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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.

Law Review Articles for Undergraduates

Most legal scholarship is published in law reviews run by law students and published by law schools. There are a few good locations to find relevant law review articles:

Both Nexis Uni and HeinOnline search the full text of law review articles. If you are getting too many irrelevant results on Nexis Uni and HeinOnline, you may want to try Legal Source instead. 

Legal Source is an index, which means it searches the title, abstract, and topics of law review articles rather than their full text. This means fewer but more relevant results. You can see a short video demo of Legal Source in the left sidebar and access Legal Source using the link below:

You can also search scholarly articles in any field, including law, on Google's free search engine for scholarly articles, Google Scholar:

As long as you enable your VPN, Google Scholar will link you to any law review articles available in law library databases, such as HeinOnline. Additionally, Google Scholar will always links you to any free copies of articles. Because most law reviews are published by student journals, they are usually available online for free and Google Scholar can be a good way to efficiently search across multiple law reviews if you do not have access to paid databases.

However, when using Google Scholar, keep in mind the following limitations:

  • Google Scholar only searches the information Google has access to, which often does not include the full text of articles.
  • Because Google Scholar searches scholarly articles of all types, it may return many irrelevant results from non-law disciplines. 

As long as you have access to them, Nexis Uni, HeinOnline, and Legal Source are usually better bets.