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University of Utah Library Guides
All University of Utah libraries course and research guides, in one place.

Resources for Writing Seminar Papers & Journal Notes: Getting Started

This guide will law students select a topic and write scholarly articles like seminar papers and journal notes.

Books, Articles & Podcasts About Selecting a Topic

Other Resources

Selecting a Paper Topic Checklist

  • This checklist provides a list of sources to consult when developing a paper topic.

Selecting a Topic

Explore the suggested resources listed below to aid you in selecting a paper topic. Make sure the topic is interesting to you, and that you can add something new to the discussion. Preliminary research will help you determine if there is enough material available to allow you to write a paper of the length needed for class or your journal note.

If you need additional assistance, please contact the Reference Desk.


Circuit Splits


  • Check for the notes/commentary portion following cases to see if the textbook authors identified a split in jurisdictions or other unsettled area of law that provides a problem you can focus on.

Bloomberg Law

  • Look at Practice Centers & In Focus
  • Search the News category


  • Search the Legal News category
  • Find emerging issues by selecting the sources tab then typing 'emerging issues' - select a source from the list


Search other legal news sources:

Search general news sources for coverage of interesting or emerging legal issues

Other places to explore:

  • Government websites
  • Nonprofit websites
  • Recent conference proceedings
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Etc.
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