If you have a topic only, look it up in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) list (set of red books behind the reference desk) to see if it is used as a subject heading. Besides verifying your subject as a heading (or indicating which heading is used if yours is not), LCSH will often suggest broader, narrower, or related terms. After you have the proper heading(s), proceed to the online catalog to perform a subject or subject keyword search.
The best way to find relevant articles on your subject is to start with a periodical index:
- LexisNexis Academic (http://library.csun.edu/restricted/lexis.scr), which provides full-text access to legal newspapers, magazines and newsletters, as well as law reviews.
- International Political Science Abstracts includes current indexing and abstracts from nearly 900 political science journals published from 1989-.
- Index to Legal Periodicals, 1926 - 2000. Not currently received. [Floor 2 (Ref) - K3 .A1I5]. Covers 280 legal journals published in the U. S., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Common Law countries. In addition to the subject index, each issue provides a table of cases commented upon and a section of book review citations arranged by author.
- PAIS International in Print, 1915 - 2000. Not Currently received. [Ref Room Z7163 .P92]. Subject index to selected books, pamphlets, government documents, and periodical articles. Economics, sociology, public administration, and international relations are emphasized.
- Other Periodical Indexes: If your research has legal ramifications for a particular subject area, you will probably be able to find periodical articles written about that case, legislation, etc., cited in a subject-specific periodical index. For example, articles about de facto segregation may be found in education journals. Therefore, a search of ERIC may be appropriate. Often, general newspaper and magazine indexes can be searched as well. Ask a reference librarian for a recommendation.
If the full text of the article is not available within the database you searched, click to locate the full text online or in the Library. Or, search the journal title in the Library Catalog (http://suncat.csun.edu/) or the CSUN List of Electronic Periodicals (/FindResources/Ejournals).
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
- Black's Law Dictionary (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1203610).
- Cal Jur III (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1151399).
- Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations (http://suncat.csun.record=b1836168edu/record=b1836168).
- Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage [electronic resource] (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2459467).
- Everybody's Legal Glossary (http://www.nolo.com/glossary.cfm).
- FindLaw Legal Dictionary (http://dictionary.lp.findlaw.com/).
- Legal Thesaurus (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1641757).
- West's Encyclopedia of American Law (CSUN students and faculty can access this online)
- California directory of attorneys (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1886793).
- FindLaw Law Schools (http://stu.findlaw.com/schools/).
- Martindale-Hubbell(R) Law Directory (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2482612).
- Martindale-Hubbell Law School Directory (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2433641)
- Parker Directory of California Attorneys (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1372795).
- Virtual Lawyer Referral and Information Service (http://lris.lacba.org/vlris/index.cfm)
Guides and Handbooks
- American Bar Association. Family Legal Guide (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1677282).
- California Courts: Self-Help Center (http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/)
- California Transactions Forms - Business Entities (Cal Forms) (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1712033).
- Cohen. Legal Research in a Nutshell (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1806164).
- Henke's California Law Guide (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1895869).
- Southern California Association of Law Libraries. Locating the Law (http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/scall/locating.htm)
- Witkin. Summary of California Law, 10th ed. (http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1911065).
- business forms
- contracts forms
- corporation law forms
- forms law
The Internet is another source for legal forms:
- FindLaw Forms (http://forms.lp.findlaw.com/) includes links to Federal and State court forms, corporate, tax, contracts, and consumer forms.
- Legaldocs.com (http://www.legaldocs.com/) includes some free but mostly paid forms. However, it will let you view sample forms for free.
- lexisONE Free Forms (http://www.lexisone.com/store/catalog?action=rootFreeCategory) requires free registration to view forms and links to paid forms.
Additional resources with information on legal research and links to law-related web sites:
- FindLaw (http://www.findlaw.com/)
- Georgetown University Law Library (http://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/)
- Legal Information Institute (http://www.law.cornell.edu/)
- Library of Congress Guide to Law Online (http://www.loc.gov/law/guide/index.html)
- LLRX.com Law Library Research Xchange (http://www.llrx.com/)
- Loyola Law Library (http://library.lls.edu/)
- Los Angeles County Law Library (http://lalaw.lib.ca.us )
- State Resource Center: California (lexisONE) (http://www.lexisone.com/legalresearch/legalguide/states/california.htm)
- UCLA Law Library (http://www.law.ucla.edu/home/index.asp?page=11)
- USC Law Library (http://lawweb.usc.edu/library/)