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Legal Treatises by Topic (Public)

This guide organizes seminal treatises in major legal subject areas.

How to Use This Guide

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST!  There is a lot of information here, but it will help you make the best use of this guide!

The purpose of this guide is to list the major treatises for specific topics available in our collection or through electronic holdings to help you with your legal research. This guide includes the seminal treatises, Hornbooks, Nutshells, Understanding Series titles, Restatements, as well as any other monographs we feel provide an overview of a topic. Here are some specific things you should know about how to use this guide:

  • Most importantly:  The most authoritative or seminal publications will be identified with a star ()Not all subjects will have a seminal publication.
  • Fifty-state surveys are also included when available. See also our research guide on conducting 50-state survey research.
  • Federal topics are covered at a lesser depth than state topics.
  • Restatements and Principles of the Law are almost always available on both Westlaw and HeinOnline. Which do you choose?
    • Choose Westlaw for full-text searching.
    • Choose HeinOnline if you like the experience of browsing the print book.
    • Both Westlaw and HeinOnline offer access to the earlier drafts of Restatements. These earlier drafts are sometimes helpful in determining "legislative history" for Restatement sections. 
    • See also our How to Research in the Restatements Guide for more information.
  • Nutshells, Hornbooks, and Understanding Series titles are included to get up to speed quickly on a topic. Those that are part of our West Study Aids online collection can be accessed from this guide when you are using the computers in the Law Library or over WiFi from your own computer that you bring into the library.
  • “Other Resources” include related monographs on the subject, but you should not consider what is listed as exhaustive of what is available at the Law Library.
  • For actual books, as opposed to items only available online, the first link you see is to the book's library catalog record. We include this so that you can see more information about the book beyond its title.
    • Sometimes, the catalog record for the book includes the book's table of contents.
    • Also, viewing the book's catalog record also allows you to make use of the Browse Shelf feature. This feature lets you see where this book would be "on the shelf" in the library as well as the titles that surround it. Virtual browsing, if you will. You can find other titles that did not make it into this guide, but which might be more on point for your specific research needs.
  • Some titles may look old based on the stated publication date. However, this should not deter you from consulting them. Many of these "old" treatises are continually updated through supplements, but the date is associated with that edition's original publication date. It has nothing to do with how current its contents are. If we included it in this guide, you may presume it is kept current (unless indicated otherwise).
    • Some titles are relatively old, but they are included because there is not a newer title available on that subject. Luckily, these tend to fall in the "Other Resources" section of the guide.
  • For titles in the Lexis Digital Library, you need to select "Public Access" before moving forward. Then you can log in with your user name and password that you've set up for this service. 
  • The "in building use only" designation for certain electronic resources means you must be in the building to access the resource. This is true for Westlaw, PLI Plus, Cheetah, West Study Aids, and HeinOnline, even if such a designation is missing from the description. We are not permitted to offer access to these databases outside of the building.

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