The library offers access to a wide variety of e-books and databases with legal information. Our e-book collection includes various practice guides, legal treatises, and self-help materials that can be borrowed and read in your Web browser or on an e-reader like a Kindle or an iPad. Our legal databases provide access to downloadable legal forms, case law, law review articles, and other legal information. Use the links on this page to access our e-books and legal databases.
You will need your library card number and have your library account in good standing in order to borrow e-books and access most of our legal databases. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account from home! Learn more about how to register for a library account from home.
The titles below are available to you from home if you have a current library account with us. If you don't have a library account with us, Texas residents can register online. Learn more about how to register online.
- "Colored men" and "hombres aquí": Hernandez v. Texas and the emergence of Mexican American lawyeringBy Michael Olivas. Published by Arte Público Press. 2014. 1st edition.
"This collection of ten essays commemorates the 50th anniversary of an important but almost forgotten U.S. Supreme court case, Hernández v. Texas, 347 US 475 (1954), the major case involving Mexican Americans and jury selection, published just before Brown v. Board of Education in the 1954 Supreme Court reporter.
This landmark case, the first to be tried by Mexican American lawyers before the U.S. Supreme Court, held that Mexican Americans were a discrete group for purposes of applying Equal Protection. Although the case was about discriminatory state jury selection and trial practices, it has been cited for many other civil rights precedents in the intervening 50 years. Even so, it has not been given the prominence it deserves, in part because it lives in the shadow of the more compelling Brown v. Board case.
There had been earlier efforts to diversify juries, reaching back at least to the trial of Gregorio Cortez in 1901 and continuing with efforts by the legendary Oscar Zeta Acosta in Los Angeles in the 1960s. Even as recently as 2005 there has been clear evidence that Latino participation in the Texas jury system is still substantially unrepresentative of the growing population. But in a brief and shining moment in 1954, Mexican-American lawyers prevailed in a system that accorded their community no legal status and no respect. Through sheer tenacity, brilliance, and some luck, they showed that it is possible to tilt against windmills and slay the dragon.
Edited and with an introduction by University of Houston law scholar Michael A. Olivas, Colored Men and Hombres Aquí is the first full-length book on this case. This volume contains the papers presented at the Hernández at 50 conference which took place in 2004 at the University of Houston Law Center and also contains source materials, trial briefs, and a chronology of the case." - from the publisher
- By Randolph Campbell. Published by University of Texas Press. 2012.
This legal heritage book provides information on how slave laws were enacted and upheld as political and legal structures changed. It combines historical essays with excerpts from key legal documents from the slave period.
- By James Haley. Published by University of Texas Press. 2013.
Composed under the auspices of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, this work is the first book-length history of the Texas Supreme Court published since 1917. Though it does discuss landmark cases and judicial philosophy, this work, as the title implies, is written in a narrative style, emphasizing stories, drama, and the people who contributed to Texas' legal history in the first 150 years of statehood.
- By Mary Ann Glendon. Published by Thomson West. 2008. 3rd edition.
"This nutshell offers a general introduction to comparative law that includes both an overview of the methods of comparative law as well as of the two most widespread legal traditions in the world: civil (or Romano-Germanic) law and common law. For both legal traditions, this expert discussion covers their history; legal structures, including constitutional systems, courts, and judicial review; the roles of central legal actors, including lawyers, judges, and scholars; an overview of civil and criminal procedure; the principal sources of law and divisions of substantive law; and the judicial process. Throughout, the discussion also includes references to the place and the importance of supranational law and institutions and their impact on the civil law and common law traditions in Europe." - from the publisher
- By Frederick Kempin. Published by Thomson West. 1990. 3rd edition.
"Presents the development of the basic institutions of the Anglo-American common-law system. Explores the sources of law from cases, legislation, and codification, to doctrinal writings. The text also discusses the development of legal concepts such as property in land, contracts, liability for injury, negotiability of commercial paper, and the business corporation." - from the publisher
- By Oliver Wendell Holmes. Published by Kaplan Publishing. 2009.
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. left his mark on American Law and was a defender of free speech. In this book Holmes discusses his personal philosophy on legal practice. The Common Law is a series of lectures that established Holmes reputation as a witty and articulate writer.