Webinar for Students: Using Legislative History to Find Legislative Intent

Proquest Congressional is a fantastic resource for finding legislative history documents. It has a wealth of bills, hearings, reports and other documents going back to the earliest days of Congress, usually in PDF.

How can you use it to learn more about what legislators intended? Proquest is hosting a webinar, Using Legislative History to Find Legislative Intent, that will be repeated a number of times and is aimed at students, recent graduates, clerks, associates, and interns/externs. Proquest notes that most federal courts and government agencies as well as a number of non-profit law libraries that private law firms belong to have access to these resources. The webinar is open to anyone. See below for more info on what will be covered.

Sign up by clicking one of the dates below:

About the webinars (from Proquest)

 This 90-minute session is designed for the summer associate, judicial, law firm or government agency law clerk, intern, extern or research assistant. You will learn how to use ProQuest Congressional Digital Suite & Legislative Insight, the premier legal research tools for federal legislative and government materials to:

1. Develop an understanding of the legislative process both:

a. Procedurally – How did the language read as first proposed, what committees considered the proposal, when were amendments made and where was the proposal when it was amended;
b. As an adversarial process – who was lobbying in support of the proposal and what were they trying to accomplish, who was active in opposition what were their objections, who was responsible for amendments to the proposal;

2. Become familiar with the documents available pertinent to your issue;
3. Identify where in the process the changes you care about occurred – this provides a mechanism to narrow the scope of your search for explanations for why the language was changed;
4. Learn how to identify both direct and circumstantial evidence of intent.

And of course if you need assistance with Proquest Congressional on the fly, you can also ask your HLS librarians.

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