I need to do some basic research in Law. Where do I start?


Search terms that can help you narrow down your results in HOLLIS, Academic Search Premier (Harvard login), and other multidisciplinary resources:

  • law
  • legislation
  • law and legislation
  • cases
  • "legal aspects”


The best place to start is our Law School Library.

The HLS Library’s online guide to Secondary Sources will help you get your bearings in legal topics. Secondary sources provide you relevant background information and analysis on legal topics along with key primary law (cases, statutes, and regulations) that you should be aware of.

You can also Ask a Law Librarian a question or request a research consultation.


Nexis Uni (Harvard login) -- Set up a search or browse for a publication on the main screen or use Get a Doc Assistance to find a known document, e.g. a case by party names. Legal materials include federal and state case law, statutes, and regulations, encyclopedias, and law review articles.

HeinOnline (Harvard login) – Useful for its extensive Law Journal Library, which contains full runs of over 2200 publications, HeinOnline also has U.S. Supreme Court cases, U.S. Congressional documents, U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register, world constitutions and treaties, state session laws, English Reports (1220-1867), Statutes of the Realm (1235-1713), legal classics, and more. All material in HeinOnline is in PDF scanned from the original works.



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Chat is intended for brief inquiries from the Harvard community.


Talk to a librarian for advice on defining your topic, developing your research strategy, and locating and using sources. Make an appointment now.

These services are intended primarily for Harvard University faculty, staff and students. If you are not affiliated with Harvard, please use these services only to request information about the Library and its collections.