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LIBRARY GUIDE TO Legal Research

Legal Research Sites
Legal Information Institute This is a legal research site maintained by Cornell Law School. It includes a legal encyclopedia and very helpful "Learn About" and "Legal Topic" sections which provide access to varous subject areas of the law such as Consitutional Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, etc. The site also has access to U.S. Supreme Court opinions, the U.S. Code, and equivalent state level resources for all 50 states. This is an excellent one-top shopping legal research website.

Legal Research Guides from the Library of Congress Law Library which also includes the helpful Beginner’s Guides to Legal Research

Georgetown Law Library Research Guides includes research guides on many federal legal topics. The library also offers their Free and Low Cost Legal Resources guide, and a helpful Legislative History Research Guide among many others.

Legislative Source Book is an excellet resource maintained by the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. This resource includes many helpful research guides and research links to resources, many of which are publicly available.

 
Law Reviews, Law Journals & Legal News
Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Thanks to Mel Legal Source
Authoritative database for current issues, studies, thoughts and trends of the legal world.  Thanks to MeL.

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff ABI/Inform Complete
This database includes about 80% full-text articles from the business press, trade publications, academic journals, and newspapers (including full text of the Wall Street Journal). It is a great starting point for articles on broad business topics. How to export to RefWorks Includes general legal news journals published by the American Bar Association.

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Google Scholar
You can check the availability of article full text if you use our link to Google Scholar, which will ask you to log in with your OU NetID. How to export to RefWorks   Google Scholar also allows you to search for case law by jurisdiction.

Open source resources for law reviews and legal research white papers:

bepress Legal Repository

Law Review Commons

LawArXiv

SSRN Legal Scholarship Network and a direct link to the SSRN Advanced Search page to access all the SSRN collections. 
 
Library Contact
Picture: Helen Levenson

Helen Levenson
Assistant Professor
hlevenson@oakland.edu
248.370.2497

Office: 243 Kresge Library
Office hours:Virtual research consultations are available at days and times that best suit you. Contact me by email to schedule.
 
Case Law
Case Law refers to court opinions issued by various courts. Court opinions are available online at the federal and state level.

U.S. Supreme Court Official website of the Court. Opinions and oral arguments are available.

Oyez This site provides the audio of U.S. Supreme Court arguments, as well as case summaries, the major legal issues raised, and analyses of the opinions. It has broad historical coverage.

Justia and FindLaw Both of these legal research websites provide access to court opinions from all levels of the federal courts--Supreme Court, Circuit Court of Appeals, and District Courts, as well as links to state courts.

Individual states typically have websites dedicated to their courts where court opinions are available. For Michigan, there are the Michigan Supreme Court and Michigan Court of Appeals sites for court opionions from and court rules.for those respective courts. There are also numerous links on these pages for additional court resources such as search pages, links to briefs filed with the courts, and court forms.

 
Legislative Law
Legislative law refers to statutes issued by federal and state legislative bodies. Once statutes are passed they are "codified" by subject and are refered to as U.S. Codes or State Codes, depending on the jurisdictional level.

The U.S. Code is available at these official U.S. sites:

govinfo United States Code govinfo is the official site of the Government Publishing Office
.
U.S. House of Representative U.S. Code website--the U.S. House of Representatives is the official issuing body of the U.S. Code.

Library of Congress U.S. Code website

Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. legislative information. It is an excellent source for numerous Congressional publications. It includes links to Congressional Research Service Reports and The Constitution Annotated, providing comprehensive legal analysis of the U.S. Constitution.

A Century of Lawmaking covers Congressional documents from the first 100 years (1774-1875) of the U.S. Congress.

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Legislative Insight
A federal legislative history service that makes available professionally researched compilations of digital full-text congressional publications relevant to enacted U.S. public laws.

Similar to case law, most states have legislative websites where bills and statutes are available. For Michigan, there is Michigan Legislature which also provides a useful collection of Legislative Publications on common legal topics.

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