Legal Research

An introduction to sources of information for research about the American legal system

Starting with Background Info

Why Start with Background Information?

An overview of your broad topic area helps you "explore the conversation" by looking at different viewpoint from a non-judgmental standpoint.  You can learn the following:

  • what the key issues are and how you may want to refine your topic
  • who are the stakeholders (the groups or individuals this topic concerns)
  • a context of how your topic relates to the other issues that surround it
  • a historical perspective on your topic
  • specialized vocabulary or search words that are used in your field (you will use these words for searches later in your research process)

Finding Background Info

Great Starting Points

Research Process
Legal Information Institute

Legal Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Legal Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

From the library's resources
Online Dictionaries and Encyclopedias 

Legal Reference Books and Ebooks

Legal Books and eBooks

In the Reference Section of the library, browse the 340s -- in both the Reference and the Main Collections -- for more titles on law and legal affairs.