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Circuit Riders: Legal Research Training for Non-Lawyers

Finding Law Review & Journal Articles Using Subscription Databases

Many law review and journal articles are available online via subscription to databases such as Westlaw and LexisNexis. South Carolina colleges and universities and public libraries may provide access to South Carolina and national law review and journal articles via subscription to academic and public-access versions of Westlaw and LexisNexis.

Law Review & Journal Articles

Law reviews and legal journals are published by law schools. Articles are written by law professors, attorneys, and law students. Law reviews, such as South Carolina Law Review, address a wide range of topics, while journals tend to focus on specific areas of law, e.g., Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal and Journal of Law and Education.

State bar journals and magazines, such as South Carolina Lawyer, are published by state bar associations and address a wide range of legal issues within a particular state. Articles are often written by attorneys, law professors, and other practitioners. Law review, journal, and state bar articles are available in print and online, by subscription and on the free web.

 

 

Print

Law school libraries carry print versions of law reviews and journals from across the country. Law library catalogs provide library locations for individual print journals as well as links to available online databases.


Online

Law libraries and academic libraries subscribe to online databases that contain the full text of law review and journal articles. Examples are LexisNexis Academic and Hein Online. Hein Online contains articles in digital format from the date of each journal’s inception.

 

 

Law schools across the country are beginning to support open access by making their law reviews and journals available via the Internet. Free online databases that allow researchers to search online journals include ABA’s Free Full-Text Online Law Review/Law Journal Search Engine and Google Scholar’s Advanced Search for legal opinions and journals.

Indexes to Journals

Although print indexes to legal journals and periodicals are available at law school libraries, researchers typically use online indexes to search for articles on legal topics.

LegalTrac is an online index to legal periodicals that is available to public, academic, and law libraries in South Carolina through DISCUS. It allows researchers to search for articles by author or keyword and to limit searches to individual journals. LegalTrac includes limited full-text articles in its database; however, the researcher can check library catalogs and e-journals databases to locate particular articles in print or online.

 

 

Examples:

Endangered Species Act: Keyword search in LegalTrac for “Endangered Species Act and Florida panther”: Jessica Alfano, Gaps in the Endangered Species Act: The Plight of the Florida Panther, 40 Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review 335 (2013).

Grandparent Visitation: Keyword search in LegalTrac for “grandparent visitation and South Carolina”: M. Ronald McMahan, Jr., Grandparent Visitation Rights in South Carolina in the Wake of Troxel v. Granville, 52 South Carolina Law Review 759 (2001).