Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Law Library

Research Assistants' Guide

Your Role as a Research Assistant

As a research assistant, you will be asked to conduct various research activities that support your faculty member's research agenda: locating and gathering source documents, conducting on-line legal research, analyzing case law, cite checking publications, etc. The research assignment may involve interdisciplinary research. Frequently you will be given a short time frame to complete assignments.

Librarians' Work with the Faculty

Each faculty member is assigned a librarian who is his or her principal research liaison. The liaison knows the scope of the faculty member's current research interests and activities and conducts legal and non-legal research at the request of the faculty member. They also keep abreast of faculty research interests through browsing periodicals and new books that may be pertinent.

We're Your “Guide on the Side”

Since we are involved in faculty research activities, we can also serve as an important resource for YOU! We can advise you on likely places to find the information you seek, law-related or not. We can also provide training in using the resources of the law library - from searching the on-line catalog, to accessing the electronic resources available through the ASU network, to using the Internet as an effective research tool.

Whom to Contact?

It is most efficient to start with your faculty member's liaison (liaison list). However, feel free to ask anyone working at the circulation desk or any librarian for help at any time.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check out books in my faculty member's name?

If you will be checking out material for your faculty member to use, you should complete a proxy card application . A proxy card is recognized at any circulation desk on campus as granting you permission to check out materials on your faculty member's account. Using the proxy card is strongly encouraged because faculty have a much longer loan period than students. Also, you will not want to be billed for overdue items checked out in your name and sitting in your faculty member's office. Stop by the Circulation Desk for more information about proxy cards.

How do I renew books?

Renew books in person or via the on-line catalog. From the Law Library homepage, click ASU Library Catalog. Select My Library Account from the top of the screen. Enter your ASUrite ID and password to login. Click on the Checked Out Items icon and choose either the Renew All or Renew Selected options to renew eligible materials. Confirm your renewal by scrolling through your list of items - a new due date and RENEWED should appear. If you have questions about your library account, please contact the Law Library Circulation Desk, 480-965-6144.

You are responsible for renewing all of your library materials from all campus libraries, as well as for paying any fines you may have accrued. Overdue books may ONLY be renewed before fines accrue (within 30 days).

How do I retrieve journal articles from the law library and other campus libraries?

For Law Library materials, you may check the materials out and take them to the Law School Photocopy Center in Armstrong Hall to be copied.

We will be happy to retrieve articles from other campus libraries for your faculty member. Please contact your faculty's liaison or the Circulation Desk for assistance.

What if the materials I need are not held by ASU?

Your faculty's liaison can help you locate items not held by ASU, and the Circulation Desk staff can arrange to borrow an item for you through interlibrary loan. Please note that it may take several weeks for the book or photocopied article to arrive, so do not wait until the last minute to ask for this service.

Will I be charged for printing in the student computer lab?

We realize that research assistants often print documents for their faculty in the student computer lab. We do not want you to incur printing charges when working for your faculty. Therefore, active research assistants are exempt from printing charges. Contact the IT Help Desk at 480-965-8181 if you have any questions about printing.

What if I need something else?

If you find you need special services not covered here, please contact your faculty liaison. If you cannot reach your liaison, any other librarian will be pleased to assist you:

  • Beth DiFelice, Assistant Director, (480) 965-4871
  • Leslie A. Pardo, Head, Access Services, (480) 965-3579
  • David Gay, Reference Librarian, (480) 965-4860
  • Tara Mopan, Reference Librarian (480) 965-4868

For circulation or interlibrary loan assistance, contact the Circulation Desk at (480) 965-6144.

How Can We Help You?

The primary mission of the Ross-Blakley Law Library is to support both the research and teaching activities of the faculty and the curriculum needs of the students of the ASU College of Law. We strive to provide a service program that includes using every resource necessary to fill your information needs in a timely, cost effective way.

Although we strive to stay at the forefront of legal information service provision, we are always looking for ways to serve you better. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us at any time.


PO BOX 877806 • 1102 S MCALLISTER AVE • TEMPE, AZ 85287-7806 • 480-965-6144 • FAX: 480-965-4283