Skip to Main Content

Long Paper ("ARW Requirement") Resources

This guide includes resources to help you pick a topic, conduct legal research, and write your paper, including organization, grammar, style and citation.

Preemption Checking

As you start your research, you'll want to see make sure that your idea is original and hasn't been written about before. This is called a preemptin check.

There are two ways your topic can be preempted:

1. Preemption by law: a new statute, regulation, or case resolves your topic before you finish writing.

2. Preemption by author: a published paper, or one pending publication, addresses the same issues and uses the same reasonings.

You'll likely find articles that address your topic, but that doesn't mean your idea is automatically preempted. If you have new, worthwhile insights to offer, you will not be preempted. 

Where to Look

First stops: Westlaw and Lexis.

Search for journal and law review articles under the Secondary Sources/Secondary Materials categories. But remember, coverage on these databases is not complete. You'll need to look elsewhere too.

Next, check other Law-Related Databases.
Look for published articles or working papers/unpublished articles on other databases.
Next, check for books. 

Not all library catalogs are the same, so be sure to check a couple to find related works.

Finally, be sure to stay current! 

Once you've finished searching for published and unpublished material on your topic, it's important to set up current awareness alerts. This will help you stay informed about current news and recent publications related to your topic while you are writing.

If your topic has an international aspect, be sure to also look at:

CALI Lessons