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PHI 347 - Library Guide (Downard)

Secondary sources

  • Legal dictionaries - Use the Bouvier Law dictionary to look up words you do not know. 
  • Legal encyclopedias
  • Restatements of the Law
  • American Law Reports A.L.R. annotations provide a summary and analysis of the law in a specific area, and include citations to relevant primary law and other secondary sources. Not all topics are included. 
  • Legal treatise - a book (can be either a monograph or multi-volume set), providing a comprehensive coverage of a single area of law, written by experts in that area. 
  • Law reviews 

In NexisUni - all secondary sources are categorized in the Law Reviews and Journals filter from the Advanced Search. 

Legal dictionaries

Other law dictionaries include Ballentine's Law Dictionary (3rd edition) in Nexis Uni but no longer updated.  

Law reviews

Law reviews are considered the main forum for legal scholarship in the U.S. academic legal community.

Generally the articles included in these publications are written by law professors, judges, legal scholars, and law students.  These articles contain a wealth of information, including footnotes that cite to primary authority and other secondary resources.

Locating treatises

Examples of legal treatises

Legal encyclopedias

Legal encyclopedias are secondary sources that provide a general overview of almost every legal subject. The two major sets of U.S. legal encyclopedias are American Jurisprudence 2d (a/k/a AmJur) and Corpus Juris Secundum (a/k/a CJS).

American Law Reports

American Law Reports (a/k/a ALR) is a secondary source that contains brief articles (called annotations). ALR annotations cover specific topics that in great detail. Access is available through HathiTrust