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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Legal Treatises

When you need a legal treatise on a particular subject, your best bet is probably to search your local library catalog. If that doesn't turn up what you need, other good sources include:

  • The Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual (Rhode Island Law Press);
  • The Encyclopedia of Legal Information Sources;
  • Law Books & Serials in Print (Grey House Publishing);
  • Legal Looseleafs in Print, available in print or as part of LawTrio;
  • Searching the Law: The States by Francis R. Doyle (last published in 2003);
  • The Georgetown Law Library's Treatise Finder;
  • Indexmaster, which searches the Table of Contents and Indexes of treatises by many publishers; and/or
  • The online catalog of a library with a good collection in that subject area.

If you need to broaden your search, you can do a subject search in WorldCat. You can also search the digital collections on Google Books and/or Hathitrust.

Many older treatises are available on HeinOnline, either in the Legal Classics Library or one of their other collections. Some membership libraries subscribe to substantial e-book collections, such as the Matthew Bender and ABA books collections available through the New York Law Institute website.

To find a treatise on a given subject for a particular state, check Searching the Law: The States, search the online catalog of a law library in the state (again, see "Libraries" for links) and/or search Indexmaster. If necessary, call a reference librarian in the relevant state (e.g., look in the AALL Directory or use Martindale-Hubbell to look up a large firm with a practice in the relevant area) and ask for the librarian).

Prices: You can generally get the price of a legal treatise from the publisher's Web site, though you might find a better price on Amazon.com, another discount book vendor or through a used book dealer (see "Used Books"). To track the price of a treatise back over several years, use the Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual (New England LawPress) by Ken Svengalis. AALL members can search the Price Index for Legal Publications on the AALL Web site.

See Also
Book Reviews
Book Stores
Books In Print
Publishers and Publishing
Used Books

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman