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Preservation Law (HIPR 6200): Westlaw Campus Research

Information and resources for the Master of Historic Preservation students

Note about Westlaw Campus Research

The Westlaw Campus Research service is a smaller set of the Westlaw Edge service used by attorneys. It contains federal and state statutes, court opinions, law review articles, and legislative history. Westlaw Campus Research is available through GALILEO. You can login to GALILEO with your UGA MyID.

Westlaw Campus Research Help Guide - step-by-step instructions on legal research.

Westlaw Training Tutorials - additional training guides and videos that are not specific to Westlaw Campus Research.

Retrieving Specific Documents

Federal statute or regulation - Do you have a citation to a statute or regulation? See Citations tab for more information

  • Use the search bar to find it directly.
    • For example, use 54 U.S.C.A. 306107 to navigate to Section 306107 of Title 54 of the U.S. code.
  • Go directly to the U.S. Code or CFR. You can also keyword search within the resources.
  • Use the Table of Contents feature to browse

Federal court opinion - Do you have a citation to a court opinion or the names of the parties?

  • Use the search bar to find a case directly if you have the citation.
    • For example, use 438 U.S. 104 to pull the case Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York directly. Note: if you search by the parties only, this case will be in your search results, but you will also get other results from the lower courts, other cases with similar party names, and other cases that have cited Penn Central.
  • If you are looking for a specific party name, under Cases, select Advanced Options and use Party Name box.

Westlaw KeyCite

Westlaw's KeyCite system helps legal researchers by 1) telling them if a case or statute is still good law and 2) sorting cases and statutes by relevance to a particular topic.

Is it good law?

KeyCite helps to check the status of an opinion, statute, or regulation. As lawyers say, "Is it still good law?" To the left of a case name, you may see a yellow, red, or blue and white striped flag.

  • A yellow flag means that a case has some negative treatment, but is not necessarily overruled. For a statute or regulation, a yellow flag may mean that there is proposed legislation to replace or change it.
  • A red flag means that a case has some negative treatment, and at least some aspect of it is overruled. For a statute or regulation, a red flag may mean that it has been repealed, amended, or moved to a different code number.
  • A blue and white striped flag means that a case has been appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States or a U.S. Court of Appeals.

For more detailed information, select Negative Treatment to see what courts have said about the case. Not all negative treatment is necessarily bad. A few examples:

  • A higher court may have overruled only part of your case, while the part that is relevant to your work is still good law.
  • The Eleventh Circuit's negative treatment of a Fourth Circuit case does not mean that the case is no longer good law because the Fourth Circuit need not follow the Eleventh Circuit. However, if the Supreme Court of the United States overruled the Fourth Circuit case, this case is no longer good law.

KeyCite Topics

The Westlaw Key Number System can help you narrow your search to a particular topic (i.e. keys). To locate the Key Number System, select Tools on the home page, then West Key Number System.

  • Document headnotes have key numbers. You can view the key numbers to see the topics covered by the document and select the key number to find other documents that cover that topic.
  • On the Key Number System page you can see over 400 keys.
    • Select one key to narrow your search (it will show up to the left of the search bar), then use the search bar to further narrow your search.
    • Select one key (then narrow by subtopics, if any) and browse all content covering that key's topic.
    • Tip: as your cursor lands over one of the key topics, an information icon will pop up to the right of the topic name. If you click on the icon, it will show you what is covered by the key and other similar topics that are not covered by the key.

For more help, view pages 15-16 of the Westlaw Campus Research Guide.

Researching a Legal Issue

Despite the importance of primary sources most legal researchers start their research project with secondary sources. Remember that secondary sources are resources that describe, discuss, or analyze the primary sources. The secondary sources help the researcher find the most relevant or appropriate primary authority, they aid in explaining or interpreting primary authorities. For example, treatises, law review articles, American Law Reports annotations, Restatements of the Law, and looseleaf services are types of secondary authority. Basically everything that is not primary is secondary.

Before accessing any database to start your research take a couple minutes to do two things.

1. Identify the significant facts. The TARP Rule is a useful technique to analyze your facts.

  • T- Thing or subject matter
  • A - cause of Action or ground of defense
  • R - Relief sought
  • P - Persons or parties involves

2. Think about the question you are trying to answer. What do you need to know? You also need to think about various terms and phrases relevant to the subject. There are often many ways to express the same or similar ideas, for example:

  • Employment - “public employee” "government employee" "supervisor" "workplace"
  • Environment - "clean water" "air pollution" "endangered species"
  • First amendment - “free speech" "limitation on speech" "freedom of religion"
  • Murder - "manslaughter" "homicide"
  • Car - "automobile" "truck"
  • Child - "minor" "juvenile"

Try to be as specific as possible. Legal dictionaries and legal encyclopedias are the best place to start. Both sources are located within the Secondary Sources tab.

Dictionary - A legal dictionary is a good place to start as the law is filled with complex terminology and unique definitions for common terms. Westlaw Campus Research has Black's Law DictionaryYou may also access the dictionary by selecting Secondary Sources on the home page. Black's Law Dictionary is listed on the right side under Related Content.

 Encyclopedia - A legal encyclopedia can provide a good overview of an area of law and explain unfamiliar concepts. You can browse the topics listed in the encyclopedia or do a search.

Law Review/Journal Articles - Law review articles are particularly good for new topics and in-depth examination of narrow topics. Be sure to look at the cases and statutes cited in law review articles as these are great sources to continue your search.

  • Law Reviews Search
    • Under Advanced Options, limit by Date for more recent (and perhaps more relevant) results.
    • Under Advanced Options, use the Title box; law review articles have very descriptive titles and a search term in the title mean the article is likely to be more relevant.
    • Browse By Topic to narrow to relevant topics such as Environmental Law. Native American Law, Real Property, and Tax.

 Have you identified a relevant statute? If so access an annotated code.

Annotated Code - An annotated code is a set of statutes supplemented with references to research resources. This includes notes of decisions, law review articles, form books, and administrative regulations. 

  • United States Code Annotated (USCA) (browse and keyword search)
  • Individual state codes (browse and keyword search)
  • To search multiple states
    • Go to Statutes and Court Rules
    • Change the jurisdiction (this is located between the search bar and the magnifying glass icon). Select the states you would like to search.
    • Select Save.
  • Look for the Table of Contents for statutory material. If you retrieved a specific statute it can often be helpful to see what statutes come before and after.
  • Get in the habit of checking the currentness of any legal material. It's particularly important with codes and regulations because they are frequently changed.  Know how the publication is updated and what is the date of the last update.

Court Opinions - see separate tab under Westlaw Campus tab.

Treatise - A treatise is a scholarly treatment of an area of law, it may be one or multiple volumes depending upon the broadness or narrowness of the topic. Treatises are very popular with attorneys and they will buy treatises relevant to their practice. 

  • Westlaw Campus Research Treatises
    • Under Secondary Sources, navigate to Texts & Treatises
    • Browse by state or search all treatises. After selecting a state, the names of treatises can give you a better idea of relevance.
  • Check GAVEL, the Law Library's online catalog, for other treatises
    • Look for titles that are updated or recent editions
    • Use the subject headings for relevant titles to expand the search



Research Log

It is important to keep track of your legal research so that you avoid doing the same research over and over again. One common way legal researchers track their work is by using a research log.

A typical research log includes:

  1. Document name
  2. Citation
  3. Jurisdiction
  4. Holding/summary
  5. Your notes

Tip: if you forgot about your research log, check your history in Westlaw Campus Research. Select History in the upper right corner of the page to see your recent searches and recent documents.

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