UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW DISCLAIMER: It is against Oregon state law for library staff to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law (ORS 9.160, 9.166 and 9.21). They may not interpret statutes, cases, or regulations, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights. They may, however, assist patrons in locating materials or links that would aid in individual research.
The Oregon Bar Association has a lawyer referral service. They can help you locate an attorney who specializes in your legal issue. Their phone number is (503) 684-3763.
Indexes and Finding Tools
See under the various tabs in this guide for more suggestions.
General and Decennial Digests
Digests contain short case notes arranged alphabetically by legal subject and indexed by keywords.Also includes table of cases volume to locate citations by case name.
Shepard's U.S. Supreme Court Names Citator
Allows you to retreive citation if you know the name of a case.
Shepard's United States Citations
KF101.2 .S53, KF101.2 .S54 or LexisNexis
Shepard's Pacific Reporter Citations
KF135 .P22 S529
Citation indexes list cases (and statutes) only by citation, not by case name. Once a citation is located in Shepard's, you can locate subsequent cases that cited the case of interest and can determine the current status of the case of interest. It can also be used to locate lower court opinions on the same case.
Corpus Juris Secundum (legal encyclopedia) (Cancelled in 2007)
KF154 .C56 1936
Arranged by subject, in alphabetical order, CJS states a general principle of law, followed by exhaustive case references in footnotes. Use the general index if the subject you are looking for does not appear in the main volumes or if the subject is too broad to be easily covered.
Blue and White Book
K .P21 1928
Cross references citations for Oregon Reports and West's Pacific Reporter.
The bluebook : a uniform system of citation
Guide to legal citations and abbreviations. Only latest edition is kept.
Law, according to a definition from the website of the New Jersey Legislature, is "All the official rules and codes that govern citizens’ actions, including the Constitution, statutory laws enacted by the Legislature, case laws established by court decisions, and administrative law as set forth by executive branch agencies." (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/glossary.asp, 9/3/08)
There are many different flavors of the the law--property law, criminal law, constitutional law, administrative law, and so on. But for our purposes we have divided them into two sections: case law, and statutory/regulatory law.
General Reference Works
Oxford Reference resources for Law include:
- The Oxford Companion to American Law (KF154 .O96 2002)
- The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (KF8742.A35 O93 2005)
- The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions (KF4548 .O97 1999)
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Black's Law Dictionary, 8th ed. (KF156 .B53 2004)
LAW.COM online dictionary
Legal systems of the world : a political, social, and cultural encyclopedia / edited by Herbert M. Kritzer. 4 vol. (K48 .L44 2002)
OSU does not have a law library, and your research may require you to have access to more in-depth and specialized legal resources (including access to a law librarian). Here are some nearby options.
- Benton County Law Library 559 NW Monroe (corner of 6th and Monroe), Corvallis. (Most Oregon counties have a county law library open to the public) 541-766-6673
- John E. Jaqua Law Library, University of Oregon, Eugene
- J.W. Long Law Library, Willamette University, Salem
- State of Oregon Law Library 1163 State Street, Supreme Court Building, Salem. 503-986-5640
Public Library of Law (http://www.plol.org/). Developed by Fastcase Inc., this is the world's largest database of free law resources online. Covering both federal and state law, it contains Case Law, Statutes, Regulations, Court Rules, Constitutions, and legal forms.
Legal Aid Resources
While library staff are prohibited from giving legal advice, there are several services where people can go for help. Here are some of those services:
- Legal Aid Services of Oregon – legal aid for low-income Oregonians
- OregonLawHelp.org – legal information for low-income Oregonians
- Oregon Judicial Department – links to appellate court opinions, family law programs, self help information, and more
- State of Oregon Law Library 503-986-5640 – access to law for all Oregonians. Links to ORS, court rules, Oregon bills & laws, etc.
- Oregon State Bar 503-684-3763 Public information page, including a lawyer referral service