Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources / Dictionaries:  A legal dictionary is a work that connects the reader with the specialized vocabulary of the law by taking the reader from lay persons’ language to the language of cited legal decisions, cited statutes, and cited regulations. A legal dictionary may sometimes cite to the language of legal scholars.

  • BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY   the seminal legal reference book. Electronic version of the 8th edition. (Hardcopy of the 4th pocket edition has the call number KF156 .B533 2011, and it is located in our Reference Room on the 3rd floor of the library.)
  • WORDS AND PHRASES - an exhaustive presentation of judges’ definitions and constructions taken from legal opinions, with full citations to the opinions.

Secondary Sources /Treatises:  A treatise is a law publication that provides overview of the doctrine underlying a law topic.  It draws from basic statutes, court opinions, and regulations (as appropriate), and puts them into context.  Its author may be a highly regarded academic.  A treatise may be a single-volume or multi-volume work.

Quick overview:  A Nutshell is a paperback law book that provides succinct overview and solid introduction to one area of the law. It is usually clearly written and includes accurate citations, but it is seldom cited as authoritative. (Nutshells can also be useful as study aids)

An introduction to (and overview of) basic corporations concepts. Covers formation; financing; authority and agency; closely held and publicly-held corporations, and related matters. Contains a glossary.

Provides context for basic business concepts, including the structure of a business; growing a business; running it; and ending it.

.Comprehensive overview:

Focused overview (National in Scope):

Focused overview (Delaware or New York only):

            WESTLAW NEXT link provided here.

            Also available on LEXIS ADVANCE

Secondary Sources/Looseleafs: looseleaf is a law publication on a selected law topic which, in hardcover, appears in binder form: its pages update repeatedly and regularly. A loose-leaf’s pages may be newsletters that accumulate, or its pages may interfile individually in a complex subject arrangement. A loose-leaf provides access to a variety of practical materials on its selected topic, which is often a highly regulated area of the law.

Some loose-leafs now appear online, where they may update as frequently as daily.

  • CORPORATION Since 1930-.


    Hardcopy: KF1410.P7.  5th floor.
  • Corporate Practice Series Covers antitrust law; business structures; labor and employment; corporate and securities law; intellectual property; and environment. Includes “Corporate Counsel Weekly”; “Corporate Governance Reports” (monthly); and “Corporate Accountability Report” (weekly).

    Hardcopy: KF1497. C55. 5th floor.

Secondary Sources/ Articles in Academic and Non-Academic Law Journals:

Law journal articles usually contain summarized doctrine, but also cite to primary and secondary sources, from which researchers can deepen and broaden their understanding of the area of the law covered in the article. Law review articles are useful to researchers who seek fundamental primary details, as well as overview of doctrine in an area of the law.

A useful article on the Law of Corporations could appear in most academic law journals, including the leading journals.  Articles in academic law journals not only summarize doctrine and offer detailed citations to primary and secondary sources, they also tend to feature coverage of recent changes in an area of the law or they propose new changes.

A number of specialized non-academic law journals routinely produce articles on topics related to U.S. corporate law. Among these are, for example, The American Business Law Journal (published since 1963 by the American Business Law Association, an association of scholars and teachers positioned outside the traditional law school); The Business Lawyer, (produced by the Section on Business Law of the American Bar Association).

A growing number of specialized academic law journals dedicate their efforts to U.S. corporate law. Among these are The Journal of Corporation Law and The Columbia Business Law Review and The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law.

Online indexes to law review articles serve to identify articles pertinent to the researcher’s work and even provide access to full text of the articles.

Law Articles in Indexes:

  • Index to Legal Periodicals & Retrospective (1918-present) This online index covers more than 800 English-language periodicals and law journals. It provides for keyword, subject, and author-searching.
  • Legaltrac This online index begins its coverage in 1980. It provides for keyword and author searching, and, as special features, uses refined Library of Congress subject headings and numerous cross-references. It indexes in excess of 800 English-language law periodicals
  • Heinonline This database contains full-text, image-based (PDF) content of more than 1000 English-language law periodicals, as part of a much larger online collection that includes statutes, cases, legislative history, and treaties. Coverage of journals usually starts with the first volume and then extends to the near-present. Limited search options include Author/ Title and Full Text Word and Phrase.
  • JSTOR This database contains image-based (PDF) full-text from more than 600 scholarly journals, including several dozen law journals. Coverage starts with volume one, but stops five to seven years prior to current. It includes a few pertinent economics and law-theory journals not available on Heinonline. Search-options include author, title, exact phrase, and combined terms.