Answered By: Kate Britt Last Updated: Dec 06, 2019 Views: 27
Legal encyclopedias provide general information on a legal topic. They are arranged alphabetically by subject and have extensive indexes. When researching a legal topic, it is best to begin with the most specific terms possible.
National legal encyclopedias are helpful places to begin looking at a topic, before delving into jurisdiction-specific research. There are two main national legal encyclopedias, both available to the public:
- American Jurisprudence, 2d. (AmJur) (available on Nexis Uni)
- Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) (Ref Coll KF154 .C56, behind the Reference Desk)
Am. Jur. [1st Edition] is also available. (ANNEX KF154 .A4)
Not every state produces legal encyclopedias, but they are useful for learning about legal topics in a particular state.
The library has several Michigan-specific legal encyclopedias.
- Michigan Law and Practice Encyclopedia (SMITH KFM 4265 .M53 1998x)
- Michigan Civil Jurisprudence (SMITH KFM 4280 .C3 1957)
- Michigan Criminal Law and Procedure (SMITH KFM4761 .G5 1953)
The Library also has legal encyclopedias for other states, which can be found with material for their respective states in Smith. To determine which encyclopedias are available in the Law Library collection, perform an advanced search of the MLaw Catalog, and include the Subject term "Encyclopedias."
If you are looking for a legal encyclopedia online, check out the Oxford Reference Library: Law database. This e-resource is a fully indexed, cross-searchable database of dictionaries, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press on the subject of Law.