Subject Guide - Law (General)

Materials on law can be found in various formats (paper, microform, electronic) and in several locations (Reference, Serials, Government Documents, and/or the General Collection) in Maag Library. Increasingly, sources of information are available electronically. See the partial listing under Other Resources at the end of this guide.

Books and periodicals may use the Library of Congress Classification for Law:
K: Law
KF: Law of the United States
KFO Law: Law of Ohio

For information on how to find the following specific types of law, see the individual guides that deal with each type of law:
  • Statutes-- laws passed by the Legislative Branch (e.g. U.S. Congress or the Ohio General Assembly). These are sometimes referred to as Acts, Enactments, or Session Laws (Ohio). Proposed laws are called bills.
  • Administrative rules and regulations -- these are established by Government agencies authorized by the Legislative Branch (Congress or General Assembly) to do so (e.g. EPA regulations).
  • Case law -- decisions of the courts that become law (e.g. U.S. Supreme Court cases, or cases of the Ohio Courts).
Interpreting the Law          

Generally when you are approaching a question of law, it is easiest to begin with a general source, such as an article or a discussion of the law, and then work back to the law itself.

    Using a subject approach, consult:
  • a legal encyclopedia for an overview of a particular topic of law
  • MaagNet (online catalog) for books or treatises
  • a newspaper or periodical index for articles

Following are some general legal resources:


Law Reviews,Periodicals, Newspapers    
Provides access to a wide range of news, business, legal, medical, and reference information from nearly 5,000 sources, most of them available in full text. The service covers newspapers, magazines, wire services, federal and state court opinions, federal and state statutes, federal regulations, and SEC filings. News information is updated daily and wire services several times daily.
Cites articles from over 800 legal periodicals, plus English-language books published in 1993 or later.
Provides full text journal coverage for nearly all academic areas of study.

For a more complete list of databases for legal issues, consult the Subject List for Law and Legislation.
Also consult the list of databases for Current Events.

Legal Encyclopedias & Digests 
These sources help interpret the law and may lead you to appropriate cases or statutes for your legal topic. They are located in the General Collection.
KF 154 .A42
American Jurisprudence: A Modern Comprehensive Text Statement of American Law, State and Federal.

NOTE: American Jurisprudence is now available online through Lexis-Nexis.

KF 345.5 .C6
Corpus Juris Secundum: A Complete Restatement of the Entire American Law as Developed by All Reported Cases.
KFO 65 .O35 1977
Ohio Jurisprudence: A Complete Text Statement of the Modern Law and Practice of Ohio, Covering Both the Statute Law and the Case Law.
See also the digests listed in Law (Cases).
Encyclopedias, Dictionaries & Handbooks
Ref. KF 154 .E53 1987
Encyclopedia of the American Judicial System: Studies of the Principal Institutions and Processes of Law
Ref. KF156 .B53 2009
Black's Law Dictionary
Ref. KF 156 .B856 1998
Burton's Legal Thesaurus

Ref. KF 190 .C43x Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2006

Martindale (lawyer's directory)

New (lawyer's directory)


Legal Forms           
Forms are available from various sites on the internet.  Some suggested comprehensive sites:
Other Resources          

OhioLINK databases are restricted to current faculty, staff and students of OhioLINK member institutions.

GPO Access (Federal Register 1994 - to date, U.S. Code, plus many other government databases)

Thomas Legislative Information (Congressional bills, laws and reports)

There are numerous resources available on the World Wide Web. See Maag's Government Documents homepage under the sections Law & Legislation (Includes THOMAS and other legislative sites, court cases), Congressional Information, and GPO Access (Federal Register and other helpful databases) for those resources available through the United States Government. There is also a list of Tax & Law Abbreviations for materials owned by Maag Library.

FindLaw. A guide to internet sites for federal, state and international law (cases and codes).

LawCrawler. A search tool for finding information on federal, state and international law.