globe.

Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints
A range of opinions on various social issues, such as feminism, racism, LGBTQ equality, poverty, and police brutality.

SAGE Knowldege Social Sciences
Congressional proceedings, historical documents, encyclopedias, and reference guides related to issues arising in the social justice umbrella.

Social Services Abstracts
Academic research on efforts to diminish the impact of racism, sexism, and other modes of discrimination in law and society.

SocIndex with Full Text
English and foreign-language academic materials regarding social justice from around the world.

Web of Science: Social Sciences Citation Index
Search academic research on issues involving race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other issues involving diversity and social justice.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000
Highlighting revolutionary women and their efforts to shape the nation’s history and progress toward improved social justice.

Women and Social Movements, International, 1840-Present
A collection of primary materials including revolutionary women’s writings and conference proceedings.

News and Analysis

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 or through ASURITE)
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 immigrationwomen in the law, and civil rights.

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

Books and Treatises

There are a number of treatises in the Law Library collection related to social change. You can search for relevant books in the library catalog by using subject headings such as Civil Rights MovementsCivil Rights Legislation, and Human Rights.

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.

From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (Michael Klarman, 2004)
Detailing the Supreme Court’s impact on civil rights beginning with the separate-but-equal ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson to Brown v. Board of Education and school desegregation.

The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (Lani Gunier & Gerald Torres, 2002)
Examining the phenomenon of racial disparity creating a signal of dangers threatening society as a whole because racially marginalized people are the first to experience distress, and critiquing conventions of political race relations.

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.

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.