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Journal Orientation 2023

About This Page

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

  • Emory Law Subject Guides 
  • Electronic Resources
  • Choosing a Topic
  • Citation Assistance
  • Where to find PDF versions of documents
  • Preemption checks

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

Electronic Resources and Starting Points

You might need to start by learning a little about foreign or international law. These resources will also be useful as sources for your research project, for background and to lead you to other secondary and primary sources.

Oxford International Law databases:

Hein Online Foreign & International Law Databases:

Elgar Online Encyclopedias: Including the Elgar Encyclopedia of Private International Law, the Elgar Encyclopedia of International Economic Law, and the Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. 

ASIL Benchbook on International Law : An introduction to international law issues arising in U.S. courts.

CRS Reports from the Congressional Research Service include background reports on topics of interest to Congress in US foreign relations, treaty practice, and other international law subjects. Find them in,, a larger collection including older reports in ProQuest Congressional and a collection specific to foreign relations and national security from the Federation of American Scientists. 

The Law Library of Congress also produces research reports for Congress on foreign, comparative, and international  law topics. 

Foreign Law Guide:  Subscription database. Contains primary and secondary sources of foreign law for more than 170 jurisdictions, including subject listings with citations to major individual statutes for each country, and secondary sources by subject and jurisdiction.

Getting the Deal Through: Reports by jurisdiction and practice area on issues in tax, data protection, banking, commercial law, trade, and intellectual property, with summaries of the law and citations to laws, regulations, and cases, and a jurisdiction comparison feature. Also available on  Bloomberg Law and on Lexis. 

Practical Law Global Guides and Cross-Border Topics (Westlaw): Q&A Guides by topic and jurisdiction in practice areas including banking, competition law, insolvency, international trade, and employment law, with a country comparison tool. 

ICLG Legal Guides and Global Legal Insights are other collections of legal guides by commercial law topic and jurisdiction.

Security Council Report: Tracks issues considered by the UN Security Council and collects the relevant Security Council Reports and other documents. 

The same study aids on reserve that have gotten you through your classes will also provide an introduction to international law and other legal topics. Find online versions of some study aids in the West Academic package. Some of the available study aids for international law include:

Choosing a Topic

Some of the sources listed above as Starting Points include recent developments and can be used to browse for potential topics - look for recent CRS Reports, and find updates and new issues in Getting the Deal Through and the Security Council Report.

Legal news and current awareness sources might give you suggestions for issues and cases to research for your comment.

American Society of International Law blogs:

Blogs and newsletters on national security:


Global Legal Monitor (Law Library of Congress): Includes legal news by topic or jurisdiction

Jurist World Legal News

Bloomberg Law news databases in international law practice areas, including:

Law360 and Westlaw also have legal news in international tax and international trade. 

International Law Blogs: Justia Blawgsearch, Opinio Juris, International Law Prof Blog, IntLawGrrls, EJIL: Talk!

News sources with good world coverage: New York Times, NPR, CNN, BBC, The Guardian

Citation Assistance

As you work on your spading assignments, you will encounter unfamiliar citations, and you will want to properly cite materials in your own work. Besides your personal copy of the Bluebook, and copies on reserve at the Service Desk, you might use:

Bluebook Rules 20 and 21 and T2 are on citations to foreign and international law. The T2 tables on foreign jurisdictions are available free on the Electronic Bluebook. 

 But if you need more help:

Find citation examples and rules in a free online source The Indigo Book. 

Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations: Look up legal abbreviations, and find citation form for legal materials using this book available in Library Reference. 

The Greenbook: International Citator and Research Guide: 6-volume set with citation rules for foreign and international materials. Service Desk-Reference collection:K89 .I58 2018

Raistrick’s Index to Legal Citations & Abbreviations (British, with more UK and European citations than the Bluebook):  Service Desk - Reference collection

NYU Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations: Service Desk - Reference collection

University of Minnesota Frequently-Cited Treaties guide with citation form

Oxford Law Citator (Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Law and Oxford Law Reports): Mouse over or click on linked document names to retrieve a full citation. Not in Bluebook form, but will include the information you need to cite the document.

Hein Online Law Journal Library (and other libraries): The Citation Navigator available in most Hein libraries lets you enter a citation and retrieve the document, and there is also a Bluebook Citation list of journals.

Unsure how to cite an international document or publication? Search law journals on Westlaw or Lexis to see how other journal articles have cited it.

Where to Find PDFs

You will want to find digitized materials as PDF images of the original or official document when you can, so you can be sure that the text and page citation of the original matches the citation you are checking, and so you can save and share the document. Not every resource is available online, and those that are may not be available as PDF images. But some of the sources for PDF documents are: 

West Reporters on Westlaw

Hein Online collections with documents in PDF include:

  • US Treaties
  • UN Treaties
  • International Court of Justice
  • Canadian primary materials
  • U.S. and non-U.S. law journals

JSTOR: law and non-law journals, many from other countries

HathiTrust Digital Library of digitized books, manuscripts, and historical documents. 

The Making of Modern Law databases have digitized historical treatises and primary materials, including foreign materials

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

United Nations Documents and United Nations Treaties

Official Journal of the European Union

Judgments and orders of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court

Official Gazettes and primary documents for many countries are online, frequently in PDF.  Find links using the Law Library of Congress: Guide to Law Online: Nations of the World or the Foreign Law Guide database. The Bluebook's new T2 tables for foreign jurisdictions include links to many foreign law sources as well. 

You might also try using Google Advanced Search, narrowing by file type to PDF, and by site or domain (for instance,


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. 

Start by compiling a list of search terms that will retrieve any articles similar to your proposed comment.

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 or browse the Current Index to Legal Periodicals on Hein Online, a weekly index service arranged by subject area, to find the most recent law journal articles in a subject area. 

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

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. 

Legal research guides on preemption include:

Orientation Presentation

Thank you for attending the orientation session on August 13. You can find the library's presentation here:

Emory Law Subject Guides

Use the law library's research guides to find resources and links specific to foreign and international law. Seminar and course guides in particular may include updated and specialized resources on foreign and international law topics. Research guides from Woodruff Library may also address foreign and international law and include databases available at Emory. 


Other collections of research guides you might find helpful include: 

Questions for the MacMillan Law Library?

Have a question for the Law Library?  Reach out to us via one of our question forms:

Faculty Research or Staff Question?
Please complete our Faculty Request form.

Student Research Question?
Please complete our Student Research Request form. 

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Questions?  Email Anna Sturgill, Law Librarian for Archives and Assessment Services