Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday's Legal Resource: Hein Online

Hein Online is one of the most popular databases available to members of the South Texas College of Law and visitors to the Fred Parks Library. This is most likely due to the variety of resources it offers in PDF.

Hein Online is well known for it’s law journal library which houses most American law reviews and many international law journals. One of the benefits to using Hein Online versus other resources such as Westlaw and Lexis is that whereas other databases provide limited coverage going back only twenty or thirty years, Hein provides full text access to most of its law reviews dating back to the very first volume, which occasionally dates back to the 18th century. One important fact to keep in mind is that most of the journal listings in Hein will not include the most recent year of publication.

Members of the South Texas College of Law community can access Hein from any computer going through the Stanley portal. They can find it in the Library tab in the Library Databases channel. There is also a link on the library homepage in the Databases list. However, this link will only provide access on computers located in the Fred Parks Law Library.

Other materials available in Hein Online are:

The Code of Federal Regulations (1938-1984)
English Reports, Full Reprint (1220-1865)
European Center for Minority Issues
Federal Register Library (Complete Through May 2007)
Foreign & International Law Resources Database
Legal Classics
Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (Editions 1-8)
Philip C. Jessup Library
Session Laws (State, Federal, Austrailia, and Canada)
Treaties and Agreements Library
U.S. Attorney General Opinions
U.S. Congressional Documents
U.S. Federal Legislative History Library
U.S. Presidential Library
U.S. Statutes at Large (1789-2005)
U.S. Supreme Court Library (Complete Coverage for Opinions)
World Trials

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Weekly Legal Information Resources

Starting this week, the Fred Parks Law Library will begin offering links and information on legal resources available through the library.

Each Tuesday you will learn about a particular legal resource available through the Fred Parks Law Library. These resources will include information on databases, print materials, and other sources that law students and legal researchers may find valuable.

So be sure to check in every Tuesday to learn more!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Library Hours in August

Please Note:

The Fred Parks Law Library will be closed on the following dates in August. Normal Hours will resume in September:

Saturday & Sunday August 2 & 3
Saturday & Sunday August 9 & 10
Sunday August 31

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Religion and the Law: The Establishment Clause and New Religious Movements

The genesis of this exhibition was an unsolicited gift from Bridge publishers, a publishing company owned and operated by the Church of Scientology, who sent libraries around the country two complete sets of the scientology books written by L. Ron Hubbard. (These books do not fit in with our acquisitions policy and thus will not be added to the library collection.) About two weeks later, news outlets began reporting on the raid of a Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saint’s (FLDS) compound called Yearning for Zion in El Dorado, Texas, by Child Protective Services. Lawyers from around Texas including some from STCL went to San Angelo to represent the children removed from the compound. These two unrelated events got me thinking about what Sociologists call New Religious Movements (NRMs) and the law. Examples of NRMs include Scientology, New Age religions such as Wicca, the Unification Church, Jehovah Witnesses, Krishna Consciousness, and extreme elements of Christian fundamentalist and Pentecostal movements (Dawson 1998, p. 580). Many NRMs are recognized religions in the United States; however there are some that are deemed cults or are splinter groups of other recognized religions. There are several areas of law in which you may encounter NRMs: as defense attorneys, prosecutors, civil rights and family practice attorneys, and even in tax law. In Cantwell v. Connecticut (310 U.S. 296), the Supreme Court stated that the Free Exercise Clause “embraces two concepts – the freedom to believe and the freedom to act. The first is absolute, but in the nature of things, the second cannot be.” (Gedicks 2005 p. 1187) The role of lawyers and the courts therefore, is not to determine if the belief is valid, but if how those beliefs are practiced is lawful. Put very simply you can believe anything you want, you just can’t do anything you want. This exhibit showcases works in the Fred Parks Law Library’s collection that discuss religious freedom and the law as well as some historical material and cases from the Special Collections holdings. It also contains loaned materials.
This exhibition is not exhaustive nor does it contain any material relating to mainstream religion (i.e. Christianity, Judaism and Islam). Please direct all questions regarding this exhibit to the Special Collections Librarian, Heather Kushnerick, at

Dawson, Lorne L. “The Cultural Significance of New Religious movements and Globalization: A Theoretical Prolegomenon.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 37(4) (1998): 580-595.

Gedicks, Frederick Mark “The Permissible Scope of Legal Limitation on the Freedom of Religion or Belief in the United States.” Emory International Law Review 19 (2005): 1187-1275.