Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Speaking of Law Reviews... Use the Current Index to Legal Periodicals to Keep Up!

One problem with the American law journal system is that each law school's flagship (general) law review contains articles on such a wide ranging number of topics that it would be impossible for one person to keep on top of the new articles in their specific area of study or practice.

Think about it: there are 203 ABA approved or provisionally approved law schools in the United States. Each of these 203 schools has a flagship law review, such as our own Washington Law Review. If each journal publishes even two issues per year, containing ten articles per issue, that's over 4,000 articles to sift through to find a few written about your area of the law. And this leaves out the fact that some law schools have as many as twelve specialized journals. How on earth are you going to keep up?

You are in luck because the Gallagher Law Library has a solution for you in the Current Index to Legal Periodicals. Started back in the '40s, the Current Index editors read every issue of every print journal put out by American law schools (and many of the non-law school affiliated law journals as well) and sort articles into specific areas of law. At the end of every week, we send out the new issue of the index to our subscribers. You can even receive an email with only the new articles in your subject area.

If you were interested in finding recently published articles related to the current discussion about the pros and cons of American law reviews, for example, you would subscribe to the LEGAL EDUCATION subject heading. Here is an example, taken from the October 11, 2013 issue of the Current Index, of what other materials were listed under this subject heading:


Here is a list of all of the Current Index subject headings.

To find the last six issues of the Current Index, including the October 18, 2013 issue, you need only to go to the WebCILP page after entering your NetID. To receive an email every week with new articles in your areas of interest, you need to sign up for a SmartCILP account. This service is available to all current students, faculty, and staff of the UW School of Law. Please contact cilptech@u.washington.edu for an authorization code and go to the SmartCILP page to sign up. 

Not part of the UW law community but still interested in subscribing to the Current Index to Legal Periodicals? You can find pricing and subscription information on the Current Index webpage.

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