The library's blog featuring legal resources, news, and updates on Texas law.
Reference Roundup: Love and Marriage
February 14, 2023
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we looked at the questions we often receive about Texas marriage laws. Here are the answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about marriage licenses, wedding ceremonies, and married name changes.
Be sure to visit our Marriage in Texas guide for more info!
88th Regular Legislative Session Begins
January 9, 2023
The Texas Legislature's 88th Regular Session begins today! The session will run through May 29th, 2023. Here are a few pointers on the basics of the legislative process to help you stay up to date.
New Video & Legal FAQ: How do I remove a guest who won’t leave?
December 8, 2022
Filled with the spirit of generosity that often accompanies a holiday season, people might feel more inclined to let their relatives, friends, or ex-partners temporarily stay in the spare bedroom. But what happens when a guest refuses to leave—even after the tree’s been taken down and you’ve asked them to leave multiple times?
Our Legal FAQ How do I remove a guest who won’t leave? points to several Texas laws and resources that may be useful if you find yourself in this kind of situation. A related video briefly summarizes a few key points.
Celebrating Veterans Day on November 11th
November 10, 2022
Friday, November 11th is Veterans Day! In honor of our Texas veterans, we’d like to point out some legal resources available especially for veterans.
In-Person Voting in the November 8th Election
November 3, 2022
Voters are heading to the polls to cast their vote in the November 8th election! Here is a brief primer on what to know when casting your vote.
Voting by Mail in the November 8th Election
October 25, 2022
Voting by mail is an option available to certain qualified voters in Texas. The law allows voting by mail if a voter has a sickness or physical condition that prevents them from appearing at the polls on Election Day. Others who may vote by mail include people aged 65 or over, people who expect to be absent from their county during the voting period, certain pregnant voters, certain jailed voters, and a few other limited categories. Read on for more details!
SLL Celebrates 50 Years in the Federal Depository Library Program
October 19, 2022
Since October 20, 1972, the State Law Library has participated in the Federal Depository Library Program. We are excited to celebrate our 50th anniversary of making federal government documents available freely to the public! Read on to learn more about the FDLP and the types of federal government documents available at our library.
Voting Eligibility & Registration for the November 8th Election
October 7, 2022
The November 8th election is fast approaching, so we thought we'd cover eligibility and registration procedures for voting in Texas elections. You can also check out our research guide to Voting in Texas.
Constitution Day 2022
September 14, 2022
Happy Constitution Day! Constitution Day is celebrated each year on September 17th, the date the United States Constitution was signed in 1787. Arguably the most famous legal document in American history, the Constitution forms the basis of U.S. federal law. It outlines the three branches of the federal government, the relationships between the U.S. States, the process for amending the Constitution, and the rights of the citizens of this country.
You can read the full text of the Constitution and explanations of each article and amendment online at the Constitution Annotated, a project from the Library of Congress and the Congressional Research Service.
"In a Nutshell" Titles at the State Law Library
August 16, 2022
Need a crash course in an area of law you aren't familiar with? Consider reading an "In a Nutshell" title to get acquainted with the basics. These brief titles available in West Academic give a succinct overview of a legal topic's background, major legislation, significant cases, and terminology. The Nutshell series is a great option for lawyers, students, or anyone searching for a quick introduction to a broad legal subject.
Texas Abortion "Trigger" Law Effective August 25th, 2022
July 27, 2022
The Texas abortion "trigger law" will be effective on August 25th, 2022. This law will prohibit almost all abortions. It also sets out civil, criminal, and professional penalties for abortion providers who violate the law.
Does my landlord have to provide air conditioning or repair my A/C unit?
July 11, 2022
Temperatures are reaching historic highs across Texas this week, and many tenants may wonder if their landlord is responsible for providing air conditioning in their homes. See our Legal FAQ on this topic, Does my landlord have to provide air conditioning or repair my A/C unit?
State landlord/tenant laws do not explicitly require landlords to provide air conditioning for their tenants. However, the landlord may be required to protect their tenant against extreme temperatures in the lease agreement or elsewhere in the law.
Accessing Continuing Legal Education Materials Remotely
June 29, 2022
If you are a lawyer looking to catch up on your required Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit, why not start with our CLE materials? The library has hundreds of CLE courses from the State Bar of Texas available for remote study, and we are continuously adding new courses to our collection. Here's a bit more about how to access these titles.
Reference Roundup: Texas Abortion Laws
June 24, 2022
Abortion laws have been in the news recently because the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision about abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24th, 2022. The court’s decision overruled Roe v. Wade and allows states to prohibit abortions. Texas is one of several states that passed "trigger" laws recently that would criminalize abortion if Roe v. Wade were overruled.
Since Roe v. Wade, the Texas Legislature has enacted laws that restrict or regulate abortion in different ways. Texans may have questions about how these laws affect abortion in Texas, especially in light of the new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. We've created several Legal FAQs on abortion that may help answer some of these questions.
Happy Pride Month!
June 21, 2022
June is LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) Pride Month! Originally celebrated as Gay Pride Day on the last Sunday in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, Pride Month gradually became a month-long event. For more background information, we recommend the Library of Congress's brief but excellent write-up of the history of Pride Month and the Stonewall Uprising.
At the State Law Library, we believe that everyone is entitled to equal justice under the law! In honor of Pride Month, here are a few titles and resources in the library's collection on LGBTQ law.
Copyright & Intellectual Property Titles at the State Law Library
May 31, 2022
The first federal copyright law went into effect on this date in 1790! Today, intellectual property is a vast area of law, with numerous federal statutes and regulations on patents, trademarks, and copyrights. To celebrate the anniversary of the first federal copyright law, here's a bit of background and a quick guide to titles in our library's collection on copyright and intellectual property.
Texas Laws on Purchasing and Carrying Firearms
May 25, 2022
In the wake of yesterday's horrific shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, people across Texas and the country have expressed curiosity about Texas's laws on purchasing and carrying firearms, "long guns," and handguns. Our library has compiled information on this topic that may put current events into context within the law.
Our heart goes out to the victims and those whose lives are touched by this loss. We encourage anyone affected by this tragedy to contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services' Disaster Distress helpline at 1-800-985-5990 for immediate crisis counseling.
Resources for Mental Health Awareness Month
May 17, 2022
May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Practicing law can be incredibly stressful, and as a result members of the legal profession are particularly at risk for mental health and substance abuse issues. Fortunately, there are resources to help lawyers, judges, and law students address these issues. Here's a list of places to find help managing anxiety, depression, stress, and substance abuse.
Celebrating Director Dale Propp upon his retirement from the State Law Library
April 28, 2022
The State Law Library’s Executive Director, Dale Propp, will be retiring on Friday, April 30th, after 15 years at its helm. Our current Assistant Director, Amy Small, will be taking over as Executive Director beginning on Monday, May 2nd. We'd like to take a minute to congratulate Amy and thank Dale for his leadership and service over the years. We wish both of them the best of luck in their next chapters!
Law Day is Sunday, May 1st, 2022
April 27, 2022
Held on May 1st, Law Day is an annual celebration of the legal profession and the rule of law in society. The theme for 2022 is "Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change." Since Law Day falls on a Sunday this year, many events and programs will be held earlier in the week. Read on for more about this year's theme, Law Day events and programs, and resources on constitutional law in the library!
Cannabis & the Law: Legal Information on CBD, Hemp, and Recreational Cannabis
April 20, 2022
The legal landscape for cannabis, CBD, and other cannabis-related products has changed rapidly over the past decade in the U.S. We recognize that it may be tough to navigate these changes, so Texans may want to visit our Cannabis and the Law guide to find information on Texas and federal laws on cannabis.
Additional Funding for Texas Rent Relief
April 5, 2022
Note: This program is no longer accepting applications, and we have removed this content to avoid confusion. Please see the Rent & Legal Assistance page of the COVID-19 & Texas Law guide for current information about this program.
To contact the Texas Rent Relief program, please call 1-833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368).
Legal FAQ: Are there any COVID-19 requirements for people traveling to Texas?
March 30, 2022
We've received a lot of questions about COVID-19 restrictions from people who are planning a trip to Texas from another state or country and want to know what to expect. To address these concerns, we've updated our Legal FAQ Are there any requirements for people traveling to Texas? A previous version of this FAQ focused mainly on requirements for quarantine periods after traveling, but we've expanded it to address mandatory COVID-19 testing for international travelers arriving by air.
The Immigration and Travel page of our COVID-19 & Texas Law guide is a great place to keep abreast of Texas and federal requirements for travelers, so be sure to check it out!
Technical Issues Affecting LIRC Titles
March 22, 2022
We've noticed a technical issue is temporarily preventing direct access to e-books in the Legal Information Reference Center. We've reported it to EBSCO and hope that it will be resolved quickly!
Affected titles have a note with troubleshooting info in the record. If you're trying to access a particular title in LIRC and are getting an error message, click on "New Search" and search or browse for the e-book title directly.
A Closer Look at James Publishing Titles Available in Fastcase
March 9, 2022
We often recommend our legal research database Fastcase to patrons looking to conduct case law research from their homes or office. Fastcase is a great choice for case law research (check out our guide to case law research if you need a crash course!), but there are a lot of other resources available in Fastcase that our patrons may not be familiar with. In particular, there's a great selection of treatises and books on a range of legal topics. We've highlighted a selection of some of the treatises available remotely from James Publishing through Fastcase.