News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.


What is the Oldest Reported American Case?

According to A History of Digests, a recent article by Michael O. Eshleman (110 Law Libr. J. 235), (citing Robert Becker’s Ancient Decisions) the answer is Stone v. Boreman, 1 H. & McH. 1, a 1658 case from the Provincial Court of the Province of Maryland.  This interesting fact came up in the article when Eshleman explains how West got the date of 1658 as a starting point for their 1896 re-digesting of all published American cases up to that point. The case deals with a land dispute over the disposal of public lands.

We couldn’t find anything older.  If you do, let us know!

Prestatehood Legal Materials Available on HeinOnline

Prestatehood Legal Materials is now part of the U.S. State package on HeinOnline.

This new database is derived from AALL’s (American Association of Law Libraries) Joseph L. Andrews Literature Award-winning 2005 sourcebook, Prestatehood Legal Materials, which is edited by Michael Chiorazzi and Marguerite Most. It provides brief overviews of state histories from colonization to statehood and identifies a wide range of both readily available and hard-to-find materials from each state, linking to more than 1,500 full-text documents. This database is an invaluable and comprehensive tool for researchers. Unprecedented in its coverage of territorial government, this database holds resources that reveal the underlying legal principles that helped shape the United States. Research how foreign countries controlled the laws of these territories and how the states eventually broke away to govern themselves. Examine the legal issues of Native Americans, inter-state and the Mexican and Canadian borders, and the development of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government.

This database contains bibliographies, references, and discussions on a varied list of source materials, including:

  • State codes drafted by Congress
  • County, state, and national archives
  • Journals and digests
  • State and federal reports, citations, surveys, and studies
  • Books, manuscripts, papers, speeches, and theses
  • Town and city records and documents
  • And more!

US Supreme Court Records and Briefs Database

Faculty and students at Cleveland-Marshall have access to Gale’s U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs database. This database contains briefs and related documents from Supreme Court cases between 1832 and 1978. Previously, many of these briefs were not available through any of the library’s other legal databases, so this is a very useful for anyone doing research on older Supreme Court cases.

Access to this database is IP-authenticated for users connected to the law school’s computer network; faculty and students can also access the database while off campus by logging in with their CSU ID number and library PIN.

Legal History “Cohen” Essay Competition

photo of Morris CohenThe Legal History and Rare Books Special Interest Section (LHRB) of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), in cooperation with Gale Learning and Research Solutions, Cengage Learning, is conducting its Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition.  Full- and part-time students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in law, history, library science, or related fields are eligible to enter.  Essays may address any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives.  Criteria on which papers will be judged include originality of topic or approach, quality and depth of research and analysis, clarity of presentation, and contribution to the field.  The winner will receive a $500 prize from Gale Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for costs of attending the July 2018 AALL Annual Meeting in Baltimore, as well as the opportunity to present the winning essay at the AALL Annual Meeting.  Authors of the winning and runner-up essays will also be invited to publish their essays in LHRB’s online annual scholarly journal  Unbound:  A Review of Legal History and Rare Books.  The Competition electronic submission deadline is 11:59pm EDT, Monday, 16 April 2018.

Full Competition details and Application Form are available at the LHRB SIS Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition web page.  Questions can be sent to Fred Dingledy (fwding@wm.edu), Senior Reference Librarian & Adjunct Professor of Law, College of William & Mary Law School, or Tim Kearley (TKearley@uwyo.edu), Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Wyoming College of Law.

The Competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, who was Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School and recognized as “one of the towering figures of late 20th century law libraries.”  His scholarly work  focused on legal research, rare books, and historical bibliography.

Law & Gender, Journals & Databases

If you’re writing a seminar paper, independent study requirement, or note on a gender-related topic, we have plenty of resources for you. Secondary sources like journal articles are a great way to start your research, see what has and hasn’t been written, and get ideas for your own paper. Here is a list of some of the law and gender journals available to you. Check  Scholar, the library catalog, to find out how to access each journal.

  • Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice
  • Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender
  • Columbia Journal of Gender and Law
  • Duke Journal of Gender, Law and Policy
  • Gender Issues
  • Harvard Journal of Law and Gender (formerly Harvard Women’s Law Journal)
  • Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law (formerly American University Journal of Gender and the Law)
  • Michigan Journal of Gender and Law
  • The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law
  • Yale Journal of Law and Feminism

Law and gender topics lend themselves to interdisciplinary research, so don’t limit yourself to the familiar law databases. The Michael Schwarz Library lists several core databases for women’s studies:

  • Gender Studies Database
  • GenderWatch
  • LGBT Life with Full Text
  • Viva Database
  • Women’s Studies International