Begin your legal research process by reviewing secondary sources. These sources provide a foundation for the legal issue being researched, and many times they cite primary authority that you can use. Take advantage of these resources! They can save you lots of research time!
Below are the most common types of secondary sources of law.
Image used with permission, from the CALI Lesson Hold 'em, Fold 'em, Walk Away or Run: When to Stop the Search. © 2021 The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction. www.cali.org
Never cite secondary sources of law in your legal research; they are considered persuasive authority and are NOT the law.
Below are suggested databases to find secondary legal resources.
In Westlaw, select the Secondary Sources link:
On the Secondary Sources page, browse titles by type of source, by state, or by topic.
You can also browse the alphabetical index of secondary source titles and access Black's Law Dictionary:
HeinOnline is an excellent collection of legal history databases offering coverage of more than 1,500 law and law-related periodicals.
Search by keyword, browse databases by category, or search databases by name: