Monday, May 20, 2019

50 Years of Wright and Miller

This summer marks the half-century anniversary for many well-known events in American history: the Apollo 11 mission (July 16-24) put the first men on the moon. The Stonewall riots in New York City (June 28-July 1) galvanized the gay rights movement. The Woodstock music festival (August 15-18) showcased the music that defined a generation. The Manson Family murders (August 8-9) shocked the nation.

Legal history, too, includes a few milestones from 1969. In February, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School Board (393 U.S. 503), an important First Amendment case protecting the free speech rights of students who protested the Vietnam War at school by wearing black armbands. In May, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties was adopted and opened for signature. And late last month, publisher Thomson Reuters noted another 50-year milestone in the law: the publication of Charles Alan Wright and Arthur Miller's seminal treatise, Federal Practice and Procedure (Ref. KF9619 .W7 & online in Westlaw).

Federal Practice and Procedure (known just as well by its authors' names, "Wright & Miller") remains one of the most authoritative and respected legal treatises on American law, widely cited by courts and scholars. The multi-volume set provides a detailed overview of federal law practice topics, with substantial primary law references in footnotes. Any student or scholar researching a matter of federal law would be well advised to consult the set early in their research. The earliest volumes were similarly hailed as a worthy successor to the 1951 treatise by Barron & Holtzoff that it replaced, such as in this pair of reviews by a judge and an attorney that were published in the 1969 Michigan Law Review (via HeinOnline; NetID login required).

A new legal podcast series, in which Prof. Arthur Miller reflects upon the development, publication, and impact of Federal Practice and Procedure, has released its first episode. Additional episodes will be released throughout 2019.

For help with finding or using Wright & Miller's Federal Practice and Procedure, or for other research queries, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, May 13, 2019

WSJ Online Now Available

The Goodson Law Library and Ford Library at the Fuqua School of Business are pleased to announce a partnership to provide campus-wide access to, the online platform for the Wall Street Journal. All current Duke University students, faculty, and staff may sign up at this registration link (NetID login required) with their,, or email address. Once created, the can be used on the web and on the WSJ apps for Apple and Android.

Faculty and staff accounts will last for renewable 1-year terms for the duration of your Duke employment and the library subscription. Student accounts will be free for the duration of enrollment at Duke. After graduation, students enjoy a 90-day grace period. After that, students must transition to self-funding a personal subscription; there are discounted rates in the first two years after graduation.

If you have an existing account to with your email address, you will first need to cancel your personal subscription before joining the Duke group. More information can be found at the Ford Library FAQs for

With this new WSJ subscription, current Law School community members can now create free accounts to the online platforms of three major newspapers. Access to Financial Times ( can be set up by first registering an account with your Duke Law email account on a networked Law School computer (e.g., in the library Reading Room) and joining the Duke Law Library "group subscription." Access to The New York Times ( can be set up here by selecting Duke University School of Law from the "Find School" menu and registering an account with your or email address.

For help with access to these new subscriptions, or with accessing the full text of hundreds of other online newspapers at Duke, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Mother's Day in Legal History

For more than a century, the second Sunday in May has marked the Mother's Day holiday in the United States. A Congressional joint resolution passed on May 8, 1914 recognized the holiday, and requested that the President issue a proclamation to display the U.S. flag on the second Sunday in May in order to recognize "public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country." This language about the purpose of Mother's Day can still be found in the current U.S. Code, at 36 U.S.C. § 117. Woodrow Wilson issued the first presidential proclamation recognizing the national holiday one day later, on May 9, 1914; a copy of the original proclamation document can be viewed online at the National Archives.

Most modern Americans likely associate Mother's Day with flowers, greeting cards, and brunch. This news would disappoint Anna Jarvis, who is widely credited as the originator of Mother's Day. A West Virginia native, Jarvis organized early local Mother's Day church celebrations in honor of her own mother, Ann Reeves, who died in 1905; she selected the second Sunday in May since it was the closest date to her mother's death. Jarvis began a letter-writing campaign to encourage state governments to recognize Mother's Day as an official holiday. Her home state of West Virginia recognized "Mothers' Day" (note the plural vs. singular possessive) in 1910; an online copy of the proclamation can be found in the Duke Libraries Catalog.

Following the national recognition, Anna Jarvis later bristled against the commercialization of what she perceived as a "holy day" to recognize the contributions of mothers, encouraging boycotts of florists and successfully fighting against efforts to rebrand "Mother's Day" as "Parents' Day." Historian Katherine Lane Antolini summarizes this history in a Smithsonian Magazine article and gives it expansive treatment in her book Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for Control of Mother's Day (in print at Perkins/Bostock HQ759.2 .A57 2014 & online). For help with locating legislative history materials – about Mother's Day or any other topic – check out our research guide to Federal Legislative History or Ask a Librarian.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Exam-Period Library Updates

As the spring 2019 exam period approaches, the Goodson Law Library has implemented some important changes based on user feedback, in order to improve your experience.
Restricted Access in Effect
During the Law School's Reading & Examination period (April 19 – May 3), access to the Goodson Law Library for study purposes is restricted to current Law School students, faculty and staff. Others who need to access the library for research purposes may visit the library when service desk staff are on duty (Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; contact the Circulation/Reserve Desk for assistance during staffed evenings and weekends).
Quiet Study in the Library
During the reading & examination period, the entire library (including the Reading Room on Level 3) will be converted to quiet space. Excessive noise and inadequate quiet space were the top themes in our Spring 2019 student survey. Please be quiet in the library and take all phone calls outside.
New Seating, Tables and Beanbags
The library has placed new full-size, sit-stand desks with task lighting on Levels 2, 3, and 4. Additional study tables and chairs have also been placed on Level 4. In addition, by student request, several beanbag chairs have been added to Level 2.
Unlocked Study Rooms After Hours
Study rooms are now unlocked after hours and weekends (when the library is unstaffed), and available to be reserved by Law students in the online calendar system. The library's Fite Room (Level 2) and Tech Hub (Level 3) are also available for after-hours law student use.
Food Policy Changes
With the exception of light pre-packaged or vending machine snacks, the library kindly requests that food be consumed elsewhere in the Law School.
Free Coffee
Starting Monday, April 22, free freshly brewed coffee, hot water and tea will be provided at the library entrance around 8am daily, Monday to Friday (until supply is exhausted).
Infographic summary of
exam-period changes
Thank you for helping us maintain the library as a comfortable and clean space, conducive to study and collaboration. If you have feedback or additional suggestions for library improvements, please contact or use the online Library Suggestion Box.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Summer Legal Research Access

Whether you're heading to a summer job or graduating this May, your access to legal research services like Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law will change.
Continuing Students
For rising 2Ls and 3Ls, your Law School research access generally continues uninterrupted over the summer. Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law both allow student usage over the summer for educational as well as for commercial purposes. (However, check with your employer before using your Law School accounts for paid work – many employers prefer that summer associates avoid using their school accounts for researching firm matters.)

Westlaw restricts continuing students' summer access to non-commercial/educational research purposes only. The eligible categories for summer access include:
  • Summer coursework for academic credit
  • Research Assistant assignments
  • Law Review or journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-profit or clinical work
  • Unpaid externship

Continuing students will receive 60 hours of Westlaw research access during the months of June and July, and full access in August.
2019 Graduates
Before leaving Duke Law, check out the library's information page on Library Services for Recent Grads/Alumni, which contains helpful details about accessing legal research services, borrowing library materials, and extending building access for bar study.

For graduating 3Ls and LLMs, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law automatically extend educational accounts for 6 months.

Lexis additionally offers the ASPIRE program, providing 12 months of free access to graduates who work in public interest. Proof of work with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is required. To learn more about ASPIRE, visit

Under Westlaw's "Grad Elite" program for Practice Ready schools, access continues for 18 months after graduation. Duke Law graduates are allowed 60 hours of usage per month for services like Westlaw and Practical Law, with no restrictions against using them for professional purposes.

For help with your summer access to these or other Duke resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian. The library's summer hours, which take effect at the end of final exams, are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Friday, April 5, 2019

West Academic Study Aids Now Available Online

The Goodson Law Library is pleased to announce a new institutional subscription to West Academic Library Study Aids, just in time for final exam preparation. This new database provides full-text access to online versions of hundreds of West Academic Publishing study aids, treatises, audio lectures, and flash card sets.
Which of the many available study aid series will you find in the West Academic Library? Here are a few key categories:
  • Favorites from the Reserve Collection: Concepts and Insights, Concise Hornbooks, Hornbooks
  • Quick Overviews: Acing… series, Nutshells, Quick Reviews, Short & Happy Guides
  • Class Outlines/Exam Prep: Black Letter Outlines, Exam Pro, Flash Cards, Gilbert Law Summaries, High Court Case Summaries, Legalines
  • Audio: Sum and Substance, Law School Legends
  • Professional Skills: Building Skills Series, Career Guides, Developing Professional Skill

From 1L standbys like "the boat book" (a.k.a. Chirelstein's Concepts and Case Analysis in the Law of Contracts) to upper-level topics and bar exam or career preparation, there is likely to be a title of interest for you. The site provides menus to navigate through 1L subjects, 2L/3L subjects, by a particular series title, and even for the eleven titles written by Duke Law faculty authors. There are also options to search across or within the Study Aids library content, and to create an individual account that allows you to designate a favorites list, annotate or highlight within titles, and download titles to read offline. Printing and copy/pasting is permitted within the browser (web-based) view of a title. For users who create an individual account, a mobile app version is also available for Apple and Android.

Links to each online study aid title will soon be added to the Duke Libraries Catalog. In the meantime, you can access the West Academic Library Study Aids through this direct link or via Legal Databases & Links. For help with using this new database, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Mueller Report: What Next?

At the close of business on Friday, news broke that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III had filed the results of a nearly two-year-long investigation, "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election," to Attorney General William P. Barr. Today, Barr submitted a letter to the House Judiciary Committee which briefly summarized the report’s conclusions.

As reported in various news outlets, the report summary is divided into two parts: Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and obstruction of justice. The investigation described two elements of Russian attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, but "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." The obstruction portion reviewed various actions by the President that had raised potential obstruction concerns. Notably, Barr's letter states, "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." However, the Justice Department indicated that no additional indictments are expected from Mueller, whose investigation has already resulted in numerous indictments and prosecutions (see an overview at The New York Times).

The full report of the Mueller investigation remains confidential, although Barr acknowledges the high level of public interest in the contents and pledges "to release as much of the Special Counsel's report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies." Members of Congress have indicated that they will push for the release of the full report, taking the battle to court if necessary.

For continued coverage of the legal issues raised by the Mueller report, consult the following outlets:
  • The New York Times – register with your or address for a yearlong "academic pass."
  • – Law School community members may register for an individual account here, or access the full text of articles on the Law School computers and wifi network.
  • – join the Duke Law Library "group subscription" by registering from a networked computer with your or address.
  • The Washington Post: available with your NetID through ProQuest Central.

To learn more about your access to other news outlets, try a search of Online Full-Text Journals or Ask a Librarian.