South Carolina's Flagship University

Coleman Karesh Law Library

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Reference Librarians & Legal Research Faculty

"The most useful knowledge concerning the law is to know where to find it."

- Frederick C. Hicks

The Law Library Faculty of the School of Law is composed of librarians who specialize in legal bibliography, research, and scholarship. Each of the reference librarians holds both a Juris Doctor and a Masters in Library and Information Science. In addition to providing legal reference services to the law school, the university, and the public, most also teach semester-long courses on Introduction to Legal Research and Advanced Legal Research and conduct specialized legal research seminars.

Legal Reference Services

Student Services

A reference librarian is available at the reference desk Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM to answer reference questions and to assist students in developing research plans for particular projects. Students may contact the reference desk by phone at 777-5902 or via e-mail at lawref@law.sc.edu.

Students may attend seminars and workshops conducted by the reference librarians throughout the school year on specific legal research topics and online databases. Students may also take advantage of the various research aids posted on the law library's website.

Faculty Services

The Law Library offers the following reference and research services in support of the law school's mission to produce quality legal scholarship:

Reference Services
Faculty and their research assistants may ask legal reference questions of the Law Library's Reference Librarians by contacting the Law Library Reference Desk at 777-5902 or lawref@law.sc.edu between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday.

Faculty Research Support
Law Librarians are available to consult individually with faculty and their research assistants to suggest relevant resources or search strategies for particular research projects. Law Librarians also conduct formal legal research training for research assistants in the spring before summer research projects begin and regularly assist research assistants with locating difficult-to-find materials. In addition, legal research seminars are offered throughout the school year on topics and databases to supplement the Introduction to Legal Research course. For extended research assistance, contact Pamela Rogers Melton, Associate Director for Library Administration, 803-777-3361 or via Email

Course Related Research Instruction
The Law Librarians will provide customized guest lectures for your substantive law classes to familiarize students with key research sources in specific areas of law. Please provide as much advance notice as possible. To submit a request for a guest lecture either email lawref@law.sc.edu or contact an individual Law Librarian.

Online Database Training
The Reference Librarians will conduct training workshops for faculty on available online databases, such as LexisNexis and Westlaw, HeinOnline, LexisNexis Congressional, BNA, CCH, ELR and others. Blackboard and TWEN courseware instruction is also available for faculty. Please send your requests for training to lawref@law.sc.edu. If you are having difficulty with your LexisNexis or Westlaw account, please contact Rebekah Maxwell at 777-1725 or via Email.

Courses in Legal Research

Legal Research, Analysis & Writing

Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing (LRAW) is a core component of the first year law school curriculum that integrates essential skills necessary for the practice of law.

In LRAW-1 (Fall) students learn the basic methods of researching state statutes and case law. Students also learn how to analyze those statutes and cases, how to identify and understand legal rules derived from those authorities, and how to apply those rules to make informed predictions about legal issues. Students learn how to convey legal analysis clearly and concisely and how to draft a legal prediction in the form of a memorandum of law.

In LRAW-2 (Spring), students build on their basic research, analytical, and writing skills to learn how to research federal statutes and cases, regulations, and secondary sources. Students also learn the skills of persuasive writing and argumentation through the preparation of an appellate brief and oral argument.

The Legal Research, Analysis & Writing (LRAW) classes are co-taught by our Legal Research Librarians and Legal Writing Instructors.

The Law School also offers an Advanced Legal Research course as an elective to all students during the second and third years. Students may attend seminars and workshops conducted by the Reference Librarians throughout the school year on specific legal research topics and online databases.

Advanced Legal Research LAWS 562 - 2 Hours

The Advanced Legal Research course is offered as an elective to all students during the second and third years. Students further develop their ability to critically select and use the primary and secondary sources discussed in the Legal Research course and also learn new research materials and techniques involving finding tools, forms, court rules, practice aids, and legislative history. Research strategies and efficient and cost-effective use of resources are also covered.

Reference/Legal Research Faculty

Duncan Alford, J.D., M.L.I.S.
Associate Dean & Director of the Law Library

Terrye Conroy, J.D., M.L.I.S.
Reference & Public Services Librarian

Alyson M. Drake, J.D., M.L.S.
Reference Librarian

Rebekah K. Maxwell, J.D., M.L.I.S.
Associate Director for Library Operations

Pamela Rogers Melton, M.S.L.S., J.D.
Associate Director for Administration

Patrick R. Parsons, J.D., M.L.I.S.
Reference Librarian