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Journal Orientation 2020: Emory Law Journal


Remember, journal students have a dedicated Virtual Journal Support Desk, in addition to our general Virtual Reference Desk.  Use either link to talk with a Research Librarian during these hours:

Virtual Journal Support Reference Desk (August 10, 2020 - November 13, 2020):
     Tuesdays, 10am - 1pm
     Thursdays: 3pm - 6pm
     Fridays: 1pm - 4pm 

Virtual Reference Desk (August 17, 2020 - December 11, 2020):
(Meeting ID: 930 5184 4067)

     Monday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
     Friday: 9am - Noon
     Saturday - Sunday: Closed.

General Question for the Library?
Please complete this Questions for the Law Library? form.

Request a one-on-one Consultation:
Please complete our Student Research Request form. 

About This Page

This page provides starting points for information relevant to your journal and covers the following topics:

As always, if you need additional assistance, please request a Student Consult and we will be glad to help.  

MacMillan Law Library Services and Response to COVID-19

Check out this guide on Student Support for Law Students for the Fall 2020 Semester. 

Here you will find information on:

  • Library Hours
  • Using the Library
  • Virtual Reference
  • Student Support
    • Journal Support
    • Bluebook Access
    • West Academic Assessment Packages
    • Emory Law Archives Access
  • And much more

Electronic Resources and Starting Points

The Emory Law Journal has an editorial scope that is limited "only by the limits of legal scholarship and interest." Because of this, you will find yourself writing and spading in a wide variety of legal topics. In this section, we've suggested a number of general law resources where you can begin your research.

We recommend that once you've familiarized yourself with an area you'd like to explore further that you schedule a research consultation with a law librarian so that we can point you to more specialized resources.

Finding Guides by Subject:

You can limit your database search by title, subject, or most popular databases. Explore the available databases here:

Finding Treatises:

Choosing a Topic

Legal news and current awareness tools are a good source for identifying developing areas of law ripe for new scholarship. These tools are general in legal topical focus, but there are many subject-specific or specialized blogs and current awareness materials available.

Current Awareness

  • (law school community only).

From American Lawyer Media, the full site including all legal news publications, as well as the popular AmLaw rankings. Additional features may be accessed by creating an account. Emory Law users may create an account by clicking here.

Legal Blogs

Circuit Splits


You will need to do a preemption check to make sure that your idea is original. To do this, you should do a thorough search of the legal literature to determine if another author has already published on your topic, using the same analysis as yours. 

1. Compile a List of Search Terms: Start by compiling a list of search terms that will retrieve any articles similar to your proposed comment.

2. Search Law Journal Articles: Search for recent law review articles on your topic in the law journal databases on Westlaw and Lexis. If your proposed comment is based on a case or statute, you should also use Keycite on Westlaw and Shepards on Lexis to find articles analyzing the case or statute.

You might also search in Legal Research Index on Westlaw, using the index headings to find articles on your topic, and in the Current Index to Legal Periodicals on Westlaw and Hein Online, a weekly index service arranged by subject area. Both are good for finding the most recent law journal articles in a subject area. 

3. Search For Interdisciplinary Articles (if applicable)

4. Search for Books/Chapters: You should also check for books and book chapters that might have been published on your topic, using discoverE, the Emory University Libraries catalog, and WorldCat, a catalog of the holdings of U.S. and international libraries. 

5. Search for Unpublished Materials: To find working papers and pending law review articles, search the abstracts in the Legal Scholarship Network, a division of SSRN, and the articles in the bepress Legal Repository. Academic legal blogs, such as the Legal Theory Blog and the blogs in the Law Professor Blogs Network, sometimes post announcements of new legal scholarship.

*Be sure to keep checking for new articles on your topic, and other developments that might affect your research, using alerts on Westlaw and Lexis, and by following topical legal blogs and newsletters.*


Additional Guides on Preemption

Some other legal research guides on preemption include:

Citation Assistance

Citations depend on the latest edition The Bluebook. The new 21st edition lists noteworthy changes from the previous edition. The T2 tables for foreign jurisdictions in the Electronic Bluebook are available for free.

The 21st Edition of the Bluebook is now available online.  Individual subscriptions are available starting at $39 per year. For assistance with the new edition of The Bluebook, submit a Student Consultation Request with the librarians, who have the new editions.

For a free, online alternative, try the Indigo Book, based on the Bluebook Uniform System of Citation. 

Physical Materials

Database Tools

  • Hein Online Law Journal Library: The Citation Navigator available in most Hein libraries lets you enter a citation and retrieve the document, and there is also a citation guide with accepted Bluebook abbreviations.  
  • JSTOR: "Copy this citation" available in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles

Library Guides

Interactive Training

Where to Find PDFs for Spading

Published Opinions

  • US Supreme Court: Slip opinions and official bound volumes in PDF
  • Westlaw: Reported cases published in West reporters; look for the PDF symbol


  • Bloomberg Law: For filings from federal and select state dockets


  • Hein Online: Scanned PDF images in its Law Journal Library
  • JSTOR: Non-law journals in PDF, including older issues

Government Documents

  • GovInfo US government publications in PDF, including legislative history documents, the US Code, and the Federal Register
  • Hein Online: Scanned PDF images in its US Code, US Congressional Documents, US Statutes at Large libraries, and CFR and Federal Register libraries
  • ProQuest Legislative Insight and ProQuest Congressional: Legislative history materials in PDF


Historical Materials


Many of Emory's ebook databases have books and treatises in PDF or other image formats. Find them by searching titles in discoverE

Subject Guide

ELJ Orientation - Presentation Link

Thank you to everyone who attended the presentation on Saturday, August 15th! Please find the link to the presentation here: