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Law: A Guide to Penn State Resources

This guide is a starting point for faculty and students at Penn State University. Members of the Penn State Law or Dickinson Law School communities may have additional resources available.

Why start with secondary sources?

Using a good law review article, legal treatise, or legal encyclopedia can jump start your research.  These sources, written by legal experts, will provide an overview of the legal issues you are exploring and cite the most important statutes and court cases you need to explore.  

  • Encyclopedias  and Handbooks-- concise overviews of legal topics.  An encyclopedia range from basic explorations of the law that cite a few key cases to comprehensive in-depth explorations of the law with references to many cases and statutes.
  • Treatise -- book that explores an area of law or a legal topic in depth.
  • Law reviews/Scholarly Law Journals -- Academic journals that cover legal topics.  A particularly good place for current and emerging issues in law.

Encyclopedias, Handbooks and Dictionaries