- Search the Library Catalog (http://library.csun.edu/cgi/opac) by author, title, Library of Congress Subject Headings, or keyword. How to Use the Library Catalog (http://library.csun.edu/Guides/LibraryCatalogSearchHelp) and Finding Books in the Oviatt Library (http://library.csun.edu/Guides/ResearchStrategies/FindingBooks) offer assistance on using the Library Catalog and locating books.
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) Provides full-text access to legal newspapers, magazines and newsletters, as well as law review journals.*
- CQ Weekly (http://library.csun.edu/restricted/cqweekly.scr) Provides full-text reports on issues looming on the congressional horizon, plus a complete wrap up of the previous week's news, including the status of bills in play, behind-the-scenes maneuvering, committee and floor activity, debates and all roll-call votes,
1983 to present.
- 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. (Ref K 3 .A115 ... Ref Room table 5 latest years - earlier 2nd floor) Covers 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 Z 7163 .P9 ... latest years Ref Room table 5, earlier 3rd floor). 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://library.csun.edu/cgi/opac) or the Library Catalog Periodical Search (http://suncat.csun.edu/screens/pertitle.html). To search for electronic periodicals only, check the "Search electronic periodicals only" checkbox.
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Legal dictionaries and encyclopedias provide definitions, overviews, and background information on legal topics for the non-lawyer. They are often a good starting place to research a complex area of law, e.g., the first amendment. Legal dictionaries will help with searching by providing appropriate terminology that one can expect to find in a case or code.
- American Justice (KF154 .A44 1996 . . . Ref Rm).
- Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations : A Reference Guide for Attorneys, Legal Secretaries, Paralegals, and Law Students (ref KF246 .B46 2001 . . . Ref Rm).
- Black's Law Dictionary (ref KF 156 .B53 . . . Ref Rm).
- Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (ref KF 156 .G367 . . . Ref Rm).
- Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (ref KF 4548 .E53 . . Ref Rm).
- Encyclopedia of the American Judicial System (ref KF 154 .E53 . . . Ref Rm).
- FindLaw Legal Dictionary (http://dictionary.lp.findlaw.com/).
- Glossary of Legal Terms (http://support.lexis-nexis.com/academic/record.asp?articleid=Academic_legal_glossary)
- Guide to American Law (ref KF 156 .G77 . . . Ref Rm).
- Legal Thesaurus (ref KF 156 .B856 . . . Ref Rm).
- Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary (http://www.nolo.com/dictionary/).
- West's Encyclopedia of American Law (CSUN students and faculty can access this online.)
The following directories provide information about lawyers, judges, government agencies, or law schools.
- California Directory of Attorneys (ref KF 192 .C3 C34 . . . Ref Rm).
- FindLaw Law Schools (http://stu.findlaw.com/schools/index.html).
- Martindale-Hubbell(R) Law Directory (ref KF 190 .M3 . . . Ref Rm). Also via LexisNexis Academic (http://library.csun.edu/restricted/lexis.scr). *
- Martindale-Hubbell Law School Directory via LexisNexis Academic (http://library.csun.edu/restricted/lexis.scr). *
- Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Locator (http://www.martindale.com/).
- Parker Directory of California Attorneys (ref KF 192 .C3 P35 . . . Ref Rm).
- United States Government Manual (ref JK 421 .A3 . . . Ref Rm). Also available online as GPO Access: U.S. Government Manual (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual/index.html).
- Virtual Lawyer Referral and Information Service (http://lris.lacba.org/vlris/index.cfm)
Guides and Handbooks
The following books provide more detail on how to search the law.
- American Bar Association. Family Legal Guide (ref KF 387 .Y655 1994 . . . Ref Rm).
- Cohen. Legal Research in a Nutshell (ref KF 240 .C54 . . . Ref Rm).
- Martin. Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/)
- Olson. Legal Information: How to Find It, How to Use It (ref KF 240 .O365 1999 . . . Ref Rm).
- Price & Bitner. Effective Legal Research (ref KF 240 .P7 . . . Ref Rm).
- Southern California Association of Law Libraries. Locating the Law (ref KF 240 .L63 2001 . . . Ref Rm). Locating the Law (online) available at http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/scall/locating.htm.
- Teply. Legal Research and Citation (ref KF 240 .T46 1992 . . . Ref Rm).
- 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/index.htm) 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.ll.georgetown.edu/)
- Legal Information Institute (http://www.law.cornell.edu/)
- Library of Congress Guide to Law Online (http://www.loc.gov/law/help/guide.php)
- LLRX.com Law Library Research Xchange (http://www.llrx.com/)
- Los Angeles County Law Library (http://lalaw.lib.ca.us)
- UCLA Law Library (http://www.law.ucla.edu/library/Pages/default.aspx)