FIRST STEP: Look for Law Review and Journal articles.
Be sure to look at:
- Google Scholar - Searches for both legal scholarly articles as well as articles from other disciplines, such as criminal justice, political science, psychology, sociology, etc. Finds articles on some databases the library pays to access, such as Jstor and Heinonline. Does not search Lexis or Westlaw materials.
- Lexis Law Reviews and Journals OR Westlaw Secondary Sources (and limit to law reviews). Possibly search both, as each has different search algorithms. Try an advanced search, using the TItle field if you get too many results. Once you find a good law review article- keycite or shepardize the article to find more articles on point!
- SSRN - Social Science Research Network. This database is free on the Internet. It contains published as well as PRE-PUBLICATION articles and UNPUBLISHED articles.
If you are doing HISTORICAL RESEARCH look at:
HeinOnline Law Journal Library This link opens in a new window
Available on campus and off campus with a UA Net ID. Contains older volumes of law reviews, whereas Lexis and Westlaw general go back to the 1980s for most journals. Has PDF copies of the journals, so may contain diagrams and pictures not found in journals on Lexis and Westlaw.
You might also want to search HeinOnline's Criminal Justice & Criminology Database, which contains articles, books, attorney general opinions and legislative history.
Indexes provide a different way of searching:
Another great FREE source that includes published, unpublished and prepublication scholarly legal articles:
Digital Commons - Criminal Law
Open access database of law review and journal articles specific to criminal law. In order of most recent. Includes pre-publication articles and drafts.