Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Research

A global orientation is one of the goals of the Yale Law School. The foreign, comparative and international law collection and the librarians support this endeavor. The vast and comprehensive comparative and international collections are located in what is termed the Upper East Side, while the foreign law collections are in the Lower East Side. Much of the older foreign material is in our shelving facility (LSF). Of course, there is also much material in electronic format. Both print and online materials can be located using the Morris catalog, Quicksearch, and our electronic legal databases page, which functions as a directory and finding aid to our databases.

Lucie Olejnikova, the Associate Director for Foreign and International Law and Lecturer in Legal Research, and Evelyn Ma, Reference Librarian for Foreign and International Law, both serve as research librarians, as well as selectors for the collection. Lucie's and Evelyn's offices may be found on L1. You are welcome to contact them by email. We have a team of five foreign law selectors. John Nann, Senior Librarian for Reference, Instruction, and Collection Development with an office on L3, is responsible for the English-speaking jurisdictions of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland, India, and the European Union. Cate Kellet, Catalog and Government Documents Librarian with an office on L2, selects for Iberia and Latin America. Steven Mitchell, Research and Instructional Librarian with an office on L3, selects for Italy, France, and French-speaking African jurisdictions. Evelyn Ma selects for East Asia as well as Singapore and Malaysia. Lucie Olejnikova is responsible for German-speaking jurisdictions of Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, and Switzerland, and she also selects for public, private, and comparative international law. The foreign law selectors team also evaluates and recommends foreign and international law electronic databases. 

An excellent way to begin research in our collection is to meet with a research librarian. We maintain foreign and international law research guides, which is another entry point to our collection. For example, our Country by Country Guide provides information on researching the law of virtually every jurisdiction of the world, listing the call number range to aid with browsing the stacks, and providing links to relevant databases. Additional research guides include Finding the Law of Latin America, Foreign and Comparative Research Guide, Chinese Legal ResearchIslamic Law Research, and collected legislative histories (travaux preparatoires),

We work closely with the YLS Graduate Program and provide legal research support and assistance to our graduate students. During the YLS graduate students' orientation, the library offers a four-class legal research series titled the Fundamentals of U.S. Legal Research for YLS Graduate Students. We also co-sponsor Movie Nights with the Yale Law School Graduate Program. The foreign and international law librarians work closely with our YLS Clinics, including the Lowenstein International Human Rights Law Clinic, Peter Gruber Rule of Law Clinic, International Refugee Assistance Project, Legal Assistance: Immigrant Rights Clinic, Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, and others. Lucie and Evelyn are also available to offer research training to the YLS international law moot court teams. 

The foreign and international law librarians work alongside the Research and Instruction Department. Lucie and Evelyn offer a two-credit Research Methods in Foreign and International Law course in the spring semester. This course is often taught in conjunction with Professor Oona Hathaway’s international law course and thus mirrors the doctrinal course syllabus. The course covers topics such are treaty research, IGO/NGO research, the United Nations documentation, the European Union, and many other subject-specific topics tailored to student interests and needs. 

We invite you to explore our print and electronic collections, and make suggestions, and while on L1, please take a moment to visit our exhibits.