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.

Topic Selection

Your topic can be within any area of the law. The examples in the Law School Catalog include an essay assessing a current topic in a the news and proposing a new legislative approach, a business agreement requiring substantial transactional analysis and problem-solving, and a clinic or amicus brief. Below are some general areas to get you thinking. Legal news papers, blogs, and other commentary are good resources to help you identify current issues. Talking to your law faculty is also a good way to get help finding a topic.

Finding and Developing A Topic

First and foremost - Pick a topic you find interesting!  You will be spending a great deal of time on this, and so you want your topic to be something you have a genuine interest in exploring in depth.

Usually you will select a topic in consultation with your advising faculty member. Other good sources of ideas include:

Legal news

Government agency websites (federal, state, local, and international)

Non-profit organization and association websites

ABA and state bar association section newsletters

Legal blogs

Major newspapers

50 State Surveys

There are some topics on this page with examples of specific sources. A librarian can help you find similar sources for the topic you choose. Don't forget books available at MHSL or through interlibrary loan.

Circuit Splits

A circuit split is when two or more circuits in the United States court of appeals reach opposite interpretations of federal law. This is sometimes a reason for the Supreme Court to grant certiorari (Source: Cornell University, Legal Information Institute) A circuit split can be the basis for an essay analyzing current topic and developments in the law.

Case Law Searching

Other Library Research Guides

You can use research guides from other law schools to find resources on topics such as immigration law, Islamic law, bio-ethics, sports law, and tax policy. If you find a resource but can't locate it at Mitchell Hamline, remember to contact a reference librarian for help or use interlibrary loan.

Native American Law




International Law