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Legal History: American Legal Education (BCLS)

Major Strategies for Finding Law Review and Other Journal Articles

1) Search the BC catalog

You can limit your results to Articles only or include books as well.

Pros: you can do a broad search across BC databases, including law databases and others like JSTOR. Advanced searching allows you to run simple keyword searches or to search specific fields, such as title, author, or subject. If an article is available online, the catalog record should provide a link. 

Cons: the searching is not as sophisticated as on Westlaw or Lexis.

 

2) Search full text law review & journals databases on Westlaw, Lexis, and HeinOnline

Pros: more powerful and flexible searching than the catalog; searches the full-text of the article, from title to text to footnotes, allowing for comprehensive searching of the articles within the databases. 

Cons: Can also lead to false hits and too many results (e.g., your search term appears once in the footnotes); Westlaw and Lexis only include articles from the late 1980s to present (though Hein usually has full coverage back to volume 1 of most journals). 

 

3) Search Indexes 

Indexes (see below) contain a brief description of an article including title, author, subject headings, and sometimes a brief abstract - not the full-text of the article. Indexes are helpful for narrowing and focusing your searches. 

Pros: Fewer but more targeted results because your term must be important enough to appear in the title, subject, or brief abstract. Therefore, you can be sure that a result which contains your search terms actually is relevant and doesn't simply discuss your terms in a peripheral manner. 

Cons: Searching is not as powerful and flexible; not all articles are included in indexes, so it should be part of a larger search strategy. 

Full Text Law Reviews

Indexes

Working Papers

Explore working papers and sources for prepublication articles to find current scholarship.