Legal Encyclopedia are useful when you need a broad overview of a topic that you do not know much about, or if you need to find the primary law that is most relevant to a specific topic. These two legal Encyclopedia, Am. Jur. and CJS, both published by West, can be tricky to use in print.
First, you need to find them in the library. To do so, you can search the online catalog, called ThomCat and get the call number. You will find that they are both located on the 4th Floor.
Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), Resources
There are also two CALI tours you can listen to that will give you background information on these two sources. Listen now.
- 2011 Legal Encyclopedias Tutorial (10 minutes – professional, comprehensive, clear and easy to understand)
- Introduction to Legal Encyclopedias (12 minutes – professional, covers different aspects of the encyclopedia from the previous tutorial)
- How to use legal encyclopedia to find cases on a particular topic
- Using Legal Encyclopedias to Start Your Research
Once you have read or viewed these resources, test your knowledge of how to use legal encyclopedias by doing the CALI Exercise on Legal Encyclopedias. (Students should email Catherine Deane to request the CALI code if they have never used CALI before)