Practical Guide to Appellate Advocacy
Starting Your Research
As in all projects, unless you are already knowledgeable about the topic area, it is best to start with introductory resources and then to consult more focused works; moving from secondary to primary resources.
Articles, books and government documents can provide you with an overview of your topic and help you think of search terms that you might not have thought of otherwise. They will also cite primary authorities such as statutes and case law. You can then use the primary sources cited in the secondary sources as a jumping off point to find other primary sources.
Accessing Databases From Off Campus
Some of the databases linked to in this Guide are subscription databases. Access is available to these databases on the Widener campus and off.
Bloomberg Law & Lexis & Westlaw - all Widener students have an individual passwords to Bloomberg, Lexis & Westlaw. If you have trouble with your password please contact Bloomberg Law or Lexis or Westlaw.
IntelliConnect - Before using IntelliConnect you must register for a username and password. Please contact Janet Lindenmuth for instructions on registering for IntelliConnect.
Other databases - When using other databases off campus you may be prompted for your name and library barcode number. The library barcode number is printed on the back of your student ID.
Search the Library Catalog
To locate articles on legal topics, perform a search in one of the databases below. Some databases provide full-text display of articles while others only provide citations to, or abstracts of, articles. The following databases are listed on the library's webpage under the Research Tools feature or by going directly to:
These databases may be accessed off-campus. You will need the number printed above the barcode on the back of your Widener ID.
Scholarly, business, health and other journals. Also includes newspapers and general magazines.
Includes ArticleFirstand ECO, indexes to general, non-legal periodicals. Indexes only, no full-text.
Case law, statutes, court rules and treatises.
Fulltext Sources Online
An index that helps you locate online journals. See Reference Librarian for password.
Law Library Microform Consortium
Older federal executive, judicial and legislative documents available online.
Click "Choose" under Search to begin searching.
Index to legal journals and newspapers, includes selected full-text articles.
LegalTrac replaces Legal Resource Index.
Requires a username and password, which is supplied to Widener Law students and faculty.
General magazines and periodicals online. Including historical New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Westlaw Requires a username and password, which is supplied to Widener Law students and faculty.
For a full list of every online journal, periodical, newspaper or other database available through the Widener libraries use our Full Text Finder.
* Illiad connection only works on campus.
Inter Library Loan
Obtaining Books and Articles through InterLibrary Loan
If none of the Widener libraries owns the book or article you need, you may request it through InterLibrary Loan. ILLiad is the InterLibrary Loan service used by Widener. Please note that you must first register for ILLiad before you can request materials through InterLibrary Loan. To register, click on the InterLibrary Loan link listed under the "Library Services" section on the Library's homepage at: http://commonwealthlaw.widener.edu/current-students/law-library/.
Next, click on InterLibrary Loan Form, select the campus on which you are located, and click on "First Time Users." Once you have registered, fill in as much of the request form as possible. The more information you provide, the better. If you are a registered user of ILLiad, simply enter your username and password to continue.
Most photocopies will be delivered electronically. You will be notified via your Widener email account with a link to your article, which will be in pdf format.
All InterLibrary Loans, except copied articles, must be returned to the Information Desk by the due date.