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A basic overview of the U.S. legal system and legal research.
Last Updated: Jun 19, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Basic Legal Citation

  • Basic Legal Citation
    This helpful guide extracts out of the Bluebook some general information about legal citation out of the Bluebook (which the library only has in paper)
  • Documenting Electronic Sources Purdue Online Writing Lab
    The Purdue Online Writing Lab does a great job of providing summary online documentation for all types of writing and citing.
  • Chicago Style Manual Online (Claremont Colleges faculty staff and students only)
    This is the traditional citation manual used by graduate students and faculty publishing in scholarly journals in the Social Sciences.
  • Brief Guide to Citing Government Publications (U.Memphis)
    Extensive guide to citing paper, microform, and electronic government publications. Numerous examples
  • Citing U.S. Government Publications (Indiana University)  
    Government documents can be confusing to cite. They can take the form of anything from an informational pamphlet to a Congressional debate and everything in between. Unlike standard publications, these documents do not necessarily follow the pattern of author, title, publisher, date. This guide will try to help you get started building your citation, but if you get stuck, contact a librarian.
  • CSE Documentation Style
    Each academic discipline has its own expectations for style and documentation. Often, these disciplines rely on a broad system of guidelines that are determined by professional organizations in the field. In the natural and physical sciences as well as mathematics, the standard style is CSE (Council of Science Editors, also called the Council of Biology Editors). Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (7th edition) contains complete information about documentation in the sciences.

Legal Databases

  • LexisNexis Academic
    The best place for all types of legal research, full text law reviews, judges decisions, etc. Users can Shepardize court cases electronically, and then read the full text of the related decisions.Full text law journal articles, legal codes, judge's decisions, SEC filings, and news stories.
  • Westlaw Campus
    Full-text access to law cases, federal and state, legal subject guides, law reviews, statutes and administrative materials, legislative materials and legal encyclopedias.
  • HeinOnline
    Provides comprehensive, historical access to such materials as law journals, international and US treaties, out-of-copyright legal classics, the federal register, and Supreme Court slip opinions.

Web Sites for Law

  • LII (Legal Information Institute) Cornell Law School
    We are a not-for-profit group that believes everyone should be able to read and understand the laws that govern them, without cost.
  • U.S. Courts Federal Court Locator
    Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the Federal Judiciary.
    The purpose of this site is to provide information from and about the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government.
  • U.S. Supreme Court
    The Official web site of the U.S. Supreme Court which provides access to documents; slip opinions, oral arguments, briefs, and various additional information.
  • Oyez
    The Oyez Project at Chicago-Kent is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality Tour of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.
  • United States Sentencing Commission
    The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent agency in the judicial branch of government. Its principal purposes are: (1) to establish sentencing policies and practices for the federal courts, including guidelines to be consulted regarding the appropriate form and severity of punishment for offenders convicted of federal crimes; (2) to advise and assist Congress and the executive branch in the development of effective and efficient crime policy; and (3) to collect, analyze, research, and distribute a broad array of information on federal crime and sentencing issues, serving as an information resource for Congress, the executive branch, the courts, criminal justice practitioners, the academic community, and the public.
  • United States Courts (Administrative Office of the United States Courts)  
    The AO is the central support entity for the Judicial Branch. It provides a wide range of administrative, legal, financial, management, program, and information technology services to the federal courts

Subject Guide

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