Legal Reference Resources

This page provides links to authoritative Internet-accessible legal reference resources. In some instances, print resources available in the Pritzker Legal Research Center Reference Room will be more suitable than those listed here. Northwestern University School of Law students are especially encouraged to visit or call our Reference Desk (312-503-8450) with any legal reference questions. Users with questions that are not specifically law-related may also wish to visit our General Reference Resources page.

Note to our non-Law School visitors: Resources contained within Lexis and Westlaw require special passwords to use.

Dictionaries

Note: for dictionaries not limited to law topics, please see the dictionaries portion of our General Reference Resources page.

  • Black's Law Dictionary (7th edition) Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (BLACKS) is available for searching through Westlaw.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary (3rd edition) Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (BTINES) is available for searching through Lexis.
  • Dictionary of Law Must be used while on the NU campus . From Oxford University Press; includes over 4,000 entries covering the Internet, world trade, divorce law, local government, property law, and consumer and data protection; focus is on the United Kingdom.
  • FindLaw Legal Dictionary. A free Internet resource which draws its definitions from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law.
  • Modern Patent Law Precedent Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (MPATLAWP) is available for searching through Westlaw. It "provides a quick guide to over 2000 terms and concepts from patent law. Each term or concept is explained through references from case law and also may track historical developments or changes."
  • West's Tax Law Dictionary Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (DI-TAX-WT) is available for searching through Westlaw.

Directories

Note: for directories not limited to law topics, please see the directories portion of our General Reference Resources page.

  • Bar associations

    Note: for the web sites of selected individual bar associations, please see our listing of bar association web sites on our Legal Profession and Legal Education web sites page.

  • Courts and judges

    Note: for the web sites of selected judicial associations, please see our listing of web sites of courts and judges on our Legal Profession and Legal Education web sites page.

    • Court web sites. From the National Center for State Courts, this site provides links to state, federal, and international court web sites.
    • Federal Court Locator. From Villanova University School of Law. Provides links to the web sites of U.S. federal courts of appeal, district courts, and other federal courts.
    • Federal Judges Biographical Database. From the Federal Judicial Center, this database "contains the service record and biographical information for all judges who have served on the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Circuit Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court since 1789."
    • West Legal Directory - Judges Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WLD-JUDGE). Available for searching through Westlaw. Contains "court office profiles and profiles of individual full time judges from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia."
  • Law schools and law faculty

    Note: for the web sites of selected law school and law student associations, please see our listing of web sites from law schools, law faculty, and law students on our Legal Profession and Legal Education web sites page.

    • AALS Directory of Law Teachers Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WLD-AALS) is available for searching through Westlaw.
    • JURIST: Law Schools A-Z. An alphabetical listing of U.S. law schools. For each school, links are provided to the school's web site, its faculty, faculty publications, library, admissions office, curriculum, and school news.
    • Law Schools. From WashLaw Web. Another alphabetical listing of U.S. law schools; includes links to each school's web site, as well as address information for each school.
    • Martindale-Hubbell Law School Faculty Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (LAWFAC) is available for searching through Lexis. Contains "a listing of the professors within [each] law school and the courses which they teach."
  • Lawyers and law firms
    • Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community is available for searching through Lexis. Contains information on lawyers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and other regions.
    • West Legal Directory Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WLD) is available for searching through Westlaw. "[C]ontains over 1,000,000 profiles of law firms, branch offices, and biographical records of lawyers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, Canada, England, and Europe."
    • Martindale.com Lawyer Locator. Free Internet version of the Martindale-Hubbell product. Not as complete in coverage as the version available through Lexis.
    • FindLaw: Find a Lawyer. A free site which allows one to look for either law firms or individual lawyers using the West Legal Directory.
  • Other law-related directories

    Note: for the web sites of selected law and law-related associations, please see our listing of web sites from other organizations on our Legal Profession and Legal Education web sites page.

    • 50-State Legislative Directory Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (LEGIS-DIR) is available for searching through Westlaw. This resource "contains an up-to-date, comprehensive directory of the members and committees of every state legislature and Congress. Key executive branch officials for each state are also included."
    • Almanac of American Politics is available for searching through both Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (AMPOL) and Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (AAP). This resource "analyzes elected political figures in the House and Senate, governors, big city mayors and the presidency.... Biographical information for each political official includes voting records and rankings by liberal and conservative political interest groups."
    • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress 1774-Present. Comprehensive biographical sketches on past and present members of the U.S. Congress.
    • Law, Government, and Political Science Associations. From Internet Public Library. Provides links to the web sites of over 100 law, law enforcement, government, and political science associations.
    • Law Publishers: The AcqWeb Directory. Links to the web sites of hundreds of law and law-related publishers, both U.S. and international.
    • Who's Who in American Politics Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WHOPOL) is available for searching through Lexis. Contains "over 28,000 entries, provides information about political players across the nation."

Encyclopedias

Note: for encyclopedias not limited to law topics, please see the encyclopedias portion of our General Reference Resources page.

Legal Citation Resources

Note: for information on other citation styles, please see the citation and style guides section of our General Reference Resources page.

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