Law / Legal Materials

This page supports the curriculum of Saint Mary's College.  

Subject Guides

Albert Search

Search Albert to find books, movies, etc..

Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary. (Ref 340.03 H552p) Berkeley, CA: Nolo, 2009.

Black's Law Dictionary. (Ref 340.03 B561) 9th ed. St. Paul, MN: West, 2009.

Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing: An Integrated Approach. (Ref 340.072 H179) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law. (Ref 340.072 EL42) Berkeley, CA: Nolo, 2007.

 To locate dictionaries and other sources, choose the "Sources" tab to select publications by type.  Includes Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage.

Includes such titles as Gale Encyclopedia of American Law, Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, and Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law, just to name a few.

Includes Encyclopedia of Law and Society, amongst other titles.

Includes Oxford Companion to American Law.

Online resources are best for finding cases. Doing a search in Lexis-Nexis is best for current cases. Many important historical cases are in here as well.

Federal Courts

FindLaw: Supreme Court Opinions -- Searchable database of the Supreme Court decisions since 1893.

Historic U.S. Court Cases 1690-1990: An Encyclopedia. (Ref 347.03 J633) New York: Garland, 1992.

Landmark Supreme Court Cases - A selection of the Supreme Court's historically most significant cases. A joint effort from Street Law and the US Supreme Court Historical Society.

LII: Supreme Court Collection - Maintained by the Cornell Law School, with data collected by the Legal Information Institute and Project Hermes. All official Supreme Court decisions with summaries decided since May 1990 are here. Ther are also links to other Web sites for earlier arguments and decisions.

Selected Historic Decisions of the Supreme Court -- From the Legal Information Institute (LII). It includes decisions on copyright and patents. Searchable.

United States Courts - From the Federal Judiciary, this site is one of the primary sources of information regarding the structure, function and operations of the federal court system. You can create a widget for class Web sites, and you can also find videos discussing basics of various legal issues.

U. S. Supreme Court - Allows you to read the court's decisions the same day they are released. Also includes historical information, biographies of the justices, bar admission forms, and visitor's guides.

U.S. Federal Courts Locator - Click on the area of interest to connect to the court site. The Law Schools of Villanova University, Emory University and the University of Texas have organized the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals on their Web site. Decisions cover cases from 1994 to the present.


California Courts

California Judicial Court System includes Appellate decisions, and court rules.

Court Rules, Forms and Dockets - For state and federal court rules, browse by jurisdiction, state, or type of resources. Searchable.

Online searching is best for finding statutes.

Federal Statutes

Code of Federal Regulations - from the House of Representatives, searchable by keyword or phrase. You can also scan a Title table of contents.

    Includes Major Acts of Congress


United States Code - available from the House of Representatives. This is only the straight U.S. Code, not the U.S. Code Annotated. Searchable by keyword, or within the sections.

    For Deering's California Codes Annotated and/or United States Code Service, Select Legal, then Federal and State Codes.


California Statutes

Summary of California Law. (2nd floor, 348.02 C128wb) 10th ed. 16 vols. San Francisco: Witkin Legal Institute, 2005.

Nolo's Guide to California Law. (Ref 340.09794 G936) 10th ed. Berkeley: Nolo, 2008.

Complete California Codes - From the State Capitol includes full-text searching of all the California Codes by keyword.

California Code of Regulations (CCR) contains the text of the regulations that have been formally adopted by state agencies, reviewed and approved by the Office of Administrative Law, and filed with the Secretary of State.

California Laws Relating to Minors  (Ref 346.0135 C128) Santa Ana, CA: Pacific Law, 2002.

California Income Tax Forms, Instructions and Publications are available here; this site also has links to the Internal Revenue Service Federal Income Tax Forms.

American Law Sources On-line - Law-related materials for Canada, US, and some from Mexico. Includes legislative, judicial, and administrative law, with commentary from sources like law reviews for different levels.

CourtListener - Comprehensive and current, this is a great tool to keep up with with federal precedents as established the the federal circuit courts. Some of the material dates back to 1754. Browse or search for the documents you seek.

C-SPAN Video Library - Streaming videos of press conferences, bill signing ceremonies, political meetings, congressional hearings and debates, and etc, organized by C-SPAN. Browse or search by keyword.

FindLaw - Index of legal sites. Includes state and federal resources, cases, organizations, and international law.

Jurist - The Law Professor's Network. Search by topic or country, or browse through both. Includes news and articles. From the University of Pittsburgh.

Legal Information Institute - An excellent way to find legal information. Use the indexes to browse for topics, or search by keyword. From Cornell Law School.

Locating the Law: A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians - From SCALL,"... designed especially for the California non-law librarian in dealing with legal reference questions."  This is the fifth edition, and can be browsed by chapter.

Consumer Product Safety Commission - Articles and news. Searchable.

Consumer Protection - From the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Federal Trade Commission: full text guides, tips, warnings, etc.

Federal Citizen Information Center - " stop source for answers to questions about consumer problems and government services."

Federal Trade Commission  - Consumer information organized into broad subject categories. There are over twenty general subject categories to choose from. Searchable.

Administration for Children and Families - A place to find Federal programs and departments supporting such issues as: child care, runaway youth, and adoption.

American Bar Association - Family Law Section - provides this site for information relating to all branches of family and domestic law and legislation. Includes reports, news, and other family Web links. - Legislative and court news on issues of divorce and parental rights. Includes essays on different issues. Searchable.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - has many resources in the field of constitutional law.

California Declaration of Rights - from Justia.

Constitutional Law Dictionary (Ref 342.73 C361) Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1985.

Constitution Annotated - From "legal analysis and interpretation of the United States Constitution, based primarily on Supreme Court case law."

Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation an ebook (2013).

A DVD History of the U.S. Constitution. (DVD S465) New York: Ambrose Video, 2005.

Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. (Ref 342.085 V711). Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2009.

FindLaw: Civil Rights - An annotated directory of Web links relating to civil rights.

Includes Encyclopedia of the American Constitution

Practical Companion to the Constitution: How the Supreme Court has Ruled on Issues from Abortion to Zoning  (Ref 342.73 L621a) Berkeley: University of California, 1999.

Wex - Scroll down to Civil Rights or Constitutional Law for an overview of the subject, plus links to supporting agencies and documents.

California Environmental and Natural Resources Law Handbook. (Ref 344.046 C128a) Rockville, MD: Government Institutes.

Environmental Law Handbook. (Ref 344.046 G746) Rockville, MD: Government Institutes.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) site provides text documents concerning rules, regulations and recent legislation on environmental topics.

Legislative Watch from National Resources Defense Council, has current news on environmental legislation. Also called the Bulletin on Environmental Legislation.

   Includes Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy and Environmental Encyclopedia

Copyright Law On Campus.  (Ref 346.0482 L645) Pullman, WA: Washington State University, 2003.

Copyright and Fair Use - Primary materials, current legislation, Web resources, and an overview of the law. Searchable. From Stanford University.

    Includes West's Encyclopedia of American Law and Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law


Copyright Clearance Center - A commercial site designed to help professionals get permission to use copyrighted items. Also has news, interviews, papers, and guidelines.

The Copyright Website is a comprehensive site for copyright information, focused on Web issues.

United States Copyright Act of 1976, and amended (1994) - Full text of the act from Cornell University.

Technology and Copyright Law: A Guidebook for the Library, Research, and Teaching Professions (Ref 346.0482 B476) New York: Neal-Schuman, 1997.


Patents and Trademarks

Index to Manual Classification of Patents is organized into an alphabetical keyword index.

Internet Patent News - "Legal resources and tools for surviving the patenting frenzy of the Internet, bioinformatics, and electronic commerce."

Trademark Law Materials from the Cornell University School of Law.

Trademark Protection: A Business Incorporation Research Guide - A list of links that help to define incorporation, offer other links on how to incorporate, and also general resources.  From

United States Lanham Act - (Trademark) is available from Cornell University.

United States Patent Act is available from Cornell University.

United States Patent and Trademark Office - provides U.S. patent bibliographic data, and full text database from 1976 to the present.


The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. (Ref 340.02 H261a) 18th ed. Cambridge: Harvard Law Review Association. To set up your own subscription, go to