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Secondary Sources for Law Materials: Intro

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This guide identifies the most common legal secondary sources in print, on the Internet, on Westlaw, and on LexisNexis.

What are Secondary Sources?

Secondary sources  provide background information on legal issues and concepts in a given area of law.  If you you are unfamiliar with a topic, secondary sources are useful because they analyze, explain, and comment on the law while giving you a context for your issue. These background sources may also save you time by pointing to relevant primary sources.  General background sources include legal encyclopedias, legal dictionaries, American Law Reports, and Restatements of the Law. Treatises and law review articles can offer more in-depth analysis and commentary.  

Books on Legal Research

These current guides on legal research will include chapters on secondary sources. These are print sources available through the Research Center.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.