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Upper Level Writing Requirement (ULWR) and Seminar Paper Research: Home

This research guides provides information to assist students in researching for their upper level writing requirement and seminar papers.

Upper Level Writing Requirement (ULWR)

Before you start researching the topic on which you want to write your ULWR, you need to make sure another writer has not preempted you from writing on that topic and issue. Preempted means that someone else has already written about your thesis. The important thing to remember is that you must be writing about something in a new or novel way. There may be numerous articles written on your topic or issue, but in order to not be preempted, your paper must add something new and original to the argument. If you think there may be preemption of your original thesis, then think of how to distinguish your article, or how you can examine the topic from a new perspective. 

Checking for Preemption:

Step 1. Check legal periodical indexes 

Step 2. Check legal periodical full-text databases 

Step 3. Check non-legal periodical databases if you are working on an interdisciplinary topic or check the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals if your topic in on law or issues outside the United States   

Step 4. Set up alerts for newly published articles occurring during your writing process 


The Legal Resources Index, available on Westlaw, contains abstracts from journals throughout the world, with Westlaw coverage beginning in 1980.

The Current Index to Legal Periodicals, available on Westlaw, contains indexing of the most recent eight weeks of published articles for over 300 legal publications.  

If your topic is interdisciplinary, you can search for non-legal scholarly publications in Barry University's Main Campus Library Databases

Library Catalog 

The Library Catalog is your gateway to search for legal AND non-legal resources located in the Barry University Main Library, the Barry Law Library, as well as, in certain databases to which the libraries subscribe. When doing your ULWR, you will be required to do a substantial amount of researching for resources on your topic of writing. As such, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the Library Catalog and its search features. Many, if not most, of the legal resources located in the Library Catalog are not available on Westlaw, Lexis Nexis, or other specialized databases. Learning how to use the Library Catalog will enable you to find these resources, which are not available on Westlaw, Lexis Nexis, and other specialized databases, quickly and effectively. 

Additionally, if you are writing on an interdisciplinary topic (e.g., the ethics of euthanasia and who qualifies medically for euthanasia; or the psychological effects of law on minority communities), the Library Catalog will be a great tool for you to find the non-legal resources and databases that will be needed to support the non-legal aspects of your writing.     

If you need assistance with searching and using the Library Catalog, contact a Reference Librarian. The best way to contact a Reference Librarian is to email the Reference Librarians at, a shared e-mail account that allows ALL Reference Librarians to receive your email.

For assistance from a specific Reference Librarian contact: 

Diana Botluk, Associate Director and Head of Public Services, Associate Professor of Law Library,  

Jason Murray, Reference Librarian and Associate Professor of Law Library, 

Cynthia Barnes, Reference Librarian and Assistant Professor of Law Library,  

Kim Wilson, Reference Librarian and Assistant Professor of Law Library,

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) 

Interlibrary loan enables students to obtain books and other materials from libraries worldwide. If you know of a book or other resource and Barry University's Main Library and the Barry Law Library does not have it, then you can request it through the ILL service. This is NOT a guarantee that you will be able to obtain the book or resource, but if it is available through another library and your request can be fulfilled in time, Barry Law Library will obtain the book for you and notify you when it is available for pickup.

*Please note, it is critical that you put in ILL requests as early as possible due to the fact that the books must be processed and shipped from other libraries and the process can sometimes take more than two weeks.

On the Barry Law Library Home Page, is a link for requesting materials through Interlibrary Loan. Additionally, if you have never used ILL before, there is a link on the ILL page with instructions for registering as a First Time User

For questions regarding Interlibrary Loan contact: 

Ashley Allensworth, Circulation Assistant and Interlibrary Loan Specialist -



Specifically, in the ProQuest Congressional Database, you can access Congressional Research Reports. If there is a CRS Report on your topic, it can be an excellent source of information on the topic.  

Information literacy is an important topic when discussing scholarly writing. It is critical when using information in scholarly writing that you know that the information your using has value. To determine the value of the information, you need to have information literacy. The following resource teaches you how to evaluate information and determine whether it has value. It is called the CRAAP test, which stands for Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. This test was developed by Sarah Blakeslee, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

Here is a link to the California State University, Chico website with the CRAAP Test.  

Another great resource for information on evaluating information is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL). Under the topics of Research and Citation and Conducting Research, the Purdue OWL webpage has a section covering the topic of Evaluating Sources of Information. The Evaluating Sources of Information section has several sub-sections including, an Overview, Evaluating Bibliographic Citations, Evaluation During Reading, and Print v. Internet.   

The link above for the ULWR Packet includes the ULWR Registration Form, the Honor Code Pledge, and the Guidelines for the Upper Level Writing Requirement. For additional information regarding fulfilling the Upper Level Writing Requirement you should contact the Registrar's Office.  

For questions regarding Upper Level Writing Requirements and obtaining or submitting the necessary forms, contact: 

Amelia Rios, Registrar, 

Darilyn Peralta, Associate Registrar,

Visit the Law Registrar's webpage here: Law Registrar Webpage


Contact Our Reference Librarians

Barry Law Library Reference Librarians
Main Phone: (321) 206-5700
Schedule a Personal Research Consultation (PERC): 

Jason Murray, JD, MSLS
Tenured Reference Librarian
Associate Professor of Law Library
(321) 206-5725

Cynthia Barnes, JD
Reference Librarian
Assistant Professor of Law Library
(321) 206-5729

Kim Wilson, JD, MSIS
Reference Librarian
Assistant Professor of Law Library
(321) 206-5728


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Jason Murray
Tenured Reference Librarian and Associate Professor of Law Library

Barry Law Library

Office Phone: 321.206.5725
Subjects: Law