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Library Resources: Business Law

Library resources for business law

Research Strategy

Legal resources can be organized into primary and secondary sources. Start your research by utilizing secondary sources. These sources will help you understand your topic, identify keywords, and lead you to relevant primary sources.

Secondary Sources

In legal research, secondary sources interpret, analyze, critique, or explain the law and include materials such as law reviews, legal encyclopedias and dictionaries, restatements, and treatises. Use secondary sources to:

  • Learn more about your topic
  • Identify keywords and terminology
  • Locate relevant statutes, regulations, and cases

Types of Secondary Sources

Use legal dictionaries and encyclopedias to learn basic information about your topic. These resources often include citations to important statutes, cases, and regulations.

Restatements are highly regarded secondary sources published by the American Law Institute. Restatements are used to help understand and interpret the common law in a practice area by organizing and synthesizing this information into a series of principles or rules. They include comments and examples and reference relevant case law.

State surveys review statutes and regulations on a topic at the federal and state level. They provide citations to the actual statutes and regulations for further review.

Law review articles are resources that provide useful analyses and critiques of the law and usually include extensive citations to primary and secondary sources. They are great resources for learning more about your research area, particularly recent developments.

Law Review Sources:

Use an advanced search in Nexis Uni to locate law review articles on your research topic.

Advanced Search

From the advanced search screen, select the legal tab. Next, select "Law Reviews and Journals".

The legal tab is selected.

Treatises are book-length, sometimes multi-volume publications that focus on a specific area of law. A treatise provides a more in-depth treatment of a subject than would be found in a legal dictionary or encyclopedia and includes citations to important case law, statutes, and regulations.

Use an advanced search in Nexis Uni to locate treatises on your research topic.

Advanced Search

From the advanced search screen, select the legal tab. Next, select "Law Reviews and Journals", then limit to "Law Reviews and Journals".

Advanced search legal tab. Law reviews and journals category is selected. The option to select treatises is highlighted.

From here, enter your keywords to run your search.

Alternatively, you can browse available publications by title from the "Treatises and Guides" source list in Nexis Uni.

Primary Sources

Primary legal sources include the actual law and are resources such as cases, statutes, and regulations.

Types of Primary Sources

Statutes are written laws enacted by the legislature, federal and state.


Finding Statutes

Use Nexis Uni to locate state and federal statutes. To locate a specific statute, search by citation, keywords, or popular name. Search by the exact citation if known. You can also located statutes by title or popular name. Enter your search terms without applying any limiters. From your search results, limit your results to "statutes and legislation".


Filter from "All Nexis Uni" to the "Statutes and Legislation" content

You can further limit by jurisdiction (state or federal).

Many laws are referred to by their popular names, e.g., "Lanham Act". The USCS Popular Names Table is a helpful resource for locating statutes by the common name. Try searching or browsing this publication to locate statutes by popular name.

Case Law refers to the reported decisions of a Court.

Locating Cases

Nexis Uni is a great resource for locating federal and state cases, and includes U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 1790. If you know the case citation, you can input the citation in the main search box in Nexis Uni.Case Citation "Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Elecs., Inc., 553 U.S. 617"

If you don't have a specific citation, use a guided search to input keywords, people, or subjects related to your topic.

Guided federal case search for trademarks, influencers.

Regulations are rules made by administrative agencies. They are created to implement or interpret statutes.

Locating Regulations

Search by the citation in Nexis Uni if known. You can also browse the Code of Federal Regulations table of contents. Cases and law review articles will reference important regulations and can be a good method to find regulations.


Use a citator to ascertain if a statute or case law is still valid. A citator is also helpful for expanding your research as it will locate resources, primary and secondary, which reference the shepardized document.

"The Shepard's Citations Service available in Nexis Uni provides a comprehensive report of the cases, statutes, secondary sources, and annotations that cite your authority, including more recent cases that rely on your starting case. When researching and citing cases, you often want to validate that the case is valid and citable. By Shepardizing a case, you can determine whether the case is still 'good law'" (Nexis Uni).

In Nexis Uni, from a document, select "Shepardize this document". You can also shepardize a document by searching shep: citation.

For example, shep: 637 F.3d 1344