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Secondary Sources

Treatises and Study Aids

Picture of Criminal Law Treatise

Treatises and Practice Materials

Legal Treatises, hornbooks, study aids, and other books provide a more in-depth discussion on a particular topic of law and will contain footnotes and research references to primary materials. Treatises can be a great resource for areas of the law you may be unfamiliar with. They can offer an in-depth look on a number of topics with references to cases, statutes, the history of the subject, as well as common terms. Similarly, study aids can offer understandable explanations on difficult subjects and are a great resource to start with if you do not know where to go.

When using material from a treatise or study aid, be sure to check that the material has not been amended or superseded by other law.  You must Shepardize, KeyCite, or Bcite cited cases, and check to make sure any statutes are still good law.  Because of publication times, currentness can be a problem with books.

Legal Treatises are comprehensive by nature and are used by the practicing attorney and students alike.  Many treatises contain practice materials. Some examples often used by law students are Hornbooks and the Nutshell series.

These can be found both as ebooks and physical books and can be located in our catalog.

How to Find Treatises and Other Practice Materials

There are many other catalogs for you to look at, which may have books that the Gould Law Library does not own.  Click here for links to other catalogs like OCLC or WorldCat. 

Westlaw:  From the Home page, under Content Types, click on "Secondary Sources" and then "Texts and Treatises.” You can search via keyword or you can filter by publication series, topic, or jurisdiction.

Lexis:  From the home page, Open the Explore tab, choose "Content" from the menu.  Under “Secondary Materials" choose “Treatises & Guides.”  You can further narrow your results by federal, state, or practice area, or use the search box to look for your topic.

Bloomberg Law:  From the homepage, click "Secondary Sources" underneath the searchbar then click "Browse Books and Treatises." From here you can browse by subject or practice area. You can also do a search of the material. From the homepage, under "Popular Links" click on "Books & Treatises." From here you can search by keyword and source. 

ProQuest Ebook Central:  From the Touro Law Library Database page, click on "E" and select Ebook Central. This database contains e-books on subjects including business and economics, technology, education, history, politics, humanities literature, law, international relations, public policy and many others. To look at law books specifically, click browse subjects under the search bar then select “law.”

Ebsco eBook Collection:  From the Touro Law Library Database page, click on "E" and scroll down to "Ebsco eBook Collection".  This contains thousands of full-text e-books on various academic topics. To look at law books specifically, click “ebooks” at the top of the page, then choose law from the left hand column.

Remember these important tips when using treatises:

  • A good way to know if a treatise is right for you is to start by looking in Table of Contents and the Index. This will tell you if it covers the subject you are looking for.
  • Always look for References and Footnotes. These can lead you to additional sources that may be useful to you.
  • Ask how current is this?  This is true if you are using print or online materials. Treatises and other materials take a long time to publish so they may have short lives.
  • Check when the last time the treatise you were using was updated.  Just because it is in a database, does not mean that the cases or statutes cited are still good law.
  • Always Shepardize and Key Cite any cases, statutes and regulations to be sure they have not been superseded.