Legal Research

LexisNexis online resources available for students and staff!

Passwords for remote access available at the library reference desk.

Materials available on LexisNexis will not be updated in print after July 2011.

LexisNexis Legal Research Guide  |   LexisNexis Wiki Research Help 


There are two online tutorials available on YouTube!

Finding Landmark U.S. Cases  |  Find a Specific U.S. Legal Case


Need help reading legal citations? This simple guide will show you how! Reading Legal Citations


Primary Sources | Secondary Sources | More Sources


Primary and secondary print sources are shelved on the first floor in the reference area. The reference book call numbers and links to the records are provided below. If you need help locating these sources, please ask a librarian at the reference desk. In addition, you will find links to useful websites.



 Primary Authority Sources


 This is the law.

 There are 4 sources of law

  From the 3 branches of government.                

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1. Constitutional Law

>> U.S. Constitution 

 > Print - Call# REF KF62 

 > Search & Browse in LexisNexis (under Federal Statutes, Codes & Regulations)

 > The U.S. Constitution - on with annotations 

>> State Constitution

>  Print - Call# REF KFC30.5.W4 B5

>   Search & Browse in LexisNexis (under State Statutes, Codes & Regulations) 

>  State Constitution - on with annotations


2.  Statutory Law - Statutes & Codes from the Legislative Branch

>> Federal - Statutory codes are searchable online in LexisNexis     

US Codes Annotated  (USCA) - Call# REF KF62 (updated until mid-2011) & searchable online in LexisNexis     

          >> State - Statutory codes are searchable online in LexisNexis       

West's Annotated California Codes - Call# REF KFC31.5.W4 updated until mid-2011) 

>  Deering's Annotated California Codes - Print (Call# REF KFC 30.5.D4 H37 2011) 

Find California Code - Searchable website (Note: Consult the general index at the end of the series)


3.  Common or Court-Made Law - Cases from the courts of the Judicial Branch

>> Federal - Cases are searchable in LexisNexis

                > West's Supreme Court Reporter - Call# REF KF101.S9 (updated until mid-2011) 

> Shepard's United States Citations - Call# REF KF101.2.S54 (updated until mid-2011) & searchable online in LexisNexis 

>> State (CA) - Cases are searchable online in LexisNexis

               > West's California Reporter  - Call# REF KFC47.C32, kept current


4.  Administrative Law - Regulations from the Executive Branch

> Administrative Law - Call# REF KF5402.A8 2001

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) - Website

>  Search or browse administrative codes under State Statutes, Codes, and Regulations



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Secondary Authority Sources

             Works that describe and define the law




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>> Terminology: Start your search by identifying and defining appropriate terms,

     synonyms and antonyms to use when searching an index.

> Black's Law Dictionary Call#  REF KF 156.B53 

> Burton's Legal Thesaurus - Call#  REF KF 156.B856

> Search under US Legal > Legal Reference in LexisNexis


>> Legal Encyclopedias: Find relevant cases on a subject.

Federal Cases:

Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) - Call# REF KF 154.C56, updated until mid-2011

> American Jurisprudence (AmJur) - Search & browse in LexisNexis under US Legal >Legal Reference

State Cases:

West's California Jurisprudence (CalJur) - Call# REF KFC 80.C29 


>> Treatises and Hornbooks: Find commentary and examinations of legal subjects.

> Witkin's Summary of California Law - Call# REF KFC80 .W5 2005

Nutshell Series - Keyword search: "nutshell series" & Sort by: Title

Hornbook Series - Keyword search: "hornbook series" & Sort by: Title


>> Practice Guides

Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Materials - 2 hour loan at the Reserve Desk (under instructor Dayton)

CA Forms of Pleading and Practice  - Call# REF KFC1010.A65 C3


>> Jury Instructions

California Jury Instructions, Civil  (CACI or BAJI) - Call# REF KFC1047.A65 C35


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More Legal





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     Companion to the United States Constitution Call# - (on order)  

     Constitution of the USA: Analysis of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court Call # - (on order)

     Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments 1789-2005 - Call# - REF KF4557.V555 1996

     Guide to the US Supreme Court - Call# - (on order)

     Legal Research: How to Find & Understand the Law - Call# - (on order)

     Nolo's Encyclopedia of Everyday Law - Call# - (on order)

     Public Debate over Controversial Supreme Court Decisions- Call# - (on order)


E-Books (password required for NetLibrary access off-campus or WiFi)

     101 Law Forms for Personal Use    

     American Constitutional Law. Vol. 1.

     American Constitutional Law. Vol. 2.

     Encyclopedia of the Constitutional Amendments 1995-2005

     Encyclopedia of the US Constitution

     Legal Research: How to Find & Understand the Law

     Regulatory Rights: Supreme Court Activism


Websites for Legal Research

Click here for a complete list.

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