Research Assistant Resource Recap

Author: Susan Good

Hello RAs! Now that you’re settled in to your summer schedule, using HeinOnline, LexisNexis, and Westlaw is probably getting to be second nature for you. Consequently, it’s time to learn about some of the other resources available to you. The first of which is your beautifully renovated law library (true, some areas are not furnished yet, but they are still gorgeous). So, if you need to spread your books, notes, and laptop out, stop trying to cram everything onto the tables in the commons and sprawl your things out on one of the spacious new desks in the Main Reading Room instead. Second, although we research librarians may seem frazzled as we settle into our new office spaces, do stop by the new reference area (directly inside the main doors of the library on the second floor), as we remain eager to assist you! If you’re off-campus, be sure to email or call us for assistance with your information needs. Third, not sure how we can “assist you with your information needs” (or even what “information needs” itself means)? Then visit the Law Library Services for Research Assistants page to learn about all the ways that we can help you find answers to your questions and identify relevant resources for your topic(s). Fourth, don’t just read this issue of the Law Library Newsletter, check out the archive too! You’ll find lots of helpful articles that will introduce you to new (and old) services and resources which you have never used before!

Don’t believe me? Then check out this list of “R.A. Relevant Law Library Newsletter Article Highlights” and see what you’ve been missing!

Want to experience the world beyond HeinOnline, LexisNexis, and Westlaw? Resources for Research Assistants will introduce you to many other subject specific and interdisciplinary legal and non-legal databases (e.g., Art History, Business, Catholic Studies, Economics, Medicine, Nanotechnology, etc.).

Wondering how your Professors find time to stay on top of legal issues and developments outside their fields of interest? Check out Catching up on Legal News with JURIST (and Other Resources)! to learn about the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s free real-time legal news and research service.

Think JURIST is pretty cool, but wish you had access to an in-depth current awareness service that focuses exclusively on one area of law (e.g., Corporate Governance, Human Resources, Medicare, Privacy, Toxic Waste, White Collar Crime)? Read Develop Awareness of Current Legal Issues with United States Law Week and learn how BNA can make your dreams come true.

Working on the legislative history of a federal law? Has the novelty of using archaic technology like print indexes and microform machines worn off? Then Introducing LexisNexis Congressional, the Sure Cure for Microfiche Melancholia! is the article for you.

At the point where your appreciation for all you’ve learned about research methodology this summer is starting to be outweighed by longing for an RA of your own? See Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports to find out how you can benefit from the work of an elite group of lawyers, economists, reference librarians, social, natural, and physical scientists, and other members of the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Elated and inspired by all of these revelations? Hungry for more? Then be sure to read each issue of Law Library Newsletter in the archive. Better yet, learn more about a career in law librarianship via the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Recruitment Committee FAQ or stop by your friendly research librarians’ offices to learn more about their profession.

-Chris O’Byrne