Category Archives: General

One of the first things law school students learn is how to properly cite legal authority…

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Federal Legal Research: Spring Intersession: June 2-6


Federal Legal Research

Prof. Marie Templo-Capule

Spring Intersession

June 2-6

Class Description: Legal tools that answer more complex legal research problems, including federal legislative histories, sources of administrative law, specialized subject research. Federal emphasis. Extensive work with online resources. 

 Course Goals: The principal purpose of this course is to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to conduct effective legal research on Federal law. It also has the secondary, but important, goal of expanding on and reinforcing the basic legal research skills that students had earlier gained from Legal Research and Writing. Although the course is only one credit, we believe you will become reasonably knowledgeable about sources of Federal law and skilled in researching various Federal and general legal sources.

                   Class Outline

June 2: Review of authority hierarchy

Case law: from complaint to final decision

  • tracking cases
  • documents available
  • forms (Sources for sample forms)
  • Court Rules – details of case process
  • Review of using digests to locate cases by subject
  • Using online sources to access cases
  • principles of database selection
  • predetermined outline vs. free form
  • issues using predetermined outline
  • issues with free form
  • terms and connectors v. natural language
  • principles for formulating a free form search
  • working with a known authority
  • using cases to locate other relevant cases
  • using citators to locate other relevant cases
  • using citators to determine if a case still represents good law

 June 3: Statutory law: the federal system

  • Bills, public laws, and codes
  • Legal status of public laws and codes
  • Research using codes: print and online (Westlaw, Lexis, web)
  • Predetermined outline
  • Free form searching online
  • Natural language v. terms and connectors
  • State statutory and local ordinance searching
  • Uniform laws

 June 4: Legislative history

  • Legislative process
  • Materials used for statutory research
  • Relative value and use by courts of legislative history materials

 June 5: Administrative law

  • The administrative process – how rules are made
  • Issues surrounding modern administrative law
  • Registers and codes
  • Administrative research:
  • print
  • online – Westlaw, Lexis, web
  • Administrative agency powers
  • decisions
  • enforcement

 June 6: Use of specialized looseleaf sources

  • Print and online
  • Federal Income Taxation
  • Immigration Law





Licensing in the Shadow of Copyright by by Peter DiCola and David Touve

“…The first qualitative and quantitative data about the licensing process for on-demand music streaming services…”


download full article:



Creating a Legal Resume (from the University of Georgia Law)

ImageYour resume is usually the first information about you that an employer will see.  Be sure it represents your qualifications in a relevant, updated, accurate and precise manner.  You should carefully review your resume for each job application and, if necessary, customize it for that job and employer.


Top Ten Starting Points:

  1. “Objective” and “Summary of Qualifications” sections are not traditions on legal resumes, but may be used if you are applying outside the legal field (for example, using your J.D. degree in a non-Bar licensed job).
  2. Most commonly, organize information in reverse chronological order within each category.
  3. Using color and graphics is strongly discouraged on a legal resume.  Avoid multiple fonts or those that are difficult to read.  Keep it simple.  Focus on content.
  4. Target different employers with different resumes.  Highlight experiences, leadership roles, coursework, student activities, clinical/externships, etc. by category organization and page placement.  Customize for the job and the employer.
  5. “Computer Skills” are likely not relevant to the job unless specifically requested by the employer.  If you include “Language Skills” be accurate.  Include hobbies or other information as space allows; be ready to discuss and include items that are interesting but not odd.
  6. Placement on the page: the eye reads from left to right – get important information on the left margin.  Information on the top third of the page gets the most attention.  Lead the eye down the page with clear headings and bullets for rapid scanning.
  7. Wording:  Use active voice.  The first-person subject “I” is understood, so don’t use pronouns in your descriptions.  Try and remove any unnecessary words; be concise.
  8. Length: The default is one page, unless you are applying for a public interest or government position.  For government and public interest, stick to two pages or less.
  9. Save your resume in pdf form before sending, and test e-mail it to yourself (and a friend) to be sure it retains its format through transmittal.
  10. Do the “10 Second Test” – hand a printed version of your final resume to a friend for 10 seconds.  Take it back, ask them to recite what they remember, quickly.  See if you are making the quick first impression you want to make.


Click on this link to read entire article, plus advice on grade resumes and samples.



San Diego Law Library Celebrates Law Week

San Diego Law Library Celebrates Law Week

The San Diego Law Library is joining California County Law Libraries throughout the state in celebrating Law Week, April 28-May 2. In honor of Law Week we are hosting a series of events designed to increase access to justice.

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Design Patents: Law Without Design by Peter Lee & Madhavi Sunder

Design Patents: Law Without Design by Peter Lee & Madhavi Sunder

Design patents have recently burst onto the intellectual property stage, but they are surprisingly underdeveloped for a body of law that is more than a century and a half old. Design patents are, quite simply, a body of law without design: there is little coherent theoretical underpinning for this long overlooked form of intellectual property. Now, as design patents are poised to assume greater prominence in the legal and economic realms, the time is ripe for examining myriad justifications for exclusive rights in design in order to develop a richer theoretical foundation for this body of law.

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For updated environmental news, visit: or

In related news, The Justice Department announced the biggest environmental cash settlement in history, securing a $5.15 billion deal with Anadarko Petroleum to clean up dozens of sites across the country and compensate more than 7,000 people living with the effects of the contamination. Continue reading: