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A Guide to Law: Start


Welcome to our guide on researching the law and law-related topics! Research within the law can encompass a variety of topics and require an intricate web of sources, depending on what you're researching. While none of the Gustavus librarians are law librarians, we can still help you navigate the complex world of legal research. Browse through the sources on this page and please reach out to any librarian for more help. 

We highly recommend these guides as well; please note that while we don't have access to every single source mentioned on these guides, you'll find a lot of listed material freely available online: 

If you need a refresher on using the library, consult our Library FAQs and an overview of the Library. We also have a guide on how to do research well - use it to brush up and expand your research skills! And if you need a refresher on finding books in the library, consult this guide.

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Research Help:

Finding Case Law (Court Opinions)

For more information on finding information about the Supreme Court, please consult the POL 390: Constitutional Law guide, in addition to the following resources:

International Law

Interested in international law? Try these resources, which will both link you to specific sites and also provide information on how to conduct research in international law.

Finding Law Reviews and Articles

Law reviews can be found in a couple of databases. Explore the following databases to find law reviews and other legal research.

Research in Law

This guide points toward some of the state, national, and international statutory, regulatory, and case law available in the library and through the Internet, as well as to reference books exploring legal issues. Legal information has its own organization and traditions, and it is constantly being updated, reinterpreted, and changed. 

Constitution of the United States 







Photo credits: United States Constitution -

Finding Statutes

Finding Regulatory Law

Finding Legislation

You'll be able to access many government documents online, although it gets a little trickier the farther back you go, as not everything has been digitized. These resources will point you to on legislation at both the federal and state levels.



Additional Government Resources

You can also search the Gustavus Library catalog for other government documents, both in print and online. We're a selective Federal Repository Library (bonus - scroll to the bottom of this page for more links on finding government documents).  The links below will also have some information.

Specialized Reference Sources


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Julie Gilbert
Hello! I look forward to working with you. If you have any questions about research, an assignment, or the library in general, please contact me via email or make an appointment. You can reach any of the reference librarians at folke @ or via the Ask Us! button on the library's homepage.


Here's a sample of books in the reference section (main floor, Beck Hall side) that can help define terms and provide overviews of legal topics. Be sure to browse the entire K section to find more.

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