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Preemption Check Checklist

Steps for conducting a preemption check when writing a journal article or substantial research paper.

Step 2: Searching for Law Journal Articles

Now that you have your search terms, you're ready to begin searching for published law journal articles on your topic. No single database contains every published journal article, so it's important to run searches in all of the databases listed below (including both Lexis and Westlaw).

Search tips

Use both keyword searching and subject searching when you can. (If you're not sure what the difference is, ask a law librarian!) When you find an article on your specific topic, be sure to mine the citations to find more relevant resources.

This seems like a lot of work...

Don't worry, with your list of search terms, running searches in multiple databases won't take long. And you don't have to read every word of every article in your results list. Skim titles and snippets for articles on your specific topic. If an article appears to be on point, skim the introduction, main headings, and conclusion. As you run more searches, you'll be able to skip over articles that you've already looked at and focus on the new results.

Key Databases for Law Journal Articles