Essential Reference Resources
Black's law dictionary
Call Number: Law Reference KF156 B53 2009
Contents: Dictionary; Table of legal abbreviations; Legal maxims; The Constitution of the United States of America; Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Members of the United States Supreme Court; Federal Circuits map; British regnal years; Bibliography.
The 8th edition of Black's law dictionary is currently available on Westlaw.
California style manual : a handbook of legal style for California courts and lawyers by
Call Number: Law California Collection KFC75 J47 2000
The California Supreme Court has adopted this style manual as the official guide for citations, making it a critical handbook for California courts and court personnel. It reflects changes in recent years and covers the preferred methods for citing legal information taken from the Internet, CD-ROM, and online research services. It also provides clear, comprehensive direction on citing recently filed opinions and legislative history.
Understanding and mastering the bluebook : a guide for students and practitioners by
Call Number: Law Open Reserve KF245 B37 2007
This concise text is a survival manual especially designed to assist readers in navigating the complicated rules for legal citation found in The Bluebook. Effectively utilizing a simple building block approach for each source type, together with hundreds of easy-to-follow illustrations and explanations, the guide gives step-by-step instructions for building citations to the most common authorities cited by legal practitioners. Comparison charts, illustrations, and bullet-point explanations allow users to quickly understand critical citation rules, while frequent tips, hints, and cautions alert students to common trouble spots. Every essential rule and sub-rule is illustrated and fully described in a user-friendly format. This highly accessible guide is an indispensable tool for anyone wanting to master Bluebook citation.
Locating the Law
The law librarians at the Southern California Association of Law Libraries have created a wonderful, and concise, guide to legal research that includes California, Federal, and International legal materials. All of these documents are in PDF format. You will need Adobe Reader to view them.
These are selected chapters from this e-book. If you would like to view the entire book you can access it via the SCALL website.
Chapter 2 - How to read a legal citation
This chapter will describe citations to cases, statutes or codes, and law reviews and treatises. A short discussion of legal citation manuals and a list of common abbreviations are also included in this chapter.
Chapter 3 - Basic legal research techniques
This chapter is intended to serve as a guide for public librarians assisting users who have legal reference questions.
Chapter 5 - California Law
The state of California has done a great job of making its primary sources of law widely available via the Internet. In addition, legal publishers publish a multitude of secondary sources1 in print and in online databases. This abundance of information has made researching California law easy for some and overwhelming for others. For those without a legal background (and most with one), it is always advisable to start with a secondary source.
Chapter 7 - Federal Law
This chapter provides brief descriptions of the legislative process and the federal judiciary and focuses on the primary sources of federal law (i.e., cases, statutes, and regulations). Included are references to both print and Internet sources.
Heafey Law Library Research Team