Law

Online and print resources for the study of law.

Need Help?

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Jim Gillispie
Contact:
Librarian for Public Health, Economics, Government Information

jeg@jhu.edu
410-516-8435

Featured Reference

Black's Law Dictionary is  also available via the library subscription to Westlaw., under  the "Secondary Sources" category.

Introduction

This purpose of this guide is to assist you with locating legal statutes, regulations, cases and secondary materials (encyclopedias, law reviews, dictionaries, etc.).  Use the blue-tabbed navigation scheme to the left to navigate to the different portions of this guide.

The Library's law collection is extensive, focusing on U.S. and Maryland statutes, cases, and regulations. The collection includes access to over 500 electronic law reviews and legal periodicals. 

We collect legal encyclopedias and law related monographs or books. These books can be found in Catalyst, the electronic Johns Hopkins University library catalog.  Many of the well known legal sources are available electronically. Through this page we provide access to several internet based sources and databases.

Cases and Law Reviews

COURT OPINIONS/ACTUAL CASES: Use Nexis Uni or Westlaw.

Your search will be the most precise if you search for a particular case by citation - e.g. 517 U.S. 308. With the title of the case, or the party names, you will also get to your results quicker, but may see more than one result (original case, appeals, remanded decisions)  E.g. Roe V. Wade.

LAW REVIEWS: You have a few options:

Original Court Documents

PACER
PACER is the federal courts public access to their electronic records archive.   https://pacer.uscourts.gov/  
Availability of retrospective scanned documents in PACER varies from court to court.  PACER’s access, and “pay as you go” design is set up for individual accounts.  PACER does not offer library subscriptions that would permit us to offer access like we do for other databases.
 

Court Documents in Westlaw, Nexis Nui and Bloomberg Law
Some cases found in Westlaw, Nexis Uni, and Bloomberg Law include selected court docket items associated with that reported case.  Access to those documents varies depending on the database.  For example:  

  • In Westlaw selected court docket items will be listed via the “Citing References” Tab.  However, many items will appear with the notation “Out of Plan” banner.  Westlaw does not make these items available via our academic subscription. 
  • In Nexis Uni some court docket items will be available via the “Court Filings”  category.
  • In Bloomberg Law  some court docket ietms will be available via the "Court Dockets" cagegory 

     

In many cases, if you need a transcript or wish to view the original court documentation, you may need to contact the court in question (look for the Clerk of Court contact information).