J.W. Long Law Library


American Law Reports

Where can you find an analysis of state and federal court opinions relevant to your specific point of law or fact situation?

Try the American Law Report Series (ALR) consisting in chronological order of ALR 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th and ALR Federal and Federal 2d located on the 1st floor in Ben's Den.

Each “annotation” focuses on a particular issue, such as grandparents’ visiting rights, and consists of an overview followed by a detailed analysis with citations to court opinions holding for or against a particular proposition.

Annotations can be found most easily by using the hard bound multi-volume word index.  Once you find an annotation, first check the Annotation History Table in the back of the last index volume and in the pocket part located in the back cover to determine if your annotation has been superseded or supplemented by a later annotation.  This will save you time.

ALR Digests arranged alphabetically by broad categories of subject matter with detailed outlines are available, but seldom used.

Law students can also search the ALR database on Westlaw and on Lexis.  Lexis does not include ALR 1st annotations, most of which are obsolete or have been rewritten in the subsequent series.

Remember to update your print annotation as follows:

  • ALR 1st series
    Look for your particular ALR citation in each volume of the ALR Bluebook of Supplemental Decisions.
  • ALR 2d
    Look for your particular ALR 2d citation in the volume and its pocket part (located in the back cover) of the ALR 2d Later Case Service which corresponds to your citation.
  • ALR 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th and Federal and Federal 2d
    Look for your citation in the pocket part located in the rear cover of the volume where you found your citation.