J.W. Long Law Library


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Legal Periodicals

How do you search for information in legal periodicals? 

Law school law reviews and state bar journals are the professional journals of the legal profession.  This is the primary medium through which current legal thinking is circulated  for criticism and comment.

For online searching, go to "Search Journals" .

Print online or use the first floor periodical collection of 2400 past and current titles, arranged alphabetically by title, to find the articles corresponding to your citations.

1. Electronic Index Searching:

A. LEGALTRAC. 1980-current.   This web-based index database provides several search options including (1) searching a controlled list of subject headings and (2) key word searching of authors, titles, citation and, when available, full text or abstracts of articles.

Use both methods.

LEGALTRAC currently includes over 1400 journals, not all of which are indexed back to 1980.  E.g., the Human Rights Law Journal began publishing in 1980, but was added to INFOTRAC  in 1987 with indexing beginning with the articles in Volume 8.

Access this database from our law library home page by clicking on the "Search Journals button" or use the LEGALTRAC workstation on the first floor Index Table.

B. Legal Resource Index (LRI).  1980- current. This is the LEGALTRAC index simply renamed for use by Westlaw and Lexis.  The Lexis and Westlaw databases are restricted by contract to law students and law faculty.

Unlike LEGALTRAC, one keyword search is sufficient to search subject headings as well as authors, titles, citations and, when available, full text or abstracts of articles.

C. Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP). 1985-current. This web-based index consists of approximately 560 journals from non-Commonwealth countries on the topics of international law (public and private), comparative law and state municipal law.

D. Wilson Web (Index to legal periodicals) 1981-current. Indexes legal periodical articles and some books.

E. WilsonWeb Retrospective 1908-1981. Indexes over 750 U.S. and Commonwealth legal periodicals.

2. Print Index Searching  - Comprehensive English Language Coverage to the Present Time:

A. Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP) and its predecessor, An Index to Legal Periodical Literature compiled by Jones & Chipman, 1770-8/2007.   This is a subject and author print index wherein titles of articles are listed alphabetically under selected subject headings.  It covers approximately 775 journals published in the U.S. and English Commonwealth Countries and is located on the first floor Index Table.

Remember:

1. Beginning in 1955 the list of subject headings used is published in the front of each volume.  Prior to 1955 the ILP used the West Publishing Co. American and Decennial digests subject classification scheme.

2. Each volume covers a specific time period

3. The author index is separate from the subject index for the years prior to July, 1958.
Subsequent to July, 1958, the author index is combined with the subject index.

4. Start with the most recent volume and work backwards in time.

B. Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, 1960 - 2006.  This index covers approximately 550 journals from non-Commonwealth countries on the topics of international law (public and private), comparative law and state municipal law.  Consult the list of subject headings provided in English with French, German and Spanish equivalents.  Each volume covers a specific time period.

C. Current Law Index (CLI), 1980 - 8/2006.  This is the print version of LRI, minus some legal newspapers, and is located on the first floor Index Table. It indexes over 875 journals.

Each volume covers a specific time period.  Note that the author/title, table of cases, table of statutes and subject indexes form separate indexes within each volume.

Start with the most recent volume and work backwards in time.

D. Special Subject Indexes.  Special subject print indexes, such as the Commerce Clearing House (CCH) Federal Tax Articles index and the Warren, Gorham and Lamont (WGL) Index to Federal Tax Articles, are located on the first floor Index Table.

3. Full Text Online Searching and Retrieval:

A. Lexis.com.  This database is restricted by contract to law students and law faculty.  Under "Secondary Legal" click on "Law Reviews and Journals".  This file contains complete coverage for over 500 law reviews and journals, including approximately 20 state bar journals, with coverage beginning in the 1980's or 90's, depending on the particular periodical.

B. Academic Universe.  The Academic Universe, Lexis.Nexis database is restricted to Willamette University students and faculty.  It may be accessed through our home page as follows:

Click on "Hatfield Databases"
Click on "Databases A-Z"
Click on "Lexis-Nexis Academic"

The Law Review database includes approximately 500 law reviews, with coverage beginning in the 1980's or 90's depending on the particular law review.

C. WestLaw.com.  This database is restricted by contract to law students and law faculty.  From the Westlaw.com database directory, click on "Legal Periodicals and Current Awareness" and then click on "Journals and Law Reviews".

This database contains over 700 law reviews and journals with coverage of selected articles beginning in the 1980's or 90's depending on the journal and full coverage of each included periodical beginning in 1994.

D. HeinOnline. A growing full-text database covering over 1500 law journals since their inception. Coverage varies depending on the journal.


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