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United States Legal Research for L.L.M. Students  

Overview of basic United States legal research. Originally written primarily for foreign law students, who are familiar with legal concepts but unfamiliar with U.S. legal materials, but useful also for the novice practitioner.
Last Updated: Jun 5, 2015 URL: http://guides.lib.uchicago.edu/uslegalresearchllms Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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U.S. Legal System

Major legal databases

  • Westlaw
    From Thomson Reuters, Westlaw contains a wide range of U.S., foreign and international law primary and secondary sources. Accessible by password only. Passwords may be obtained by Law School students, staff and faculty. WestlawNext is the next generation Westlaw, with new searching algorithms. Both databases are in current use by scholars and the legal community, so both will be referenced in this Guide.
  • Lexis Advance
    LexisNexis contains U.S., foreign and international law primary and secondary sources and is also accessible by password, available to Law School students, staff and faculty. Lexis Advance is LexisNexis' next generation platform. Both are in use, so both are referenced in this Guide.
  • BloombergLaw
    Bloomberg Law is a relatively new legal research database combining primary law of the U.S with much of the business content that Bloomberg is known for and secondary resources from BNA, another prominent legal publisher.
  • BNA Databases  
    BNA publishes current awareness newsletters in a wide range of legal subjects, and has case and secondary source libraries in, e.g., intellectual property and employment law. BNA's content is now provided through BloombergLaw - see above.
  • HeinOnline
    HeinOnline contains a wide range of primary and secondary law, including PDF files of all U.S. law reviews back to the first date of publication.
  • LexisNexis Academic
    LexisNexis Academic contains primary sources for U.S. law and some foreign and international jurisdictions and law reviews. It is available to all members of the University of Chicago community.

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