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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Finding legal information: the absolute basics. : Articles

How to find cases, laws and some other stuff. By Ellen Sexton.


Are you looking for a particular journal title?  If so, look for it here (electronic format only).

OR check the library catalog CUNY+ to see if we have it in print format.

(Note: we subscribe to many more journals in electronic format than in print format).

Hein OnLine

Hein OnLine is a legal database that has the full text of primary and secondary legal materials.  It is a very important tool for those researching the history of law.

Unlike the other legal databases, Hein OnLine contains historical legal documents e.g. the U.S. Statutes at Large from 1789-2008, the U.S. Federal legislative histories, the historical U.S. Code, and more. 

The full-text is in the form of PDF files - exact images of the original printed publications, so finding and citing a specific page is very easy. It contains the entire run of journals and law reviews - every volume, right back to the first year of publication.

Also notable are the entire runs, from volume one, of law review journals.  There are also international and overseas legal materials.

Finding articles on legal topics using the Index to Legal Periodicals and Books

Law reviews are journals published by law schools.  They are generally edited by law school students, and include articles written by students and by professors and practitioners. The article should indicate the status of the author. 


A great finding tool for law review and journal articles on a topic is Legal Source (formerly known as Index to Legal Periodicals and Books)

E.g. this SEARCH:

Finds this RESULT:

Clicking the   button may bring you to links to the full text of the article.

Searching Lexis-Nexis Academic for law review articles

Enter Lexis-Nexis Academic .  Click U.S. Legal on the blue menu bar on the left hand side of the screen.  Next click on Law Reviews.   

Fill out the search box, best to put phrases inside quotation marks, e.g. "New York City".  Select what fields to search from the pull down menu to the right (and left of the red search button): Title or Citation or At least 5 occurrences often work best.