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Sources for Science on Trial

Legal Dictionaries

Since the language of law is peppered with Latin phrases and industry-specific terms, having a legal dictionary handy is a good idea to help you navigate.  Widely used dictionaries include:

Legal Encyclopedia: CJS

Corpus Juris Secundum, or CJS is a law encyclopedia is focused on case analysis.  The print volumes are indexed by subject, and you can use them in the library to look up cases and summaries. 

The Magic of Secondary Sources

Not sure where to start your legal research?  Consider secondary sources!  Along with providing a general overview of a topic, secondary sources often contain a rich library of citations and resources that you can use to find additional books and articles on a particular subject.

Secondary sources include:

  • Law journals
  • Legal Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
  • Treatises

Law Journals

Law journals and law reviews are collections of articles written by law scholars, lawyers, and students on a specific topic.  Not only do they provide analysis of issues, but the citation list and referenced works may provide you with additional direction as you research.  It's important to note, however, that many law review articles are written and edited by law students who may lack first-hand experience that practicing law brings.


Treatises are written by legal scholars and focus on one particular subject.  The author or authors include relevant case law, additional sources, and commentary and analysis on the particular topic.  Some treatises that may be of interest include:

Legal Encyclopedia: AmJur

American Jurisprudence, or AmJur, is another, easy to use legal encyclopedia which indexes relevant case law by subject.

Legal Sources

US Government Sources