Resource Spotlight: Native American Treaties from HeinOnline

Too often, a library, a legal research vendor, or even Google will digitize something, put it somewhere online, and call it accessible.  But anyone who has ever struggled to find something online knows that simply existing somewhere on the internet does not mean something is accessible.  The most valuable research resources are designed with features to help guide users and assist in search.  The addition of Native American treaties to Hein’s American Indian Law Collection is an example of a research vendor adding features that make material truly more accessible.

Hein’s U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library already contains a work with the unassuming title, “Indian Affairs Laws and Treaties.”  This multi-volume work contains a compilation of treaties concerning American Indians by Charles Kappler, the clerk of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.  Commonly known as “Kappler,” this index has been the best source to access treaties and laws affecting the native nations.  But you kind of had to know that it existed.

Kappler’s was available in the U.S. Treaties and Agreements library, which lumped that title in with every other treaty in the library.  A researcher looking for American Indian treaties would have to either: search across the U.S. Treaties and Agreements library and weed out things that are irrelevant, or know to go to Kappler’s.

But now Hein’s American Indian Law Collection has a comprehensive list of 418 American Indian Treaties, most with full text.  It includes nine that were missing from Kappler’s famous compilation.  It gives the name of the tribe, subjects, a description of the treaty, and who the signatories were.  A librarian, Susan Galtier, worked hard to make sure that the treaties had metadata that let them be found and understood.

I think possibly the most interesting thing is the ability to see all of the treaties with one tribe organized together.  The search possibilities are also great.  You can narrow your search to pertain to a particular tribe.  You can search for different subjects across agreements.  You can combine those two. You could search for treaties tagged as being about “mineral resources” that involve the Creek Nation.

Were those treaties already available on HeinOnline?  Yes.  In fact, they’re also both in the Statutes at Large on Hein.  But putting this information in its own area, tagging it with relevant information, and putting it with related things aids in finding information and comprehending what you find.  Well done, Hein!

For other information on researching American Indian law, please see our research guide to American Indian Law Resources.

Posted in Uncategorized

New Exhibit on the Chicago Eight Conspiracy Trial

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the country’s most controversial cases, the Chicago Eight Conspiracy Trial.

In late August 1968, the city hosted the Democratic National Convention at the International Amphitheatre, which was located on the south side. This was a tumultuous time in America; Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert “Bobby” Kennedy had been assassinated that same year, and the country was in the middle of a very controversial war in Vietnam.

Activists saw the Democratic National Convention as an opportunity to protest the War and their leaders. They filed for permits to protest in the city’s parks, but most were denied; instead, they were granted one rally at Grant Park and an 11 o’clock nightly curfew. Because of these restrictions, riots erupted in the parks and the streets, leading to violence between the police and protestors.

Sixteen men were held responsible for this disaster: eight police officers and eight protestors. None of the police officers received any punishment—either their charges were dropped or they were cleared in court. The protestors, on the other hand, had became co-defendants in a long, messy trial.

This exhibit presents the chaos of the Chicago Eight Conspiracy Trial through the lens of three courtroom sketch artists: Andy Austin, Franklin McMahon, and Verna Sadock. Each has a unique artistic style that brings to life the characters and events that ensued.

Special thanks to Andy Austin, Robert Hirsch, Margot McMahon, and the Chicago History Museum for their contributions. This exhibit will be on display for the next several months on the third floor of the Pritzker Legal Research Center.

If you have any questions, please contact Brittany Adams, the Special Collections, Digitization, and Archival Services Librarian.

Posted in Uncategorized

Open Reference Hours for CLR Research

Are you working on your CLR open memo and feel like you’re stuck? Are you finding no results? Too many results? Research librarians are available to answer questions from students working on their CLR assignments.

Note, as much as we love research (and we do!) we can’t do the research for you.  But if you have specific questions about strategies or sources that we discussed in class, librarians are here to help.

We will hold open reference hours on Tuesday, October 29 from 1:00 – 3:30 pm in L203.  If you can’t make the open reference hours on 10/29, you can request a research appointment with a librarian.

Posted in Events

Resource Spotlight: Author Profiles in HeinOnline

HeinOnline has recently enhanced the Author Profiles available in their Law Journal Library (LJL). When Author Profiles first debuted, they allowed viewers to see all articles authored by the subject of the profile and included or indexed within the LJL. Viewers could also quickly see the number of citations (in both articles and cases), the number of times articles had been accessed in the past year, plus other metrics. While initial profiles were created by algorithm, authors (or their institutions) could “claim” their profiles and enhance them (with, perhaps, profile photos, social media links, etc.).

HeinOnline has recently added an “Explore This Author” link, currently in beta release. Explore This Author allows viewers to drill down into an author’s corpus to see, among other things, other authors frequently cited to, authors who frequently cite the subject’s works, topics frequently the subjects of the author’s works, and more.

To learn more about Author Profiles, see the HeinOnline blog post, “Everything You Need to Know About Author Profile Pages.” To read more about “Explore This Author” and other recent enhancements, see the post, “New Feature Alert! Improved Author Profiles in HeinOnline.” All HeinOnline blog posts tagged with “Author Profile Pages” are available here.

Posted in Library Resources, Resource Spotlight, Tech

Resource Spotlight: Courtlink in Lexis Advance

Within the Lexis Advance platform you’re already accustomed to using, you will now find Courtlink, which has previously been a separate Lexis product (and platform) excluded from our academic subscription. Courtlink allows you to search across dockets and court documents from all state and federal courts. Within Courtlink, there are also five categories of analytics called Strategic Profiles available: Litigant, Attorney/Law Firm, Judicial, Court, and Nature of Suit. So, what does all this give you?

Courtlink allows you to perform a keyword search across dockets, in documents, or both and customize jurisdiction. It also allows you to search by docket number, litigant, attorney, law firm, or judge. Once you have your search results, you can leverage the dynamic filters (to the left of your results) to further narrow in on pertinent items. Cause of action and case status are particularly helpful for finding a pleading or case of the same nature from an active or recently closed case. Also, because of the integration into the Lexis Advance platform, Courtlink is now more easily accessible from the square icon menu in the top left corner (it looks like a Rubik’s™ cube; see above). You can flip between Lexis Advance for your substantive legal research and Courtlink to pull court and litigation data without managing separate platforms. Courtlink has the familiar navigation, feel, and features of Lexis Advance’s design and interface, including filters, saving favorites, search syntax, algorithms, and search within results box.

When Courtlink opens, it defaults to the search page (see above), but there is a “Strategic Profiles” tab to access this useful analytics tool. You can create a profile for a litigant, attorney or law firm, judge, court, or nature of suit.

These profiles have different data points and will by default populate all that are available for that type of profile. For an attorney the fields are nature of suit, clients represented, representation capacity, case list, and caseload, but for a litigant it includes court, law firm, nature of suit, jurisdiction, case list, judgment, and case trend. These fields are customizable. If you create a strategic profile of a judge, for example, the profile will include data on the cases the judge has heard (what kind, how many of that kind, etc.), how she has decided, and which attorneys or law firms have appeared before the judge. See below for Judge Ruben Castillo’s profile and nature of suit analysis. The profile has different tabs to show the data sets with the “Profile Report”, essentially a summary, displaying first. The charts are interactive and hovering over a slice will tell you the percentage of each type of case, and from the corresponding table, you can click into a further breakdown of the judge’s case load, decisions on particular pleadings, etc. Finally you can save profiles you’ve built under your login.

Those are some of the key features and positives of Courtlink. What are the drawbacks? Notably, you cannot use the docket tracker function (Courtlink Tracks) with our academic subscription. This feature would generate an email notification when there was a change to a particular docket, like the federal docket tracker function in Bloomberg Law. Your alternative is to  set up search alerts; however this would be a notification for new results of a saved search and not monitoring a particular docket. Courtlink is missing some features that would make the user experience more convenient, such as being able to pull documents directly from dockets instead of search results. This is another feature that is available within Bloomberg Law for  federal court records.

Although Lexis notes that Courtlink contains 226 million court dockets and documents, Cook County Criminal Court records are not included. How is that possible? It’s a good reminder that Courtlink relies on the availability of electronic records from courts. Even today there is still a wide variation of coverage between state courts. Adding to that limitation, it’s not possible to request the retrieval of a paper document from the court, called a “Runner” in Courtlink, with our subscription. So the upside is that you have access to dockets and documents from all state and federal jurisdictions, while the downside is there will be holes in the coverage depending on the degree to which that court is making their records publicly available, or not. Since the Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court has not made criminal court records electronically available online, they are not in Courtlink either. To see what information is covered from a court, login to Courtlink and scroll down. Click the link to “Court Information” for descriptions of included content for all jurisdictions. If you plan to use Courtlink regularly, get to know the limitations of availability for any of the courts you want included.

If you curious to see Courtlink in action, watch a few of the short tutorials Lexis has posted online:

Posted in Resource Spotlight

Resource Spotlight: Librarians

Instead of highlighting a database this month in our Resource Spotlight, we thought that the beginning of the new school year was a great time to re-introduce our talented group of librarians.  From library administration to cataloging to research support, our librarians provide a wide range of services to the Northwestern Law community, often behind the scenes.  This month we would like to feature our librarians as our in-house resource.

George Pike is the Director of the Pritzker Legal Research Center and a Senior Lecturer at the Northwestern University School of Law.   He teaches legal research and intellectual property at the School of Law in both the J.D. and Northwestern’s innovative Master of Science in Law program.  Previously, Prof. Pike was Director of the Law Library at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and held professional positions at the Lewis and Clark Law School and at the University of Idaho School of Law, and was a practicing attorney in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

ParkerEEric Parker is the Associate Director for Collection and Bibliographic Services.  He has been with Northwestern since 2003.  Eric received his B.A. from Cornell University, his M.A. in English Literature from University of Chicago and his M.L.I.S. from University of Illinois.


SommerJamie Sommer is the Associate Director for Public Services and oversees reference, instruction, faculty support, circulation and access services in the law library. She coordinates the research instruction for the Communication and Legal Reasoning courses and teaches Advanced Legal Research. In her free time she enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and hanging out with her dog, Ziggy.

gaylord-e1566916939177.jpgTom Gaylord is the Faculty Services and Scholarly Communications Librarian. He is currently editor of Law Library Journal and enjoys travel, cooking, music, reading, and sports. He is father to one son, one Chihuahua, and, begrudgingly, a hedgehog. He received his B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University, his J.D. from University of Illinois College of Law, and his M.L.I.S. from Dominican University School of Information Studies.

Lisa Winkler is the Clinical Services Librarian, serves as the designated liaison for the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s faculty, fellows, staff, and students, and provides proactive research, teaching, and reference support to the law school community. Her specialties include clinical legal education and legal technology trends, outreach, and legal research instruction. Lisa actively participates in several library associations, including the Association of College and Research Libraries, Chicago Association of Law Libraries, American Association of Law Libraries, and in 2018, presented at AALL’s annual national conference. Outside the library, Lisa enjoys chasing around her toddler Weston and orange and white tabby cat Wentworth.

Clare WillisClare Willis is the Research & Instructional Services Librarian, a role that helps plan and improve the library’s slate of learning opportunities from guest lectures to our Advanced Legal Research course.  Clare is teaching Advanced Legal Research this Fall and writing an article on the best practices for using hypotheticals to teach legal research.  Clare lives in Chicago with a husband, a rising first-grader, a rising toddler, and two ill-tempered cats.

Sarah Reis is the Foreign & International Law Librarian and also directs the International Team Project program. Sarah is a graduate of Northwestern Law and obtained her MLIS degree from the University of Washington’s law librarianship program. Sarah enjoys spending time with her black cat, Pepper, and is a huge fan of Premier League football and college basketball. She is looking forward to traveling to Australia and Greece this upcoming year for the International Association of Law Libraries conference and for ITP.


BowmanJesse Bowman is the Associate Law Librarian for Technology Initiatives and Instruction.  This is his sixth year at Northwestern, before which he worked at Valparaiso University Law School and the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.  Jesse teaches courses in both legal research and legal technology.  When he’s not working, Jesse enjoys visiting craft breweries and spending time with Willow, his one year old PBGV.

OConnellTerence O’Connell is the Catalog librarian. He prepares the records for the online library catalog. Terence attended the graduate schools at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Chicago. His hobbies include watching movies and reading Wikipedia entries.


AdamsBrittany Adams is the Special Collections, Digitization, and Archival Services Librarian at the PLRC. She handles all things old, but also enjoys dabbling in digital projects, such as web and graphic design. In her spare time, she’s obsessed with mysteries and true crime.


As a reminder, all full-time and visiting faculty member are assigned a library liaison—a reference librarian who will be their primary contact in the library. If you have any questions about research, resources or services that the library offers, please feel free to reach out to your liaison.  A complete list of liaisons and contact info is available on the library website.

Posted in Resource Spotlight

Position Available:Access Services Evening & Weekend Supervisor

The Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law seeks to fill TWO open positions for Access Services Evening & Weekend Supervisors.

This position performs a wide range of Access Services duties, including collection maintenance, faculty support, document delivery and digitization projects, material retrieval, student worker supervision and circulation desk duties. They often serve as the first point of patron contact in a library that prides itself on exemplary service.

The schedule for one position is Wednesday – Thursday 12:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m; Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The schedule for the second position is Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Monday – Thursday 12:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

For full details and to apply, please visit the Northwestern Careers Website (search Job IDs 36795 and 36796)

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Posted in Position Available

Preparing for On-Campus Interviews? Try These Resources.

Are you participating in on-campus interviews at the law school? If so, take a look at our guide on researching legal employers, with links to useful resources for researching law firms, judges, major clients, and much more!

Guide to Researching Legal Employers

Guide to Researching Legal Employers

Posted in Employment, Library Resources, Resource Spotlight, Uncategorized

Student Library Assistant Positions Available for August & Fall Semester

The Pritzker Legal Research Center is looking for reliable law students to work at the library circulation desk in the evenings and on weekends during August and the upcoming fall semester. Duties include the following:

  • Check out and check in books, journals, reserve books and other library materials
  • Answer basic informational, directional and library policy questions, help patrons locate materials in the stacks, provide basic printer and copy machine assistance
  • Help troubleshoot public computers according to directions
  • Record and tally usage statistics
  • Search the stacks for books reported missing
  • Assist with opening and closing procedures

Interested students should send the completed application form and resume to James Driscoll, Circulation Services Manager.

Posted in Position Available

Resource Spotlight: Oxford Public International Law Resources

Next time you are working on a project that involves international legal research, consider using our Oxford Public International Law online resources. Our library now subscribes to the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law, and Oxford Reports on International Law.

Do you need to quickly familiarize yourself with a public international law concept? The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) is a great way to obtain a surface-level overview of a concept. For example, say you want to get a sense of how the term “war crimes” is used in international law. You can consult the MPEPIL entry on war crimes as a starting point to get up to speed. Each encyclopedia entry includes a bibliography and list of relevant documents. If you see a “Find it @ NU” link next to a source, click on the link to easily connect to our library catalog to see your options for accessing the content.

Do you need commentary or in-depth analysis on a topic? Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law is a terrific go-to resource. Oxford Scholarly Authorities contains electronic versions of reputable books and treatises as well as various Oxford Handbooks. A complete list of all of the titles organized by subject is available here. For example, continuing with the same hypo mentioned above, if you now need to read an analysis of Article 8 (War Crimes) of the Rome Statute, you can access an e-book of Schabas’s The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute (2d ed.) using this resource. Are you searching for case law from international courts and tribunals? Oxford Reports on International Law (ORIL) provides access to more than 5,500 case reports from international courts, domestic courts, and ad hoc tribunals. Most official websites of international courts and tribunals lack useful search functions, but this resource is text searchable and also allows you to browse case reports by subject. Each ORIL case report contains the full-text decision, a summary of the facts and holdings, analytical commentary, and a list of cases and instruments cited.

The Oxford Law Citator is a research tool available on each of these databases to help users easily find related items. If desired, you can conduct a search across all three of these databases simultaneously by searching across “Oxford Public International Law” using the search bar near the top of the screen.

You can access these databases and all of our other law databases using the Pritzker Legal Research Center’s A-Z Database List.


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Posted in Resource Spotlight