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Sources of Federal United States Law

This guide was designed for use by non-U.S. law students at UCONN Law School.

Legal Dictionaries & Thesauri

Dictionaries- We recommend that you purchase your own but here are some that the UCONN Law Library has for you to use in the Library:

  • Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed., 2014) Call no.KF156 .B53 2014 - on Reserve and in Reference. Earlier editions in stacks at Call No. KF156 .B53 year of publication. Electronic on Westlaw [ID required].
  • Ballentine's law dictionary (3d ed. 1969 - Anderson, ed.) Call no. KF156 .B3 1969 - Print - In Reference & in the stacks - Earlier editions in stacks at Call No. KF156.B3 year of publication. Electronic on Lexis Advance [ID required].

The UCONN Law Library holds a number of foreign language legal dictionaries. The easiest way to find them is to search the Online Catalog for the LC Subject Heading:  Law Dictionaries [and the name of the language you want]  So for Spanish it would be: Law Dictionaries Spanish.

Thesauri - use to find synoyms:

  • Burton, Burton's legal thesaurus (3d ed., 1998) Call no. KF156 .B856 1998 - Print - in Reference - Earlier editions in stacks at Call No. KF156.B856 year of publication.

 

Further Research Assistance

Please contact any of the Reference Librarians for assistance in doing research in the law of the United States. We will be pleased to help you.

Finding Periodical Articles

If you have a citation to a particular legal periodical:

  • HeinOnline - Using one of the Law Journal libraries, you can search by citation or name of journal - Law Library will have this journal. [NetId may be required].
  • UCONN Law Library's Online Catalog - do Title search using name of journal - not citation - Law Library will have this journal.
  • WorldCat - Do a Title search using name of journal - not citation. Law Library may not have this journal. [NetID may be required]

If you have a citation to a particular non legal periodical

  • E-Journal Locator - Use words from title, cannot use abbreviations. Note holdings. Law Library will have this journal.{NetID may be required for access to database with journal].
  • WorldCat - Do a Title search using name of journal - not citation. Law Library may not have this journal. [NetID may be required]

To figure out full-titles of legal periodical when you have an abbreviation use:

To figure out full titles of non-legal periodicals when you have an abbreviation, use:

If you wish to find articles on a particular subject and do not have a citation, use

  • Legal Periodical Indexes - note that some are full-text, others just provide citations that you then have to check as discussed above.
  • Look at Database A-Z List to find databases on particular subjects to find articles and chapters of books. [NetID may be required to access databases].

Finding Books

To find books or journals that the UCONN Law Library has, use:

  • UCONN Law Library Online Catalog - Use Advanced Search to search by author (last name, first name), search by title words, search by subject (Library of Congress (LC) subject headings, if you do not know what heading to use for your topic, use Any). Use Browse when you have found something you like to find similarly classified materials.

To find books or journals that the UCONN Law Library does not have but which you can borrow through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), use:

See  Interlibrary Loan Services for more information.

Legal Research, Writing & Citation

Here are some of the books that the UCONN Law Library has that you might find useful:

Writing and Research:

 

Legal Citation:

  • The Bluebook: a uniform system of citation (20th ed, 2016 - most recent) Call no. KF245 .B58 - Print - in various places in Library   - While there are other citation manuals, this is the preeminent style guide to U.S. legal citation. To find others use LC Subject Heading: Citation of Legal Authorities - United States.

For more on legal citation, see the  Cite-checking Guide for Journal Members LibGuide

Encyclopedias & Other Legal Research Compendiums

Use these to get an introduction to a topic and citations to key case and statutory law and to secondary materials. Note that these materials are available electronically on Westlaw.

  • American Law reports (known as ALR) - a number of different series of articles on specific topics written by lawyers that are kept updated; Up to 5th edition - For federal law see ALR federal (1969-2005) and ALR federal 2d (2005-2015) See generally Call no. KF132 on 1st floor of Law Library - Print - Electronic on Westlaw [ID required].

Subject Guide