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RA Survival Guide: Law Library Materials

Library Tutorials

The library has a wealth of video tutorials covering everything from basic research skills to various library functions.  To access those videos use the following links:

Databases & Journals

The library also maintains lists of every database and journal it subscribes to.  Use the following links to navigate to our database and ejournal lists:

Law Library Home Page

Remember, one of the most useful places you can turn to for research is our own library home page.  Here you can access the following vital information for RAs.

  • The library's catalog
  • A list of all of the databases the library has access to
  • A list of all of the journals and ejournals the library subscribes to
  • Contact information for every librarian
  • The portal to chat with a librarian
  • Tutorials on legal research and using the library
  • Resources and the portal for Interlibrary Loan
  • The library's treatise finder and other critical research guides such as this one

Remember, Fordham's libraries are essentially split in two.  As a law student you can access materials in both the law library and the general Fordham libraries.  However, each library webpage will not display the other's holdings/materials.  To see all the resources you possibly have at your disposal you should view both websites. 

Research Guides & LibGuides

Another essential service offered by most law libraries is the creation and maintenance of research guides.  Research guides (often called LibGuides by law libraries) are library guides dedicated to specific topics.  In fact, you're in a research guide right now!

Fordham offers 15 active research guides, this includes our treatise finder which highlights the best treatises we maintain sorted by legal topic.

Sometimes, using only Fordham's research guides is not enough.  Either we do not maintain a research guide on a specific topic or there would be a better research guide created by another library (often this is the case for state specific research for a state that is not New York).  Thankfully, it's easy to search for research and LibGuides by using Google.  Simply search for the term "LibGuide" or "research guide" followed by whatever area you're hoping that that research guide will talk about.  Then sift through the search results to find a good guide on your topic.

That begs the question though, what makes for a good research guide?  Typically a good research guide will provide some brief introduction to an area of law and then quickly move to identifying key sources in that area of law followed by how to best research the issue using those resources.  In a pinch, some schools are known for their research guide collections, so you can rely on institutions such as Georgetown or Harvard if you find a research guide on topic from them.