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Subject Guide to Print Secondary Legal Resources

A concise subject guide to the main print treatises and reference sources in the U.S.C. Law Library.

Additional Information

Description of the Guide

This Subject Guide to Print Secondary Legal Sources provides selected print titles in treatises, looseleaf services, and form books in the collection of the University of Southern California Law Library.  It is meant to meet several information needs: to serve as a ready reference tool for law students and library staff, and to give newcomers to the library a starting point for legal research.

For law students, the Guide presents a reasonably thorough but selected list of useful and current secondary sources in United States and international law.  It does not replace the use of ADVOCAT, the library’s online catalog, which is invaluable for extensive and retrospective research.  Neither is it meant to preclude consultation with Circulation or Reference Librarians, whose expertise and knowledge of the USC collection can be helpful to students and other serious researchers.

Other than California law, works concerning specific states are excluded.  Casebooks, texts and collections of articles or essays are generally excluded, as are periodicals and online sources.  General encyclopedias and most other reference works are also excluded.  However, selected titles of the popular legal press are included to meet the needs of lay patrons.

The Subject Guide is organized in dictionary format, alphabetically by subject headings.  If a book concerns more than one subject, its title may appear in more than one subject section. Entries are gathered within each subject section in one or more appropriate groups, such as:

  • Single volume treatises
  • Multivolume treatises
  • Looseleaf services
  • Legal forms

Books may be located by call numbers.  If an entry has a special location it is indicated; for example: OPEN RESERVE, CLOSED RESERVE, CALIFORNIA SECTION or READY REFERENCE. Ask for help at the Service Counter to locate these collections. Most treatises are located in the Library’s Open Reserve collection.  International materials are located on the third floor. 

Currentness and the state of the law are factors in title selection, and this Subject Guide is current as of January 31st, 2011.  The designation [current] within an entry means the work has been updated by a pocket part or separate supplement of latest date by its publisher.  Publications in looseleaf format designated as such.  Acronyms or abbreviations used in the bibliography are listed in a separate section.