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An aid to finding law at OSU Libraries and online, this Guide covers both case law, and statutory and regulatory law
Last Updated: Mar 22, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Law has been defined as "All the official rules and codes that govern citizens’ actions, including the Constitution, statutory laws enacted by the Legislature, case laws established by court decisions, and administrative law as set forth by executive branch agencies." (, 9/3/08)

This Guide covers all three types of law: Case law on its own tab, and Statutory and Administrative law on the Bills, Laws, Rules tab.


Lexis Nexis: Search Legal Cases

Case law (state and federal) can be searched in LexisNexis Academic. (OSU status required for access)

LexisNexis® Academic

Search Legal Cases on LexisNexis Academic

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Online Legal Reference in LexisNexis Academic

LexisNexis Academic: US Legal Reference gives you the option of searching all of these legal references with one search, or, by choosing Advanced Options, you may pick only the individual source you want. Sources here include:

  • American Jurisprudence 2d
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary
  • Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations
  • Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession

    Indexes & Finding Tools for Law

    Much of the information contained in these references is included in the LexisNexis Academic database; however, if you need an official citation from a reporter, or further information, The Valley Library has the following books in our collection.

    Oregon Digest 2d - West Pub. Co.
    Call Number: KFO2457 .O71
    Publication Date: 1994-
    Covers State and Federal cases decided since 1843. It replaces the original [New] Oregon Digest. Digests contain short case notes arranged alphabetically by legal subject and indexed by keywords. Also includes table of cases volume to locate citations by case name. Cover title: West's Oregon digest 2d.

    Shepard's United States Supreme Court case names citator
    Call Number: KF101.2 .S51
    Publication Date: 1987/1991-
    A compilation of case names and citations of United States Supreme Court cases decided from 1900 to the present. Kept up-to-date by cumulative supplements which are replaced by bound volumes.

    Shepard's Pacific Reporter Citations
    Call Number: KF135 .P22 S53
    Publication Date: 1908-2011
    A compilation of citations to all cases reported in the Pacific reporter. Cancelled after 2010; please check LexisNexis Academic database

    Corpus Juris Secundum: a complete restatement of the entire American law as developed by all reported cases
    Call Number: KF154 .C56 1936
    Publication Date: 1936-2007
    Arranged by subject, in alphabetical order, CJS states a general principle of law, followed by exhaustive case references in footnotes. Use the general index if the subject you are looking for does not appear in the main volumes or if the subject is too broad to be easily covered. [Includes General Index, Table of Laws and Rules, and Table of Cases. Cancelled in 2007.]

    The bluebook : a uniform system of citation - Harvard Law Review
    Call Number: Valley Reference Desk KF245 .B58
    Publication Date: 2010
    Guide to legal citations and abbreviations. Compiled by the editors of the Columbia law review, the Harvard law review, the University of Pennsylvania law review, and the Yale law journal.


    Major Legal Reference Works

    Cover Art
    The Oxford Companion to American Law - Kermit L. Hall (Editor); Joel B. Grossman (Editor); James W. Ely (Editor); N. E. H. Hull (Editor); David S. Clark (Editor)
    Call Number: KF154 .O96 2002
    ISBN: 0195088786
    Publication Date: 2002-05-02
    Library has both print & electronic versions.
    This Companion offers a one-volume, alphabetically arranged, encyclopedia introducing the main lines of American law, from the institutions, people, events, and cases to the doctrines and concepts. Itcomprises of approximately 500 entries, each written by an expert in the field.

    Cover Art
    The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States - Kermit L. Hall (Editor); James W. Ely; Joel B. Grossman
    Call Number: KF8742.A35 O93 2005
    ISBN: 9780195176612
    Publication Date: 2005-05-19
    Library has both print & online versions.
    In The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, readers have a rich source of information about one of the central institutions of American life. Everything one would want to know about the Supreme Court is here, in more than a thousand alphabetically arranged entries. There are biographies of every justice who ever sat on the Supreme Court, entries on rejected nominees and prominent judges, on presidents who had an important impact on or conflict with the Court, and on other influential figures. More than four hundred entries examine every major case that the court has decided. In addition, there are extended essays on the major issues that have confronted the Court

    Cover Art
    The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions - Kermit L. Hall (Editor)
    Call Number: KF4548 .O97 1999
    ISBN: 0195118839
    Publication Date: 1999-04-08
    Library has both print & online.
    The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions offers lively and insightful accounts of over four hundred of the most important cases ever argued before the Court. Here are the landmark decisions that have shaped American life, described by some of our most eminent legal scholars. Arranged alphabetically, each entry provides the United States Reports citation, the date the case was argued and decided, the vote of the Justices, who wrote the opinion for the Court, who concurred, and who dissented. More importantly, the entries feature an informative account of the particulars of the case, the legal and social background, the reasoning behind the Court's decision, and the case's impact on American society.

    Cover Art
    Black's Law Dictionary - Bryan A. Garner (Editor)
    Call Number: KF156 .B53 2004
    ISBN: 0314152342
    Publication Date: 2004-06-01
    Arguably the most valuable reference tool available to the legal community, Black's Law Dictionary, Eighth Edition (Deluxe) provides more than 43,000 clear, concise, and precise definitions, 1,000 law-related abbreviations and acronyms, and nearly 3,000 quotations drawn from sources over the last five centuries.

    Cover Art
    Legal Systems of the World - Herbert M. Kritzer (Editor)
    Call Number: K48 .L44 2002
    ISBN: 1576072312
    Publication Date: 2002-06-20
    Legal Systems of the World is the only comprehensive reference work that covers the legal systems of every nation on earth, every state in the Union, and every province of Canada.

    Contact Information

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    Valery King
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    The Valley Library
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    UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW DISCLAIMER: It is against Oregon state law for library staff to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law (ORS 9.160, 9.166 and 9.21). They may not interpret statutes, cases, or regulations, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights. They may, however, assist patrons in locating materials or links that would aid in individual research.

         The Oregon Bar Association has a lawyer referral service. They can help you locate an attorney who specializes in your legal issue. Their phone number is (503) 684-3763.


    Law Libraries

    OSU does not have a law library, and even though there are legal materials in the OSU Valley Library your research may require you to access more in-depth and specialized legal resources than we have here (including access to a law librarian). Here are some nearby options:

    Public Library of Law ( Developed by Fastcase Inc., this is the world's largest database of free law resources online. Covering both federal and state law, it contains Case Law, Statutes, Regulations, Court Rules, Constitutions, and legal forms.


    Legal Aid Resources

    While library staff are prohibited from giving legal advice, there are several services where people can go for help. Here are some of those services:


    Where can I get more help?

    Contact the OSU Libraries Information Desk


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