Having trouble accessing some databases? Try going through GALILEO first. Both LexisNexis Academic and HeinOnline are in GALILEO. Some are available only to the law school community so you will have to come into the law library.
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The LexisNexis Academic (LNA) service is a smaller set of the LexisNexis Research Service used by attorneys. It contains federal and state statutes, court opinions, and law review articles. LexisNexis Academic is available through GALILEO. You can login to GALILEO with your UGA MyID or with a password.
Our contract with LexisNexis prohibits us from issuing individual LexisNexis accounts to non-law students. Review the policy.
Federal statute or regulation - Do you have a citation to a statute or regulation? See Citations tab for more information
Federal court opinion - Do you have a citation to a court opinion or the names of the parties?
Shepardizing™ is a verb meaning to check the status of an opinion, statute, or regulation. As lawyers say, "Is it still good law?" The Shepard's Citations Service provides a comprehensive citation and treatment history for a wide variety of legal documents, unfortunately only court opinions are covered in LexisNexis Academic.
When you Shepardize® a court opinion, LNA provides a report showing every subsequent opinion where the initial opinion has been referenced and indicates how the case was treated by the later court.
Most importantly, is the case "good law." If the case has been overruled, generally it may no longer be cited as a legal precedent.
Shepard's can be very useful in expanding your research to find more recent opinions and law review articles.
Despite the importance of primary sources most legal researchers start their research project with secondary sources. Remember that secondary sources are resources that describe, discuss, or analyze the primary sources. The secondary sources help the researcher find the most relevant or appropriate primary authority, they aid in explaining or interpreting primary authorities. For example, treatises, law review articles, American Law Reports annotations, Restatements of the Law, and looseleaf services are types of secondary authority. Basically everything that is not primary is secondary.
Before accessing any database to start your research take a couple minutes to do two things.
2. Think about the question you are trying to answer. What do you need to know? You also need to think about various terms and phrases relevant to the subject. There are often many ways to express the same or similar ideas, for example:
Try to be as specific as possible. Legal dictionaries and legal encyclopedias are the best place to start.
Dictionary - A legal dictionary is a good place to start as the law is filled with complex terminology and unique definitions for common terms. LNA has two legal dictionaries, you can search individually or combined
Law Review/Journal Articles - Law review articles are particularly good for new topics and in-depth examination of narrow topics. Be sure to look at the cases and statutes cited in law review articles.
Have you identified a relevant statute? If so access an annotated code.
Annotated Code - An annotated code is a set of statutes supplemented with references to research resources. This includes notes of decisions, law review articles, form books, and administrative regulations.
Treatise - A treatise is a scholarly treatment of an area of law, it may be one or multiple volumes depending upon the broadness or narrowness of the topic. Treatises are very popular with attorneys and they will buy treatises relevant to their practice. Treatises published by LexisNexis are not part of the LNA subscription.