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Poverty and the Law Research Guide

This guide is designed to help you research poverty and law. Although the guide is designed for the seminar class, the resources described in this guide can be applied outside of the class. Research in the area of poverty and law involves more than tradit

General Tips

Most articles written by students take the form of either a comment or a note but there are other forms of writing such as narratives and storytelling that may be applicable to your situation. You will want to consult with your professor about what is required from you. When choosing a topic, keep the following things in mind:

(1) choose something you find interesting since you will be spending a large amount of time living with this topic;

(2) think carefully about the scope of the topic – avoid overly broad or general topics as well as topics that are too narrow; and

(3) write about something new or look at an issue in a new light.


Ask Your Professor!

If you are writing a paper for a seminar class, your professor may have a list of topics that you can use or give you some ideas.

General Guides to Choosing a Topic


Bloomberg Law Reports

Bloomberg Law publishes over 40 current report services that track news, topics and trends. Beyond the circuit splits found in the United States Law Week, Bloomberg Law Reports are an excellent resource for potential topics. You can even subscribe to email alerts or an RSS feed.

Mealey’s Newsletters (through Lexis)

Mealey's reports include case summaries, commentaries, and breaking news across different practice areas.


Law360 covers 45 practice areas and provides news on litigation, legislation and regulation, corporate deals, major personnel moves, and legal industry news and trends.

Lexis Emerging Issues

Emerging Issues Analysis articles provides guidance written by attorneys practicing in the field. The commentaries examine a wide range of recent cases, regulations, trends, and developments. They also cover national, state and international issues and provide expert insight in important areas and legal developments.

Westlaw Newsletters

CCH Topical Newsletters

CCH is a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer publishing company and it is well known for business, labor and employment, tax, and health resources. Find and click on your topical area of interest. Then look at the news options for your topic.

Circuit Splits

A circuit split is where there is a difference of opinion among the United States Courts of Appeal. These often make great law review topics.

United States Law Week (Bloomberg BNA)

The easiest way to browse the Split Circuit Roundup is to use the BNA Online Publications link off of the Law Library’s webpage.

Seton Hall Circuit Review

This law review includes a Current Circuit Splits feature that briefly summarizes current circuit splits, but it also features longer, more in-depth articles analyzing important developments in law at the federal appellate level.

Lexis & Westlaw Searches of Case Law

  • Potential search to use: split or conflict /s court or circuit or authority
  • Note that you will want to limit by date and subject to avoid an overwhelming list of results.

Browse CILP, SSRN, or BePress

By looking at what others are currently writing about, you can often find ideas about what you want to write about.

Table of Contents

Review the Table of Contents, comments, and/or notes in a textbook or treatise to generate topic ideas.

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