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1L Resources: Law Library

This Guide Provides Tips and Resources to Aid First Year Law Students.

Legal Resources

Annotated Statutes: Contains the text of the law, as well as different types of references such as summaries of cases or secondary sources discussing a statute.

Case Reporters: Contain published court opinions.

Reporters for Federal Court decisions:

    • Supreme Court Reporter
    • Federal Reporter
    • Federal Supplement

Specialized reporters:

    • Federal Rules Decisions
    • Federal Appendix 

Reporters for State Court decisions:

    • Atlantic Reporter
    • North Eastern Reporter
    • South Eastern Reporter
    • Southern Reporter 
    • South Western Reporter
    • North Western Reporter
    • Pacific Reporter

color-coded map of Regional Reporters' coverage.

Digests: A collection of case summaries organized by subject. The Digest System is made up of more than 400 subject categories called topics. Each topic is listed alphabetically and may be further divided into smaller categories. Each subdivision within a topic is assigned a number called a “key number”. Under each key number is found a collection of case summaries on point. 

Legal Encyclopedias: Provide a general overview on a variety of legal topics. Examples include American Jurisprudence (Am. Jur.) and Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.).

Treatises: Sources of extensive research on a specific area of law. Treatises often trace often trace the history and development of an area of law and explain the relationship of the treatise’s subject to other areas of law. 

Legal Periodicals: Many law schools publish periodicals known as law reviews or journals that collect articles on a wide range of topics. Other types of legal periodicals also exist such as commercially published journals, legal newspapers, and magazines. Articles are usually narrowly focused on specific issues. They usually contain many citations primary and secondary authority. Articles may also address undeveloped areas of law and propose solutions.

Weight of authority of an article will depend upon:

    •  Author’s expertise
    • Reputation of the journal
    • Article’s age
    • Depth of article’s research and analysis

American Law Reports (A.L.R.): Contain articles called annotations. Annotations are summaries of cases from a variety of jurisdictions to provide an overview of the law on a topic.

Restatements:  Essentially restate the common law rules on a subject. Restatements exist for a limited number of fields and generally state the rules for the majority of United States Jurisdictions.  

Uniform Laws and Model Acts: Set out proposed rules with commentary, research notes, and summaries of cases interpreting rules.




Locating Library Materials

Use the library catalog to locate books, journal titles, videos, DVDs, maps and other materials owned by the Law Library.

1. You may access the LSU Law Library Catalog on the LSU Law Library homepage.

2.  Search by Keyword, if you are unsure of the title or subject heading of a work. Be sure to use correct spelling.

         a. Keyword will look for the words you enter anywhere in the catalog record.

b. Connect words and phrases by using the Boolean operators AND and OR. This is especially true if you are entering different types of fields, such as author AND title or more than one author name.

Ex. wright and miller and procedure

Ex. civil law treatise and obligations

c. Click on the Keywords Anywhere button to run your query, unless you are searching only author names, etc.

3.  Search by Title if you know the exact title of the work you are seeking.

a. Enter title of the work, omitting the leading articles (a, an, the). You should include any subtitle that appear in the title.

Ex. criminal procedures : cases

b. Select "title" button to perform a keyword title search. If the results are too numerous, revise your search to a "Browse alphabetically."

4.  Search by Author if you are searching for works by a particular author.

a. Authors may be an individual, several individuals, an institution, a corporation, or a jurisdiction.

b. Enter the name of the author - last name first, then intial or first name. Punctuation is not necessary except for hyphens.

c. Select "Browse Alphabetically" and click on the Author button.

5.  Search by Subject Heading if you know the assigned Library of Congress Subject Heading (LC).

a. If you do not know the proper subject heading, perform a keyword search; you can then view the detail record for the correct subject heading.

b. It is not necessary to include punctuation, except for hyphens (not dashes).

6.  If the catalog finds results matching your search they will display either in a record list (with title, author, edition) or as a full record.

a. Click on view items to find out if the book is available. Note the location and call number of the work. Click on "Call Number Guide" on the right side bar for the location of general collection materials.


Group Study Rooms

Study Rooms may be reserved online using your LSU Law Center ID and password. You may view a tutorial on reserving group study rooms here.

Regulations regarding group study room use:

  • LSU Law students may reserve a room up to 24 hours in advance using the on-line reservation system.
  • Southern Law students may reserve a room with the circulation desk worker via the on-line reservation system.
  • Law students must present a current student ID to check out a study room key and must return the key at the end of the period for which they have reserved the room.  
  • You must have at least 2 people in your study group and both persons must all be present at the time of checking out the room.
  • Study groups may not block off multiple sessions for the group (i.e. one person in the group check out a room for 3 hours, then someone else in the group check it out for 3 hours)
  • You must put your name and the names of the members of your study group on the reservation or the reservation will be deleted.
  • Reservations not claimed within 15 minutes of the starting time will be deleted.  

Interlibrary Loan

The library can request other libraries to send us material not available in our library. The response time from other libraries varies greatly depending upon the nature of the material requested and the libraries which hold the item. It is advisable to place an order for this material as soon as the need for the material is known.

LSU Law Library now has a new interlibrary loan patron interface system called ILLiad. LSU Law faculty, staff, and students may now place, track, cancel, and update their interlibrary loan requests through their free ILLiad account.

If you are a first time LSU-Law ILLiad User, you will need to create a username and password before submitting your requests.

First time users click here

If you have already created an ILLiad account, you may submit requests here:

Current users click here

If you have any questions about ILLiad, feel free to contact Melanie Sims at


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