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Circuit Riders: Legal Research Training for Non-Lawyers

Books & Treatises

Books
The easiest way for a non-lawyer to learn about a legal topic is to locate a current book on the topic— preferably one written for the layperson. Law school libraries carry books with varying levels of difficulty and coverage, from short, paperback nutshells to multi-volume treatises. The Coleman Karesh Law Library’s catalog is searchable online as are those of academic and public libraries across the state.

Treatises
A treatise is a reference book that provides in-depth coverage of a particular legal topic, often written by the leading scholar in that area of law.


Although most books on South Carolina law are published for lawyers by the SC Bar, they are often the best resource available for comprehensive coverage of a particular legal topic. The SC Bar maintains a publications list on its website.

A Guide to South Carolina Legal Resources is available through USC School of Law’s Coleman Karesh Law Library.

Examples:

Endangered Species Act: Keyword search in the law library catalog for “endangered species”: Sam Kalen & Murray Feldman, Endangered Species Act (2d ed. 2012).

Landlord-Tenant Law: Keyword search in the law library catalog for “South Carolina landlord tenant”: George W. Jefferson, Landlord-Tenant Law and Procedure in Magistrate Court (2002).