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Automatic Search Alerts
Several databases have options for creating automatic search alerts to update you when a new item is added to the database that fits a particular set of search criteria. After doing your preliminary research for a paper or note, setting up a search alert based on your topic will allow you to know if there have been any new cases decided or articles published. This can also help with finding a topic if you are interested in a particular area and want something timely to write about. Each of the links below has instructions for setting up a search alert in the appropriate database.
Link to instructions for creating a KeyCite Alert. KeyCite Alert automatically monitors the status of cases, statutes, administrative decisions, and regulations and sends you updates when their KeyCite results change.
Link to instructions for creating WestClip alerts. WestClip allows you to run Terms & Connectors searches in the databases you select at regular intervals, and then emails you the results of those searches.
Link to instructions for creating and managing alerts in LexisNexis Advance. Includes both search alerts and Shepard's alerts.
Google Scholar Email Alerts
If you're working with an interdisciplinary topic, Google Scholar's email alerts can help you keep track of new non-law (and some law) articles.
Finding a Note Topic
There are a couple of online resources that are very helpful for finding timely and controversial legal topics that often make good notes.
ResearchLink is a website created by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy to connect law students interested in writing on current legal topics with public interest practitioners. However, you can also just browse the lists of submitted topics to find suggestions for what practitioners are currently interested in--a great way to find a note topic! If you do want to participate in the project, you can receive guidance from the practitioner as well as have your paper published on the site.
Seton Hall Circuit Review
The Seton Hall Circuit Review is a law journal that focuses on analyzing recent important circuit-level decisions. Every issue includes two sections that can lead you to good note topics--a list of issues of first impression identified by federal court of appeals opinions and a list of current circuit splits. One of these issues can provide a timely topic for a note, but you must be careful to update your research to make sure that a court hasn't addressed the issue in question before your note is done!
A blog noting and reviewing circuit splits between Federal Appellate Courts, published by several practicing attorneys.
U.S. Law Week--By Email
U.S. Law Week is a publication of Bloomberg BNA that provides weekly analysis of significant current federal and state cases. Drexel law students, faculty, and staff can subscribe to receive the weekly email from this above link.
U.S. Law Week--Searchable
U.S. Law Week's archives can be searched through Bloomberg BNA. There is an option in the left hand column to view recent circuit splits. To search for topical circuit splits, use the advanced search in the upper right hand corner, and try a search string such as:
(circuit* /s split*) and health
where "health" is the topic you are interested in.
Breaking Complaints on Bloomberg Law
Breaking Complaints is a tool on Bloomberg Law that updates in real-time with business-oriented complaints in key jurisdictions, including U.S. District Courts, California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. If you are interested in a business law topic, this is a good way to get early notice of a possible controversy.
Covers Supreme Court actions on a daily basis, including commentary on cases currently up for review or that might be granted certoriari. Check under Petitions to see cases that might come before the court.