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Washington and Lee University

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Reference Resources: Law

Recommended Resources

Encyclopedia Of The American Constitution

This six-volume set is the second edition (2000) of the pre-eminent encyclopedia on all aspects of constitutional law. You can see a PDF copy of the table of contents here.
Funding was made possible by a gift in memory of Lewis P. Nelson III, Class of 1961.
The library also has a printed copy of the multi-volume set in its collection.
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Gale Encyclopedia Of American Law

This third edition (2010) consists of 14 volumes and includes nearly 5,000 alphabetically-arranged entries on "persons, entities, and events that have shaped the U.S. legal system and influenced public perceptions of it."
Annual updates are available in the American Law Yearbook.
The library also has this encyclopedia's 2004 predecessor, West's Encyclopedia of American Law.
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101 Law Forms For Personal Use

This 2007 volume (6th edition) contains forms for bills of sale, wills, power of attorney, renting, various contracts, etc.
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21st Century Criminology: A Reference Handbook

2009 volume provides signed "overviews of 100 key topics comprising traditional criminology and its modern outgrowths... to the sociological origins of criminology (i.e., theory and research methods) and the justice systems’ response to crime and related social problems, as well as coverage of major crime types." You may preview the table of contents via Google Preview.
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American Law Yearbook

Subtitled A Guide to the Year's Major Legal Cases and Developments. Above is a link to the most recent edition (2013; published 2014) of this update to the Gale Encyclopedia of American Law and its predecessor, West's Encyclopedia of American Law.
The Yearbook updates earlier coverage and introduces emerging issues.
We also have these previous editions: 2012 * 2011 * 2010 * 2009 * 2008 * 2007 * 2006 * 2005
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Annotated U.S. Constitution And Declaration Of Independence

2009 volume contains the texts of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution (including amendments), with section-by-section commentary by noted historian Jack Rakove. Also includes a chronology and introduction by the author.
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Annual Review Of Law And Social Science

Annual overview/synthesis of important topics in "theory and research on law." Publication began with the December 2005 issue and all materials should be available in full-text form. Additional Annual Review series are accessible here.
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Ballentine's Law Dictionary

Third edition (1969) contains over 40,000 definitions of legal term "based on the actual construction of those terms by courts of last resort, with each case cited to the page on which the definition appears."
The library also has a printed copy.
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Basic Virginia Law For Non-Lawyers

This 2007 resource "is for those people who would like to know more about some of the laws that affect everyday life in the Commonwealth... deals with driver’s licenses, motor vehicle registration, landlord-tenant law, state taxation, in-state tuition, consumer laws, family life issues—and many other topics of interest to Commonwealth citizens and visitors."
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Briefing On Media Law

This section of the AP Stylebook contains chapters on privacy, defamation, and other aspects of journalism ethics.
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Companion To The United States Constitution And Its Amendments

The fifth edition (2010) of this guide is an excellent overview of each article of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and subsequent amendments. You may preview the table of contents on the bottom half of this page.
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Comprehensive Guide To Special Education Law

Subtitled Over 400 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Every Educator Needs to Know about the Legal Rights of Exceptional Children and their Parents, this 2012 volume is a "detailed yet accessible introduction to federal law as it applies to the rights of children with special needs." You may preview the contents.
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Constitution Finder

Current and past constitutions, charters, amendments, and other related documents for nations around the world.
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Constitution Of The United States Of America -- Analysis And Interpretation

Also known as the Annotated Constitution, this valuable resource is an ongoing overview and analysis of judicial interpretations of each article of the U.S. Constitution and each amendment, as well as other materials, with supporting legal references.
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Constitutions Of The World

Third edition (2007) surveys about 100 nations, summarizing constitutional history and salient points of the latest form of the document. However, to see the actual complete texts of constitutional documents, check the University of Richmond's Constitution Finder.
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Corrections

2011 volume contains 20 signed essays which offer "arguments for and against the practice of the laws and policies that comprise corrections, from parole and probation to imprisonment, to the application of the death penalty." You may preview the contents.
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Court Web Sites

Excellent collection of links "provides judicial branch links for each state, focusing on the administrative office of the courts, the court of last resort, any intermediate appellate courts, and each trial court level."
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Courts, Law, And Justice

2011 volume contains chapters on 20 sharply-contested criminal justice topics, such as DUI penalties, three-strikes laws, sentencing disparities, and sex offender registries. Each chapter outlines history of the issue, relevant legislation, pro-and-con arguments, and more.
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Creative Artist's Legal Guide

2012 guide answers such questions as: "How do I copyright my screenplay? How can I clear rights for my film project? What can I do to avoid legal trouble when I produce my mockumentary? How do I ascertain whether a vintage novel is in the public domain? Is the trademark I've invented for my production company available? What about copyright and trademark rights overseas? If I upload my film to YouTube, do I give up any rights?" You may preview the contents.
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Crime And Criminal Behavior

2011 volume contains original signed essays examining historical contexts and policy issues relating to 20 such "hotly debated topics as age of consent, euthanasia and assisted suicide, gambling, guns, internet pornography, marijuana and other drug laws," etc. You may preview the contents.
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Crimes And Trials Of The Century

Two-volume set (2007) contains chronologically-arranged accounts of about 35 trials of the past century, beginning with the Black Sox scandal (1919) and continuing to the 21st-century Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal.
The above link takes you to Volume 1, with coverage through the 1971 Attica uprising, while Volume 2 spans the past 35 years.
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Digest Of Motor Laws

Fairly up-to-date database of U.S. state driving-related laws concerning alcohol, speed limits, etc.
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Encyclopedia Of Education Law

2008 two-volume set is "intended to be a comprehensive source on education law... The primary focus is on developments since Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. At the same time, because education law is a component in a much larger legal system, the encyclopedia includes entries on the historical development of the laws that impact education." Alphabetically-arranged signed entries cover court cases, controversial issues, individuals, concepts, etc. You may preview the contents.
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Encyclopedia Of Human Rights

Five-volume set (2009) contains over 300 signed, alphabetically-arranged entries, providing "situation profiles and full coverage of the development of the movement, historical cases of abuse, the key figures, major organizations, and a range of other issues in economics, government, religion, and journalism that touch on human rights theory and practice."
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Encyclopedia Of Law Enforcement

The three volumes of this 2004 set are divided into "State and Local," "Federal," and "International" law enforcment, with a total of over 400 signed essays on legislation and legal issues, police conduct and procedures, terrorism, victims, and more, You can see a list of entries for each volume here.
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Encyclopedia Of Law And Society: American And Global Perspectives

Three-volume set (2007) offers over 700 signed entries presenting international interdisciplinary perspectives on law, in the contexts of sociology, criminology, cultural anthropology, political science, social psychology, and economics. You may view a copy of the table of contents via Google.
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Encyclopedia Of United States Indian Policy And Law

Published as a two-volume set in 2008, this resources contains signed entries by about 200 scholars and experts on "statutes, rules, regulations, tribal laws, treaties, and agency and judicial decisions that make up Indian law and federal Indian relations," as well as key individuals, concepts such as sovereignty and assimilation, military policy and wars, and the impact of U.S. policies on Native culture and society.
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Encyclopedia Of The American Constitution

This six-volume set is the second edition (2000) of the pre-eminent encyclopedia on all aspects of constitutional law. You can see a PDF copy of the table of contents here.
Funding was made possible by a gift in memory of Lewis P. Nelson III, Class of 1961.
The library also has a printed copy of the multi-volume set in its collection.
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Encyclopedia Of The First Amendment

Published as a two-volume set in 2008, this resource contains entries up to 1,500 words in length on the First Amendment's freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition in American history, politics, law, and culture.
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Encyclopedia Of The Supreme Court Of The United States

Five-volume set (2008) contains about 1,100 signed articles "on the substance of American law, the processes that produce its legal principles, and the history of the Supreme Court, from its creation to the present," covering "concepts, cases, topics, personalities, institutions, events, and processes." You may view a copy of the table of contents.
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Essential Supreme Court Decisions

Fifteenth edition (2010) covers about 400 cases. "Each summary gives the question at issue, the decision and the reason behind it, votes of the justices, pertinent corollary cases, and notes offering further information on the subject." You may preview the table of contents.
The library also has online access to the 14th edition (2004), which has a slightly different title.
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Famous American Crimes And Trials

Five-volume set (2004) contains over 50 chronologically-arranged accounts of famous crimes and trials in American history, including descriptions of the crimes within historical context, the cast of characters, the trials themselves, and media involvement. You can preview the table of contents.
The link above takes you to Volume 1, covering the span from about 1607 (Mary Dyer) to 1859 (John Brown). Subsequent volumes:
Volume 2 -- About 1860 (Henry Wirz) to 1912 (Becker-Rosenthal)
Volume 3 -- About 1913 (Leo Frank) to 1959 (Emmett Till)
Volume 4 -- Early 1960's (JFK Assassination) to 1980 (Ted Bundy)
Volume 5 -- About 1981 (Jack Henry Abbott) to 2000 (Timothy McVeigh)
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Foreign And International Legal And Constitutional Sites

Links to legal and constitutional sites and documents.
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Gale Encyclopedia Of American Law

This third edition (2010) consists of 14 volumes and includes nearly 5,000 alphabetically-arranged entries on "persons, entities, and events that have shaped the U.S. legal system and influenced public perceptions of it."
Annual updates are available in the American Law Yearbook.
The library also has this encyclopedia's 2004 predecessor, West's Encyclopedia of American Law.
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Global Legal Monitor

Publication tracking legal developments around the world.
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Guide To Electronic Resources For International Law

"Designed to be used by students, teachers, practitioners and researchers as a self-guided tour of relevant, quality, up-to-date online resources covering important areas of international law," including human rights and environmental law.
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Guide To Latin In International Law

First edition (2011) provides both literal translations and more contemporary meanings of more than 2,300 Latin-based terms used by lawyers and legal scholars.
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Guide To The U.S. Federal Legal System; Web-based Public Accessible Sources

Excellent guide, with links, to freely-available sources on U.S. Government legislation, judiciary, executive branch (including presidential documents),
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Handbook Of International Law

A concise account (2006) of international law, explaining how states and international organizations, especially the United Nations, make and use international law. You can see the table of contents here.
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Illusive Shadows: Justice, Media, And Socially Significant American Trials

Lloyd Chiasson's 2003 volume includes essays on ten famous crimes in U.S. history, the subsequent trials, and the media coverage of each. You may preview the table of contents.
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Index To Legal Periodicals And Books

Covers articles from "legal journals, yearbooks, institutes, bar association organs, law reviews, and government publications originating in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand." The database consists of over 300,000 citations, drawn from nearly 1,000 legal journals, law reviews, yearbooks, institutes, statutes, and publications from bar associations, universities, and governments.
Retrospective coverage as far back as 1927. (Law Library subscription)
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International Libel And Privacy Handbook: A Global Reference For Journalists, Publishers, Webmasters, And Lawyers

Third edition (2013) "explains risks publishers should understand prior to publication, steps to take to avoid legal conflicts, and available defenses in the event of a claim," with international coverage, nation-by-nation covreage. You may preview the contents.
The 2nd edition (2010) is also available online from Ebrary.
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Journalist's Guide To The Federal Courts

Overview of the Federal Court system, including District Courts, Bankruptcy Courts, and Appellate Courts.
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Juvenile Crime And Justice

2011 volume contains 20 signed essays addressing three broad topics areas: prevention, prosecution, and corrections. Each essay presents "arguments both in favor of and opposed to various treatments, programs, and punishments, examining issues such as youth curfews, juveniles in adult courts, legal representation for juveniles, juvenile boot camps, group homes, out-of-home placement, and more." You may preview the contents.
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Law Of Higher Education

Subtitled A Comprehensive Guide to Legal Implications of Administrative Decision Making, the 5th edition (2013) covers such subject areas as free speech and hate speech, intellectual property, race-related issues, and much more. You may preview the contents.
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Legal Collection

Full-text content of more than 250 of the world's most respected scholarly law journals, covering "issues, studies, thoughts and trends of the legal world" -- constitutional law, criminal justice, environmental law, commercial law, ethical issues, etc. Chronological coverage varies among sources, with some extending back to the early 1990's.
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Legal Ethics And Professional Responsibility Pages

The ABA's Center for Professional Responsibility maintains this collection of links to U.S. state and local legal ethics and professionalism codes and related sites.
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LexisNexis Academic -- Law Reviews

This "Law Reviews" sub-section of LexisNexis Academic, offering access to legal articles, court cases, statutes, and more.
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Living Together: A Legal Guide For Unmarried Couples

The 14th edition (2008) covers such topics as the legality of living together, having and raising children, types of ownership agreements, relationships with a prior family, getting authorization to make medical decisions for an ill or injured partner, and more. Includes copies of documents.
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Loislaw

A wide array of primary legal resources, offering "access to up-to-date cases, statutes and other primary law at the Federal level and for all fifty states and D.C.," including U.S. Supreme Court Reports, district and circuit courts, the U.S. Constitution, state and Federal laws, etc. (Washington and Lee Law School subscription)
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Max Planck Encyclopedia Of Public International Law

Active database contains over 1,000 signed, peer-reviewed articles "covering the central and essential topics in international law." (W&L Law Library subscription.)
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Media And American Courts

Guide to cases, personalities, and controversies that have redefined the court/press relationship in the past century as the media expanded from print and radio to courtroom cameras, cable, and the World Wide Web.
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NELLCO Legal Scholarslip Repository

Database of scholarly legal materials, including "working papers, reports, lecture series, workshop presentations, and other scholarship created by faculty at member institutions."
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National Survey Of State Laws

The 6th edition (2008) of this work contains a brief summary of current state laws on such topics as abortion, drunk driving, capital punishment, legal ages, and other areas. We also have online access to the 5th edition (2005).
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New Oxford Companion To Law

2008 volume contains over 1,700 signed, alphabetically-arranged entries covering "all areas of law and legal systems," including both the U.S. and the E.U. Subjects include criminal law, human rights law, family and employment law, legal institutions, famous trials, and more.
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Nolo's Encyclopedia Of Everyday Law

The subtitle of this 2007 work (7th edition) explains its function: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Legal Questions. "Written by Nolo's expert team of attorneys, the book provides concise, plain-English answers to hundreds of the most frequently- asked legal questions," including credit and debt, workplace rights, divorce, landlord-tenant laws, and more.
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Nonprofit Law For Colleges And Universities

2011 volume is described as a "practical, accessible guide to nonprofit law as it is specifically applicable to exempt colleges and universities, and their related entities, such as fundraising foundations, endowment funds, supporting organizations," etc. You may preview the contents.
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Oxford Companion To American Law

Nearly 500 entries (published 2002), including such topics as aging and the law, wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping, the Salem Witch Trials, and Plessy vs. Ferguson. There is a printed copy in the library collection.
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Oxford Companion To The Supreme Court Of The United States

The second edition (2005; rev. 2011) of this guide includes over 1,200 entries on crucial issues and cases.
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Oxford Dictionary Of Law

Sixth edition (2006) contains over 4,000 entries which define and explain major terms, concepts, processes, and organization of legal systems founded on English law (with some coverage of European law).
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Oxford Guide To United States Supreme Court Decisions

Second edition (2009) volume contains over 450 alphabetically-arranged entries on "landmark decisions that have shaped American life."
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Parry & Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary Of International Law

Third edition (2009) includes over 2,500 alphabetically-arranged entries on essentials of international law, such as legal terms, doctrines, cases and decisions, treaties, and more. (W&L law library subscription.)
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Politics -- Legal And Constitutional

Collection of links on legal and constitutional issues, collected for W&L researchers.
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Public Domain; How To Find And Use Copyright-free Writings, Music, Art And More

Third edition (2006) "helps you find and identify what creative works are protected by copyright -- and what's not," including specific information about movies, writings, art, photography, and more. With hundreds of resources to help you find public-domain works. You can see the table of contents here.
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Real Life Dictionary Of The Law

Complete text of the 1995 edition of this work.
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Renters' Rights: The Basics

Fifth edition (2007) of this guide contains "critical legal and practical information that every renter needs," including such concerns as leases and rental agreements, discrimination, security deposits, privacy, roommates, repairs and maintenance, and more.
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Rights Of Women: The Authoritative ACLU Guide To Women's Rights

Fourth edition (2009) "is a comprehensive guide that explains in detail the rights of women under present U.S. law." You may view a copy of the table of contents.
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Sage Reference Series On Disability: Ethics, Law, And Policy

2012 volume offers an overview of "major tensions, contradictions, and ongoing controversies found in ethics, law, and policy as these domains apply to persons with disabilities, as well as provide a brief history of law and policy." Includes essays, biographies, data, lists of organizations, and other resources, etc. You may preview the contents.
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State Laws (Browse By Topic)

Choose from 16 broad topic areas (Family Laws, DUI/DWI Laws, etc.) to view state-by-state summaries and links to state statutes.
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Steps To The Supreme Court: A Guided Tour Of The American Legal System

Respected legal writer Peter Irons offers a "tour of the American legal system" in a lively narrative of two actual cases as they make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. You may preview the contents.
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Treaties With American Indians

Three-volume set (2007) edited by Donald Fixico contains 300 A-to-Z entries, 16 thematic essays, primary sources, chronology, and more, with coverage from the mid-18th century to 2007.
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U.S. Constitution A To Z

Second edition (2008) contains over 250 entries (mostly alphabetically arranged) covering topics relating to U.S. Constitutional history ("Abortion," "Executive Privilege," "N.Y. Times v. Sullivan," etc.). Includes selected primary source documents.
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U.S. Supreme Court

Collection of links to various sites containing texts of opinions and other information.
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Webster's New World Law Dictionary

Definitions of over 4,000 legal terms. (Published 2006.)
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West's Encyclopedia Of American Law

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above link takes you to our gateway page for West's Encyclopedia (2004) and its more up-to-date successor, the Gale Encyclopedia of American Law (2010).
West's Encyclopedia also was supplemented by the annual American Law Yearbook.
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Wex

"Collaboratively-built, freely available legal dictionary and encyclopedia."
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World Legal Information Institute

A collection of legal information from various countries and international courts. Materials include case law, legislation, treaties, and law journals, as well some specialist subject databases.
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