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LAW

An Introductory Guide to Legal Research

by Jane Woldow  and  Richard Irving

 
[Definitions] [Abbreviations] [Style Manuals]
[Legal Writing] [Basic Legal Research Strategies]
[Starting Points for Legal Research Questions - Law Review Articles]
[Starting Points for Legal Research Questions - Legal Encyclopedias]

updated:  September 16, 2008

Definitions

Black's Law Dictionary [DEWEY REF 156 B53x 2004/ULIB LAW KF 156 B53x 1999]

Law Dictionary for Non-Lawyers [DEWEY REF KF 156 O7 2000]

Law.Com Dictionary
 
 


Abbreviations

Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations [DEWEY REF KF 246 B46 1993/ULIB LAW KF 246 B46 2001]

Black's Law Dictionary [DEWEY REF KF 156 B5sx 2004/ULIB LAW KF 156 B53x 1999]

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citations [DEWEY REF/ ULIB REF KF 246 U54X 18th ED.]

Style Manuals

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citations [DEWEY REF/ ULIB REF KF 246 U54X 18th ED.]

Online Guide to Legal Citations from the Legal Information Institute
 
 


Legal Writing

Case Analysis and Fundamentals of Legal Writing [ULIB LAW KF 240 S78 1995]

Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law [ULIB LAW KF 273 H4 1983]

Writing and Analysis in the Law [ULIB LAW KF 250 S5 1991]

Basic Legal Research Strategies

The Legal Research Manual: A Game Plan for Legal Research and Analysis [DEWEY REF KF 240 W7 1983]
This book provides a simple explanantion of how legal information is organized

Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law [DEWEY REF/ ULIB REF KF 240 E35 1997]
Written by Robert Berring, renown law librarian.

Fundamentals of Legal Research [DEWEY REF KF 240 J32 1998]
This book offers more in-depth coverage of legal research methods and is well repected among legal research manuals.

Basic Legal Research for Criminal Justice and the Social Sciences [DEWEY REF KF 241 C75 A28 1998]
This book discusses legal research from a Criminal Justice or Social Science perspective.

Doing Legal Research: a guide for social scientists and mental health professionals [DEWEY KF 240 M657 1997
Another basic guide for professionals not trained in the law.

Starting Points for legal Research Questions - Law Review Articles

Typically, law review articles provide an overview and commentary on a legal topic. They are usually written clearly and they often cite the leading cases and statutes for the topic. Citations and/or full-text law review articles can be found by searching these databases:

Westlaw Campus *FULL TEXT* (keyword searching only)
Information about finding law reviews on Westlaw Campus is available here.

LexisNexis Academic Universe *FULL TEXT* (keyword searching only)
Information about finding law reviews on LexisNexis is available here.

LegalTrac
Abstracts and/or references to articles appearing in over 800 legal periodicals. Also includes references to law-related articles from over 1000 additional business and general interest periodicals. A few articles are available full text. (keyword searching, subject searching, and case/statute name searching available)

Index to Legal Periodicals
Abstracts to articles from legal journals, yearbooks, institutes, bar association organs, law reviews, and government publications originating in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Includes book reviews. (keyword searching, subject searching, and case/statute name searching available)

Starting Points for Legal Research Questions - Legal Encyclopedias


GENERAL LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS
These encyclopedias are for users who are less familiar with legal concepts.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law [DEWEY REF/ ULIB LAW KF 240 154 W47 1998]
This set covers terms, concepts, events, movements, cases, and persons significant to U.S. law. Arranged alphabetically, the entries are written in everyday English. It includes an annual supplement

Encyclopedia of the American Judicial System [DEWEY REF KF 154 E53 1987]
This set reviews the legal system from six perspectives. These include Legal History, Substantive Law, Institutions and Personnel, Process and Behavior, Constitutional Law and Issues, and Methodology.

Encyclopedia of the American Constitution [DEWEY REF/ ULIB REF KF 4548 E53]
Arranged alphabetically, this set covers historical, legal, and political science topics relating to the U.S. Constitution. The entries include doctrinal concepts of constitutional law, people, judicial decisions, public acts (statutes, treaties, executive orders), and historical periods.

Great American Court Cases [DEWEY REF KF 385 A4 G68 1999]
This set provides an overview of historically significant court cases. Cases are included due to their influence on key aspects of law in the United States. Notable U.S. Supreme Court cases as well as state and lower-level federal jurisdictions are discussed.

Historic U.S. Court Cases: an encyclopedia [DEWEY REF KF 385 A4 J64 2001]
A collection of articles written by scholarly experts on significant court decisions. The articles are grouped by topical area and each includes a short bibliography.


TECHNICAL LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS
These Encyclopedias are written more technically than law reviews and provide topical overviews of particular areas of law. Similarly to law reviews, legal encyclopedias often cite leading cases and statutes for a topic. Note: these materials should not be cited as authoritative sources.

American Jurisprudence 2d (Am Jur 2d) [ULIB LAW KF 379 A54/Westlaw Campus]
Similar to CJS, this set covers substantive and procedural law for over 400 topics. Includes citations to relevant state and federal law.

Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) [DEWEY LAW KF 154 C67]
Similar to Am Jur 2d, this set covers substantive and procedural law for over 400 topics. Includes citations to relevant state and federal law.

New York Jurisprudence 2d [DEWEY LAW/ ULIB LAW KFN 5065 N48]
This set covers all substantive and procedural law for the state of New York.

 

 

This page is maintained Richard Irving
Comments to rirving@uamail.albany.edu
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