California Legal Research: Locating the Law

Law librarians at the Southern California Association of Law Libraries (SCALL) have created an online, and concise, guide to legal research that includes california, Federal, and International legal materials. All of the documents are in PDF format.

Please note: free Adobe Reader is Required.

Out of the 12 chapters from Locating the Law, 5th edition (2009), the following have been selected for quick reference. If you perfer to view the book in its entirety, you may access the material by visiting the SCALL website at (http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/scall/locating.htm).

Chapter 2 - How to read a legal citation

  • "This chapter will describe citations to cases, statutes or codes, and law reviews and treatises. A short discussion of legal citation manuals and a list of common abbreviations are also included in this chapter."

Chapter 3 - Basic legal research techniques

  • "This chapter is intended to serve as a guide for public librarians assisting users who have legal reference questions."

Chapter 5 - California Law

  • "The State of California had done a great job of making its primary sources of law widely available via the Internet. In addition, legal publishers publish a multitude of secondary sources, in print and in online databases. This abundance of information has made researching California law easy for some and overwhelming for others. For those without a legal background...it is always advisable to start with a secondary source."

Chapter 7 - Federal Law

  • "This chapter provides brief descriptions of the legislative process and the federal judiciary and focuses on the primary sources of federal law (i.e., cases, statutes, and regulations). Included are references to both print and Internet sources."