Legal Studies Research Guide


Researching the law involves discovering judicial cases, statutes and codes, executive orders, congressional hearings, legislative history, administrative regulations and much more.  Although many resources are available via open access online through government and other portals, the UCB Library has purchased several resources that permit more in-depth and historical research.

  • Hein Online
    Provides full text to the early issues of many legal journals and law reviews, the Federal Register (1936-six months ago), US Supreme Court Library (1754-present) and treaties and agreements.
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Includes over 6,000 individual titles of international, national and local newspapers and wire services; radio and television transcripts; and business, medical, industry, and legislative magazines, journals, and newsletters. Wide geographic coverage and translations from foreign-language sources, as well as news services like the Associated Press, Agence France Press, El Pais and Xinhua (New China) News Agency.
  • LegalTrac
    Indexes journals, law reviews, and magazines related to legal research and commentary on case studies, government regulations, the practice of law, statutes, taxation, and international law.
  • ProQuest Congressional
    One stop shopping for U.S. congressional publications. Provides index and abstracts of congressional publications back to 1789, including full text of published Congressional Hearings from 1824-present (unpublished until 1979), full text Committee Prints from 1830-present, full text Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports from 1916-present, full text United States Congressional Serial Set (and its various former titles) from 1789-present, and legislative histories from 1970-present. For more information on how to find hearings, consult the Congressional Tutorials homepage
  • ProQuest Legislative Insight
    Provides access to more than 18,000 professionally researched legislative histories of US Law. Histories include the Public Law itself, all versions of related bills, law-specific Congressional Record excerpts, committee hearings, reports and prints, Presidential signing statements, and CRS reports. 1929-present
  • Legal Information Institute (LII)
    Indexes Supreme Court decisions and opinions under the auspices of Project Hermes, as well as over 500 of the Court's most important historic decisions.
  • Legislative Information on the Internet
    Provides access to a wide range of legislative information on the Congress, including the full text of the Congressional Record and bills from the 103rd to the present, as well as a directory of congressional committees and members of Congress. Excellent resource for finding quick, online legislative histories and the full-text of Congressional Committee reports.
  • NCJRS (National Criminal Justice Reference Service) Abstracts Database
    Indexes over 170,000 criminal justice books, journal articles, and reports published by the US Department of Justice, other local, state, and Federal government agencies, international organizations, and the private sector are indexed. Access is also provided to more than 7,000 full text documents through the NCJRS Virtual Library linked to the database.
  • Index to Legal Periodicals and Books/Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective
    Index to Legal Periodicals and Books (1981 - present) indexes approximately 1000 legal journals, yearbooks, institutes, bar association journals, university publications and law reviews, and government publications from the United States, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Also indexes some 1,400 monographs per year. Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective (1918-1981) indexes over 500 legal periodicals back to 1918.
  • LLMC - Digital
    Provides access to legal history from the 13th century to the present in jurisdictions all around the world, particularly the legal history of the United States, Haiti, Britain, and the British empire from the 18th century to the late 1900s. This includes runs of law reports from the Indian subcontinent; and reports from Australia, Ireland, and South Africa. In all of these cases, LLMC-Digital’s strength is in historical case reporters; the closer to the present one gets, the weaker the coverage becomes.

Legal Studies at UCB

Legal Studies focuses on the study of law and justice, including legal institutions and the legal process, from a social science perspective. The courses deal with a wide variety of subjects, including philosophy of law, American legal history, non-western legal traditions, politics and law, the criminal justice process, property law, and economic regulation.

The UC Berkeley Library maintains a research-level collection in legal sudies to support not only the department's teaching programs, but many other disciplines, interdisciplinary programs, and professional schools.  Many of the Library's social science and humanities collections also inform legal studies researchers.

The Legal Studies collection (Library of Congress Call # range K-KZ) is housed in the Gardner (Main) Stacks. The undergraduate Moffitt Library also maintains a collection of core, high-use English language materials of particular relevance to the undergraduate curriculum. The Reference Center and North Reading Room on the 2nd floor of Doe houses a permanent reference collection in social sciences and government documents.  Several subject speciality libraries including Social Welfare, Public Health, Education & Psychology, Ethnic Studies, Institute for Governmental Studies, and Business also possess collections highly relevant to legal studies.

The Law Library collects primary and secondary materials related to law and has strict access and circulation policies for non-UCB Law students

Last Update: 14 Jan 12:49 | Tagged with: legal studies