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Legal Research for Undergraduates

This guide provides information on legal research for UCLA undergraduates and non-law graduate students, faculty, and staff.

Legal Encyclopedias and Treatises for Undergraduates

Most attorneys have access to a wide variety of legal encyclopedias (jurisprudence) and treatises (scholarly books) through the major legal databases, Westlaw and Lexis. Unfortunately, the law library cannot give undergraduates access to these databases but Nexis Uni provides access to selected encyclopedias and treatises within its law review category.

One good starting point is the standard US legal encyclopedia, American Jurisprudence, which provides a broad overview of federal and state law nationwide on most legal topics. You can access American Jurisprudence at the link below:

Additionally, you can often find treatises on specific topics by browsing to Menu > All Sources, then filtering to the Category: Law Reviews and Journals, and then to your specific topic under Practice Areas & Topics. Browsing to a specific treatise allows you to skim the table of contents and read chapters in context, rather than just looking at individual sections within your search results.

Screencap showing how to filter to treatises on Nexis Uni by going to Menu > All Sources and then filtering to Category: Law Reviews and Journals