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Research Strategies for Successful Completion of Your Upper Level Writing Requirement: Books

Why Treatises & Other Scholarly Books Are Helpful

Treatises (extensive overviews of an area of law, often with a scholarly slant) and other, shorter scholarly books can help you:

  • Solidify your grasp of the overall framework in which your topic fits.
  • Identify principles, rules, trends.
  • Find more research leads (to cases and statutes, and perhaps also to more articles, books, and other scholarship).

Finding Leading Treatises

These guides list treatises and similar books for many areas of law. They typically say whether the treatises are available on Lexis or Westlaw, and give the shelving locations for print copies in the libraries that wrote the guides. To see if the University of Maine School of Law or the University of Maine System libraries have the same books (we probably do!), use URSUS, or ask a Reference Librarian.  

Finding Books At The Garbrecht Law Library--URSUS

URSUS is the online catalog for the Garbrecht Law Library. It is the shared catalog for the libraries in the University of Maine System, the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, and the Maine State Library. When doing a large research project, we recommend that you do not limit your search to just the law library's collection but take advantage of your access to all of the libraries in the system in order to find the material you need.  

Search right from this guide using the search box below.

Finding Scholarly Books Worldwide with WorldCat

To find scholarly books worldwide, try WorldCat.

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

WorldCat also searches broad descriptions of books. Here are some examples of WorldCat keyword searches for books on legal topics:

"dispute resolution" indigenous
family leave law
police interrogation law

For even more flexible searching, try WorldCat Advanced Search.

Finding Books Worldwide with Google Books

Find books by searching the full text of books using Google Books.

Because Google Books searches the full text, you can often get good results with more narrow, specific searches than would be useful in Doncore or WorldCat — searches such as:

"eminent domain" "public use" kelo
"digital rights management" "fair use"
"rational basis with bite"

With Advanced Search, you can search by author and title, and limit by publication date. For more information, see Using Google Book Search.

Finding Dissertations

A dissertation touching on some aspect of your topic will be meticulously researched and will cite to other useful, books, articles, statistical sources, etc.  Clicking the link below will take you to the Mariner Page, which lists all the databases available in the University of Maine System.  To access the suggested database, click the "Indexes and Databases" link in the yellow shaded box.  In the alphabetical listing, choose the letter for the title of the database.  In this case, choose "P" for Proquest.  Click the link "Proquest Dissertations and Theses A&I."