Defining Legal Terms

flickr photo by greeblie

flickr photo by greeblie

The course readings for the first couple of weeks of law school can be tough for new students due to the use of latin phrases and “legalese” in court opinions. Legal dictionaries are a great source to consult when trying to define legal terms. Not only will legal dictionaries define a term, but they may also give an example of how the term is used, as well as provide references to cases, statutes, or secondary sources that relate to the term.

Below are a couple of legal dictionaries available in the Law Library and online.

ALERT Program

The Law Library is rolling out a new program this fall called the Applied Legal Experience, Research, & Technology (ALERT) Program. The ALERT Program is a non-credit program that provides students with additional opportunities to learn advanced legal research and technology skills outside of the College of Law’s curriculum. By completing the ALERT Program, students can demonstrate to potential employers that they have obtained practice ready skills that will enable them to hit the ground running.

To get more information about the ALERT Program, check out the program’s webpage.

We will be holding an information session about the program on Wednesday, August 26th, at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Food will be provided, so please RSVP if you plan to attend.

RSVP: 12 p.m., Room 241

RSVP: 5 p.m., Room 346


Social Security Amendments of 1965

On this day in 1965,  President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments of 1965 into law. This act is notable because provisions within it created Medicare and Medicaid.

Social Security Amendments of 1965, Pub. L. No. 89-97, 79 Stat. 286 (1965) (full-text of act).

For more information on the Social Security Amendments of 1965, consult the following online sources:

We also have several books in the Law Library that cover this act.


Free Federal Legal Research Resources

While many attorneys utilize Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, or WestlawNext to conduct federal legal research, there are plenty of free options that researchers can use to conduct legal research. Below is a selected list of free resources, organized by source type.

For additional resources, consult our Free Legal Resources research guide.

Constitution of the United States of America

United States Code

U.S. Congress Bills, Resolutions, and Reports

Code of Federal Regulations

Federal Register

Federal Case Law

  • Google Scholar (U.S. federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791).

Secondary Sources (Analysis & Commentary on the Law)

Research Guides

Final Exams

flickr photo by Mic445

Summer 2015 Exams begin next week for the College of Law. To help you prepare for exams, here are links to some of our best blog posts over the past couple years on exam prep.

For the most up-to-date information on exams, consult the Exam Information webpage maintained by the Registrar’s Office.

The United States Law Week

There have been many major legal developments in the United States over the past several weeks. The Supreme Court has issued several landmark opinions in regards to healthcare, marriage, housing, and congressional redistricting. In addition, the U.S. Congress has debated and passed notable pieces of legislation related to trade authority and national security. Moreover, several executive agencies have issued notices, proposed rules, and final regulations regarding topics such as contracting with inverted corporations and overtime pay.

The United States Law Week, published by Bloomberg BNA, is an excellent source for keeping up with key legal developments. This weekly publication provides news and analysis, Supreme Court docket summaries, and several other useful tools for staying abreast of recent legal news. One well known feature of this resource is its “Circuit Splits” table, which provides a monthly summary of splits between the federal courts on significant legal issues. Circuit splits is excellent way to forecast which issues may find their way in front of the Supreme Court of the United States.

You can access the United States Law Week online through Bloomberg BNA (GSU Campus ID and Password Required) or through Bloomberg Law (Username and Password Required).

Summer School Access & Assistance

The law library faculty and staff have completed their move over to the new building, but most of the library collection is still in transit, and large portions of the new law library are still under construction. Therefore, for the time being, only students enrolled in summer classes and students needing assistance with summer research assignments will have limited access to the law library.

Study Aids and Reserve Items

To utilize the study aids and the reserve collection, students must show their Panther ID and sign in at the security desk at building’s entrance. Students must then take the elevator directly to the 5th floor, and proceed to the main service desk for assistance.

Reference Assistance

Students needing reference assistance can contact the reference librarians by chat reference, email, phone, or in person. Of the four, chat reference is by far the best method to communicate with us during this transition period.

To access chat reference, students should click on the chat reference tab, located on the left side of the Law Library’s homepage:

Chat Reference Arrow
Once you click on the red tab, a chat box will pop out from the side of the screen.
Chat Reference


While the Circulation and Reference phones are currently inoperable, you can contact the librarians directly using their office phone numbers or their email addresses. This information is provided on the Law Library’s Directory webpage.

We encourage students needing in-person reference assistance to contact us ahead of time by chat or email. To access the law library for reference assistance, students must show their Panther ID and sign in at the security desk at building’s entrance. Students must then take the elevator directly to the 5th floor, and proceed to the main service desk for assistance.

Printing, Scanning, and Computer Access

The printers, KIC scanners, and computers are currently inoperable, but we encourage students to utilize the options available in the University Library. The University Library’s Computing webpage provides information on current computer availability, and also printer locations.

To locate the University Library, refer to the Campus Map.

Continuing Updates

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