Advocacy - Summer 2018

Guide to accompany legal research lecture for the summer session course on Advocacy

Locating Journal Articles

Law review articles are often a great resource in legal research.  Unlike practice materials, they don't assume you are already familiar with the topic.  And unlike encyclopedias, they do not aim to be concise,  but are written in an easy to read narrative format. However,there are various ways to search for law review articles and they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

You are probably already familiar with searching for articles in the full-text databases on Westlaw and Lexis.  While this is convenient, and printing (on Lexis) is free, it is only a sampling of the journals that are available.  Only around 800 journals are included in these full-text databases.  

If you already have a citation to a journal, HeinOnline is a great resource.  Also, since everything is in PDF, rather than HTML, the articles are easier to read and the footnotes are where they belong (rather than at the end of the article) .HeinOnline is, however, poorly suited for subject searching.  Alternatively, you can use the "Find a Journal" tab at the left left of this guide.  Enter the journal name, and you will be given all the databases that have that title available.

Legal indexes, like the Index to Legal Periodicals, is the preferred method for searching for law review articles because, unlike Westlaw or Lexis, it is far more comprehensive and includes most of the law journals published in North America and many from Great Britain and Australia.  It also uses subject terms that gives you comprehensive searching capability.

Searching Law reviews and Journals in Westlaw

Refresher on Secondary Sources

Heafey Law Library Research Team