Thursday, January 31, 2013
You should know about the Law Library of Congress. It's an abosolute treasure. Their website allows you to ask obscure research questions. And get answers. For free.
Many of you DO know it because we had a field trip there during the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. About 100 people attended that program organized by the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.
So a few weeks ago I had to find a Lagos (Nigeria) State Statute. It was the 2007 Lagos State Law to Provide Protection Against Domestic Violence and Connected Purposes. Most law libraries don't have Nigerian statutes -- and much less the statutes of the various Nigerian states. So I sent an email to the "Ask a Librarian" link on the website for the Law Library of Congress, which found the law for me and sent me a PDF of 40 Lagos State of Nigeria Official Gazette, No. 53, A187-201 (Jul. 30, 2007). It took a couple of weeks, but that's ok -- I got what I needed.
If you have a sticky research question, remember to test out the stunning resources of the Law Library of Congress. And if you're in Washington DC, be sure to pay them a visit. You owe it to yourself -- and your students.