The library's blog featuring legal resources, news, and updates on Texas law.
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
The Texas Rent Relief Program has announced limited additional funding for rent and utility relief. At this time, TRR is not accepting new applications but will continue to process any applications already on file. If you have a pending application with TRR, you may be contacted soon via email or phone for a status update on your application.
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.
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.
The library will reopen its doors to the public on Tuesday, March 1st
February 25, 2022
After a temporary closure due to rising COVID-19 cases in Travis County, the library will be reopening its physical location to the public on Tuesday, March 1st. Thank you for your patience during the past two months! If you plan on visiting the library in person, please take a moment to review our library policies.
Reference Roundup: COVID-19 Testing
February 23, 2022
We've noticed an uptick in questions from our patrons about COVID-19 testing in various situations, including employment, travel, and at businesses. Here's a look at where to find more information on COVID-19 testing and the law.
Online Library Accounts Now Active for One Year
February 14, 2022
After listening to your requests for less frequent account renewals, we are pleased to announce that we have extended the length of time online library accounts are active from 6 months to one year! Now, all library patrons will enjoy a full year of library access before their account expires. You can find this change reflected in our library use policy and our registration and renewal pages.
We've updated all of our patrons' renewal dates in our system, so there's no need to do anything on your end. We've also reached out to anyone who may have received a renewal email recently to let them know about our newly updated policy.
Thank you for your feedback, and feel free to let us know if you have any questions about this change. We love hearing your suggestions on ways we can serve you better, so please let us know your thoughts by filling out our patron satisfaction survey!
Black History Month at SLL
February 8, 2022
February is Black History Month! Each year, institutions around the country celebrate the important contributions of Black Americans to the history and culture of the United States. Below is a brief roundup of materials on Black History Month, race, and social justice online and from our library's collection. Happy Black History Month!
A Closer Look at HeinOnline's Subject Compilations of State Laws Database
January 27, 2022
In recent years, we've beefed up our remote offerings in order to better serve legal researchers in all corners of Texas. You may be familiar with our popular remote legal databases like Fastcase or AILALink, but we have so much more to offer! We thought we'd take the opportunity to highlight several resources available from the library that you may not know about, so be on the lookout for more Spotlight posts about these resources in the future.
One such resource is HeinOnline's Subject Compilations of State Laws database, a resource indispensable to anyone interested in researching how laws vary from state to state. Previously, this database was online available in the library, but we've recently made it available for remote access. Read on for some tips about using the Subject Compilation of State Laws!
TSLAC Webinar: Navigating Legal Reference: Support and Resources From the State Law Library
January 11, 2022
In partnership with the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission (TSLAC), SLL will be presenting Navigating Legal Reference: Support and Resources From the State Law Library, a webinar about our resources on Thursday, January 13th at 10 a.m. If you're interested in attending, you can register and find more info about the webinar on TSLAC's Upcoming Webinars page.
Complimentary Remote Access to Lexis Advance!
January 10, 2022
SLL temporarily transitioning to remote operations due to COVID-19
January 6, 2022
Due to rising COVID-19 cases in Travis County, the library's physical location will be closed to the public beginning Friday, January 7th, through at least the end of January 2022 for the health and safety of our limited staff. We will still be available remotely via phone and e-mail to assist with your legal research needs!
If you have any library materials from us currently checked out, please be on the lookout for an e-mail from us regarding extended due dates. We'll keep you posted with any new developments, and we hope to be back to serve you in person soon.
Travis County Expunction Expo begins in January 2022
December 30, 2021
Note: The Expunction Expo has been temporarily postponed due to COVID-19.
Travis County is holding an Expunction Expo in January to help people clear old arrests from their records. This project is a partnership between the Travis County District Attorney's Office, the Travis County Attorney's Office, and the Travis County District Clerk's Office. Legal services will be provided by Capital Area Private Defender Service (CAPDS), the Travis County Public Defender's Office, Volunteer Legal Services (VLS), and the Travis County Law Library.
Crimes must have occurred in Travis County to be eligible for expunction. Only certain types of arrests are qualified for expunction. If you're not sure whether your situation will qualify, you can use the questionnaire on the Travis County District Clerk's Office to check.
The Travis County District Clerk's office has more info about the process available on the Expunction Expo page of their site. If you have more questions about the expunction process in Texas, be sure to check out our Expunctions and Nondisclosure Orders research guide.
National Family Caregivers Month
November 19, 2021
November is National Family Caregivers Month! We frequently hear from Texans who are looking for information on caregiving for an elderly or disabled person. These people can be in many different roles: family members caring for a relative, attorneys drafting legal documents that outline crucial medical and financial decisions for elderly clients, or seniors interested in planning for their future. Whatever your role may be, we likely have a resource in our library that can help you understand the road ahead.