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Legal Studies Program LibGuide

This guide collects information, websites, and library resources for completing assignments and preparing for a career as a paralegal.


Ask-a-Librarian button

Reach out to a librarian if you have any questions about finding information in the library databases. Use the Ask-a-Librarian button at the left, or check beneath my profile pic below to see if I'm online for a Chat or feel free to reach out to me via email as well! I'm happy to help!

Research Tips

decorative image computer search

  1. Understand your assignment and what is required of you to successfully complete it.
  2. Begin your research with secondary sources: encyclopedias, law reviews, treatises, restatements. These background sources provide an overview of a topic, as well as explain, interpret and/or analyze aspects and issues of the law. They often have citations to primary sources.
  3. Read the material. Read it again. Underline or highlight key facts.
  4. Take notes! Create a list of facts: identify your jurisdiction, field and type of law, etc. Underline legal research terms. Note-taking now, reduces stress later.
  5. Double-check that your primary sources (legislative and case law - treaties, decisions of courts and tribunals, statutes, regulations) are still solid law. Shepardize or KeyCite!

How to Use Western Library Databases

Nexis Uni

NexisUni offers full-text articles related to business, law, government, and medical topics drawing from newspapers, journals, magazines, wire services, as well as primary and secondary legal materials.

Watch this short video to learn how to search for Law Cases using the database, Nexis Uni. Jot down some of the tips and tricks as you watch, then try it yourself!

You can link directly to Nexis Uni, below. Reminder - when you click on the Nexis Uni link you will be prompted to login in with your Western ID.

Nexis Uni includes:

  • State codes
  • State case law
  • Code of Federal Regulation (CFR)
  • Federal case law
  • United States Code Annotated (USCA)
  • American Jurisprudence 2d
  • Shepard's Citations
  • United States Treaties in Force
  • European Union and other countries - Case law and other legal information available.
  • World Trade Organization (WTO) decisions


Nexis uni contents

Learn more about Nexis Uni at the Western Library Databases - Paralegal Research page of this LibGuide.

Shepard's Reports or "Shepardizing" using Nexis Uni

You learned that it's important to double-check that your primary sources (legislative and case law - treaties, decisions of courts and tribunals, statutes, regulations) are still solid law. To do this you can use Nexis Uni to create a Shepard's Report for statutes and regulations. Nexis Uni uses Shepard's Signal Indicators to provide context about point of law on the Shepardize this document located to the right of the document.

Screenshot NexisUni - Shepardize this document

To learn more about Shepard's Reports or "Shepardizing"  link to the LibGuide below. (Created by the librarians at Northcentral University Library.)

Credo Reference - Background Information

Although databases may look different, they all have the same basic structure, filters, and tools - search boxes, filters to eliminate articles that aren't relevant, email or share tools, and  of course, cite tools. Be on the look out for them!

Credo Reference is an excellent database to find background information on topics and issues.

credo reference search box

article Richards v Wisconsin

You can link directly to Credo Reference, below. Reminder - you will be prompted to login in with your Western ID.

Search Credo Reference by Topic

Is there a new term or concept that you are confused by or just kind of hazy on? Using Credo Reference is a great way to get clarification about new terms and concepts you come across in your course reading or other research. Do a basic search of terms or concepts to find definitions and short articles that explain what they mean.

  • immigration law
  • employment law
  • family law
  • probate; estate law
  • trusts' wills and trusts
  • rights; human rights
  • death penalty; capital punishment
  • Juris doctor; lawyer
  • Bar association

When you see TOO MANY RESULTS use the filters to narrow your search.

credo Reference Filters

pillars icon


Legal Books in Credo Reference (linked below:

eBooks at Western Library

From Western Library's Website, Click the red box Find Books (Catalog).

ibrary catalog screenshot

Search Terms: law OR legal. Filter: Check the box next to eBooks.  Click the link in the title box.library catalog search box, results list, filters

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