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Secondary Sources

This guide will help explain why you should generally start your legal research with secondary resources, which to use for your research task, and how to use them effectively.

Legal Periodicals

What are Legal Periodicals?

  • Generally, there are two types of legal periodicals: law reviews and journals.
  • Both offer in-depth articles on extremely specific, and oft times obscure, topics.
  • Most law schools have their own law review, like Georgia State University Law Review, as well as certain branches of law, like Tax Lawyer.

How to access Legal Periodicals

  • The Law Library contains a vast collection of Law Reviews in print format in our general stacks (see map for location).
  • Legal Periodicals are also searchable by using an index. The two specialized indexes available in print and online are Index to Legal Periodical and Books and the Current Law Index (called LegalTrac online).
    • The indexes are also available via LexisNexis or Westlaw but that only date back to 1980-81.
    • If you are looking for older legal periodicals consult Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective or Heinonline.
  • For a more comprehensive treatment of Legal Periodical Research and a great list of links to consult when doing your research see:  Pam Brannon's Guide

When to use Legal Periodicals

  • The practical use of legal periodicals most often occurs in academia but occasionally are used by practitioners if the issue is one of novelty or first impression.
  • Research projects undertaken by Law professors or students will often include citations to law review articles, usually in conjunction with work intended for publication in a law review.

Location in Library

Examples of Legal Periodicals

Disclaimer: The views and opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the State of Georgia, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. Georgia State University College of Law and the authors of the works contained on this website do not assume or accept any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currentness, or comprehensiveness of the content on this website. The content on this website does not in any manner constitute the issuance of legal advice or counsel. The information on this website is intended to provide resources that may aid the research of the topics presented, and are in no way a comprehensive list of sources one should consult on the topics presented. Please note that case law, statutory law, and administrative law may be modified and/or overturned. Additionally, because the laws vary between jurisdictions, the laws referred to herein may or may not be applicable to the law within the reader’s jurisdiction.