Skip to Main Content

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 bankruptcy law. These sources will also be useful as background sources for your comment and as study aids for the bankruptcy class.

Bankruptcy Basics (introductory information on bankruptcy from the US Courts) 

Bankruptcy Basics: A Primer (CRS Report R45137)

CRS Reports prepared for Congress address federal legislation, bills, and topics that Congress is investigating or might address in legislation. Use or to search for CRS Reports on bankruptcy, finance, or economic policy. 

Collier on Bankruptcy  and other Collier publications (Lexis) 

Norton Bankruptcy Law & Practice (Westlaw), including a Dictionary of Bankruptcy Terms, and Westlaw Bankruptcy Resources

Practical Law on Westlaw: Bankruptcy & Restructuring: Practice notes, guides, and updates on bankruptcy topics

Bloomberg Bankruptcy Practice Center includes practical guidance, news, analysis, and sample documents.

Study aids on bankruptcy law are available on reserve at the Service Desk and online in the West Academic Study Aids Collection: 

Choosing a Topic

Use bankruptcy and legal news sources to find developments in bankruptcy law and interesting cases that might be expanded into a comment.

Bankruptcy News

Bloomberg Law: The Bankruptcy Practice Center includes Bankruptcy Law News and Recent Cases & Orders. US Law Week on Bloomberg Law has news stories on significant cases, including from the US Supreme Court, from all areas of law. Its Supreme Court Today Tracker can be used to find the status of cases and to filter cases by topic, including bankruptcy. 

Westlaw Bankruptcy Resources include Westlaw's bankruptcy analysis publications, commentaries and briefings, recent bankruptcy cases, and bankruptcy news from Reuters.

Lexis Bankruptcy Practice resourcesBankruptcy news sources on Lexis include Law360, Bankruptcy Law News, Troubled Company Reporter, and related business news from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Law 360 (headlines by topic on the web version; or search on Lexis)

Bankruptcy Newsletters

Bloomberg Bankruptcy Law News includes bankruptcy news stories, Practitioner Insights, and featured topics that include filings of note, creditor claims, legislation, and international insolvency. Choose Subscribe to Newsletter to get bankruptcy news by email.

American Bankruptcy Institute: Bankruptcy news with headlines and blogs. Newsletters available to members on the site and through email alerts include ABI Daily Headlines, Rochelle's Daily Wire, and Legislative News. Rochelle's Daily Wire includes bankruptcy circuit split and appellate court news. 

  • Consider getting a discounted student membership to ABI to get access to members-only sections and the ABI Journal, and get email news alerts.
  • The ABI Journal follows current issues in bankruptcy. Find it on Westlaw and in PDF on the ABI website.

Bankruptcy Blogs

Find developments and analysis on bankruptcy from professors and practitioners

Justia BlawgSearch: Bankruptcy blog headlines and index

Harvard Law School Bankruptcy Roundtable: Weekly posts on current bankruptcy issues

Credit Slips: Blog on bankruptcy, consumer issues, and financial institutions

Weil Restructuring News: Developments on business bankruptcy and restructuring

National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center Blog

Georgia Bankruptcy Blog: Occasional posts on bankruptcy, including local stories

Business, Legal, and General News

Look for news stories on bankruptcy and related subjects. For possible topics, look for opinion pieces, analysis, and commentary, as well as notable cases.

New York Times and Wall Street Journal Digital Access: Instructions for access to the university's subscriptions

Business Source Complete: Database of full-text business and scholarly journals in marketing, accounting, finance, and economics. Includes company profiles, industry profiles, and market research reports.

MarketWatch: Stock market, financial and business news

Congress.govFind pending bills before Congress related to bankruptcy, with their status

Citation Assistance

As you work on your spading assignments, you might encounter unfamiliar citations, and you will want to properly cite materials in your own work.  The latest edition of the Bluebook is the 21st edition. Besides your personal copy of the Bluebook (print or online), and copies on reserve at the Service Desk, you might use:

Find citation examples and rules in a free online source The Indigo Book. Second edition published in 2022. 

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 

Bloomberg Law: For docket information and federal court documents

Research Guides on using the Bluebook:

Interactive Training:

One more tip: if you are unsure how to cite a case or document, particularly something obscure, search footnotes in law review articles to see how other journals have cited it.

Where to Find PDFs

You will want to find digitized materials as PDF images (or other image formats) of the original or official documents 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 source you are checking will be available online, and those that are may not be available in image formats. But some of the sources for PDF documents are: 

West’s Bankruptcy Reporter and other federal and state reporters on Westlaw

GovInfo For legislative history and federal government documents, including Public Laws and many Federal District and Bankruptcy Court opinions

Hein Online History of Bankruptcy has volumes of compiled legislative history documents as scanned images of the originals

Hein Online also has scanned PDF images in its Law Journal Library, US Code, US Congressional Documents, US Statutes at Large libraries, and CFR and Federal Register libraries.

ProQuest Congressional and ProQuest Legislative Insight: Legislative history materials

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

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.

Dockets and Court Documents

Bloomberg Law: Searchable federal dockets and court documents from PACER. You can search dockets by keyword, court, party, judge, docket number or date, or for bankruptcy courts, by chapter or nature of suit. If the document is listed for "view," it is already available. If it is listed as "request," Bloomberg will retrieve the document for you. For large dockets, you can search within the docket for specific documents. Note that Bloomberg Law now has caps on federal docket usage by academic accounts.

Lexis Briefs, Pleadings, and Motions has selected court documents, including bankruptcy briefs, motions, and pleadings. 

Westlaw Bankruptcy Resources include Trial Court Documents and Briefs. Fields to search in Advanced Search include parties, attorney, docket number, and court, as well as full text.

Bankruptcy and District court websites may include documents for major and newsworthy cases.

Websites for case management firms include reorganization plans and other documents for large Chapter 11 cases, frequently with headings for major documents, key dates, and key parties.  " Large case management firms include KCC, Epiq, Kroll, and BMC Group

Try an advanced Google search by docket number or debtor name, limiting to PDF file type, to search for dockets or documents on court websites, case management sites, and with news stories. A simple Google search with the company name and "reorganization plan" or "chapter 11 petition" will frequently work too.


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:

Journal Orientation Presentation

Thank you for attending the orientation session on August 12. You can find the library's presentation here:

Emory Law Subject Guides

Use legal research guides to find resources for your project. Emory Law Library's research guides include links to bankruptcy-related databases and other resources. You might also find helpful resources in Woodruff Library's research guides. 

Other research guides that you might find helpful include:

Georgetown Law: Bankruptcy Law Research Guide

Duke Law: Bankruptcy Law

Boston College Law Library: Bankruptcy Law Research

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. 

MacMillan Library Hybrid Research Services:

          Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
          Saturday - Sunday: Closed 

MacMillan Library Building Hours (May 13 - August 16, 2024):

Monday - Friday: 9am - 6pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Reference Desk:
Monday: 1pm - 3pm
Tuesday: 10am - 12pm; Virtual only: 1pm - 3pm
Wednesday: 10am - 12pm; Virtual only: 2pm - 4pm
Thursday: 10am - 12pm; Virtual only: 1pm - 3pm
Friday: 10am - 12pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

IT Help Desk:
Monday - Friday: 
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Emory Law Archives:
Physical archives: By appointment only.
Digital archives: More information available here
Limited remote services are available on a case-by-case basis. 
Questions?  Email Anna Sturgill, Law Librarian for Archives and Assessment Services