Congratulations! You've been hired by a faculty member at Seton Hall Law as a Research Assistant! This guide is intended to help you navigate the resources available to you at the Law School Library and beyond. If at any time you need any assistance or help, please let one of the librarians know!
This guide provides tips on working successfully with your faculty member, suggested resources to get started with your research, including navigating online databases, and searching the Law Library Catalog.
Each full-time faculty member is assigned a reference librarian to be their primary library contact, or liaison. Librarian liaisons can be a valuable resource for research assistants. They often perform research on behalf of their assigned faculty, or otherwise work closely with their assigned professors to keep up-to-date about their research interests and activities.
RAs should feel free to contact their faculty member's librarian liaison at any point during the research process. You can also contact the librarian on duty during posted reference hours. We can help you organize a research strategy, walk you through locating or using specific resources, and answer your library-related questions.
Contact a reference librarian if you would like to make an appointment for a one-on-one research consultation or training.
We want your experience working with faculty to be a success. Below are some tips on communicating with faculty to help you get off to a great start.
Defining the Scope of Your Research
You may meet with your professor in person to discuss his or her research goals and timelines. Below are suggested questions to ask your professor that can help define the scope of a particular project. This can help you save time and prevent confusion!
After you speak with your professor, it is a good idea to send him or her a follow-up email that outlines your understanding of your research assignment and reiterates any discussed deadline.
General Communication Tips
Adapted from Pepperdine University School of Law's Guide to Law Library Services for Faculty Research Assistants Guide
Your research will always start with a question or assignment from your faculty member. How specific this request depends on a number of variables. It's always a good idea to write down as many specifics about the request as possible, and don't be afraid to ask questions to get the answers that you need. More often than not, your faculty member has a specific goal in mind, and you may need to ask questions to properly understand that goal.
At the Rodino Law Library, we've developed a research worksheet that you can use to help organize the information you've been given and develop a plan for your research. Feel free to make copies and use it as you're given research assignments.
In addition to developing a research strategy, you should also keep a log of the research that you do. This will allow you to easily tell your faculty member what you have done on a project and allow them to note any areas that you may have missed or that may deserve more exploration. A research log should generally consist of:
In addition to the resources listed here, there are a number of websites containing compilations of sources on various topics. Some of the most useful are listed below:
Are you doing research for your faculty member over the summer? Good News! Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law are all available to you!
Your password may be used during the summer for use in connection with:
You do not have to do anything to maintain access to these tools over the summer.