Monday, April 4, 2011

Research Tip – Administrative Law – Start at the Agency Website

In law school, most students get exposed to Westlaw and LexisNexis and never look back (until they hit the “real world” and discover the real costs of using these tools).  In our 1L research classes at St. Thomas, we, like other teaching librarians, have made a commitment to teaching our students to be cost-effective researchers. 

While preparing for a research session for an administrative law class next week, I pulled together an example from a current project that shows how useful (and FREE) an agency website can be for a research resource.

My example comes from the Department of Labor website.  The agency website has all the tools needed to locate a proposed rule, see the public comments submitted, read the testimony from the recent hearing, and set up an alert to track when the regulation becomes final.  All this without incurring a single database charge!

The more we can do to teach our students to be savvy information consumers, the better. 


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