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Using Legal Periodicals

Legal periodicals include law reviews, bar journals, and legal newspapers. Legal periodical articles are usually an excellent place to start research because they feature current information, focus on narrow topics, and may provide citations to related primary and secondary sources.

Use LegalTrac, an online database that indexes over 800 periodicals, to locate articles appearing from 1980 to the present. Search by author, title, or subject. Although very few articles in LegalTrac are full text, this database does provide citations to all articles; click View Library Holdings for this Journal to determine if Westminster Law Library subscribes to a particular legal periodical. Another online service, Index to Legal Periodicals & Books, indexes from 1908 to date and provides selected full-text articles from 1994 to the present.

Search online by author, title, or subject for full-text articles in HeinOnline. HeinOnline indexes approximately 1,100 legal periodicals including pre-1980 articles.

See the library’s research guide on Selected Legal Periodicals and Legal Periodical Indexes for information on other indexes and Westminster’s list of legal journal databases (select Legal Journals from the dropdown menu).

Citing an Article

Here’s an example of an article citation from Rule 16 of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 19th Edition, a style manual for citing legal materials:

Thomas Morris, Colorado’s Clean Air Act Amendments Regulations, 23 Colo. Law. 861 (1994).

Cite the author’s name first followed by the underlined article title. Next, list the volume number of the journal, the abbreviated name of the journal, the page number where the article begins, and the publication date of the article in parenthesis.

If you see an abbreviation you can’t identify, use Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations.

Other tutorial sections:
Types of Legal Materials
Finding Colorado Statutes