April 1, 2020 – With the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsin law libraries are currently closed to the public. Fortunately, there are ways to continue your legal research by accessing library collections remotely and searching specialty databases online.
Here are some helpful resources to use during this time of quarantine.
Consult a Librarian: Resources at the State and Law School Libraries
Even though the libraries are closed, law librarians are still here to help you.
gov amy.crowder wicourts Amy Crowder was recently appointed State Law Librarian. She is a member of Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin (LLAW). Members of the LLAW are regular contributors to InsideTrack.
Reach Wisconsin State Law Library librarians at gov wsll.ref wicourts wicourts wsll.ref gov or through the Ask a Question feature on the library’s website.
Remote access to HeinOnline, Index to Legal Periodicals, and LLMC Digital is available with a library card – for links, visit the library’s Articles & Journals page. Librarians can assist with searching other databases as well – gov wsll.ref wicourts send an email or Ask a Question.
Looking for the notices and orders regarding coronavirus response? Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources page hosts a compilation of links to federal and state orders, court procedures, health information, housing, education, employment, elections and voting, as well as links useful for practice areas like family law and labor and employment law.
The U.W. Law Library offers research support by email at wisc askuwlaw law edu law askuwlaw wisc edu or by the Chat Now feature on the library’s website. The library lists many law databases that are accessible to UW-Madison users with a U.W. login ID. Other specialty databases are freely available to library users anywhere in the state.
Reference services are available at Marquette University’s Eckstein Law Library by phone and email – for more information visit the library’s Reference Desk Services page. Subscription databases available with a MUID are listed on the library’s website, as are freely available sources accessible through their Research Guides.
State Bar of Wisconsin members have access to Fastcase, an online legal research service, as a benefit of membership. As a member, you have access to state and federal case law, statutes, regulations, constitutions, and court rules.
Fastcase, along with like-minded companies, is providing a free COVID-19 resource hub to their bar partners. The page brings together links to sources that reveal how COVID-19 is impacting our community – including:
recent cases via Docket Alarm;
Law Street Media coverage and leading news media;
employer resources from Littler;
government and legislative alerts from American Immigration Lawyers Association; and
peer resources from Wolters Kluwer, Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and others.
Fastcase is also offering free webinars on COVID-19 litigation and analysis as well as other free CLE webinars (you’ll need to verify CLE availability in Wisconsin).
Searching via BadgerLink: Wisconsin’s Online Library
BadgerLink, Wisconsin’s Online Library, provides state residents with licensed, trustworthy content not available through regular search engines. This includes law reviews, scholarly publications, current and archival news, business journals and trade publications, company profiles, and medical resources.
At this time, BadgerLink is also offering free temporary access to NewspaperARCHIVE and EBSCO’s Ebooks Academic Collection, Academic Search Ultimate, and Business Source Ultimate.
LibGuide: Legal Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library at UCLA School of Law has developed a guide to federal public laws, legislation, presidential, and agency documents on COVID-19. On their page Legal Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19), you’ll find – among other resources – a compilation of 50 State Surveys on related topics such as emergency declarations, elections, consumer law, and paid sick leave.
Get Your Virtual Library Card
While area public libraries are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Madison Public Library is offering virtual library cards, giving people access to all the library’s digital offerings – including research resources, ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies, online classes, and more.
If you don’t already have a Madison Public Library card and live in a county within the South Central Library System, you can apply for a virtual library card.
For further tips on legal research online, see these previously published InsideTrack articles by law librarians: