Harvard Law Library
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How to Use this Guide
This guide is designed for students who would like to write a long(er) research paper and are looking for ideas on how to get started and find a topic. This guide is not meant to include all subject areas of the law, but provides some good general starting points for a large number of topics.
If you want to know what's hot in the legal world today, check out some of the blogs. Academic journals may take longer to be published, but you will want to check out such literature before embarking on writing your own paper to be sure that what you write adds something "new" to the field of law.
In addition, current awareness sources can provide you with ideas, as well as keep you up to date once you've picked your topic and are involved in the research and writing of your paper.
Also, keep in mind that many databases which are highlighted in this guide include options that allow you to set up alerts or what is known as "RSS feeds" which can alert you to new results that fit your search terms, as they are added to the database.
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Tips on Finding a Faculty Advisor
If you are an LLM who will be writing the long paper, you will need to find a faculty advisor. To see what Harvard Law Faculty have written about in the past, and to learn about their areas of interest, be sure to check out the Faculty Bibliography.
In case you already have an idea of who you want to approach to be your advisor, you can use the Faculty Directory to reach each faculty member's individual page, which includes a list of his/her publications.
Also see the Listing of Written Work Supervisors by Subject (last updated in 2012).
In addition, you can perform an "author search" on legal periodical indexes such as LegalTrac, to find out what each faculty member has written (in case there is any lag time in their bibliograhy list being updated.) For more information on LegalTrac, and legal periodical indexes, see the "What are the academic journals discussing" tab on this guide.