Legal Research and Writing:  Ted Tjaden


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Law-Related Journals

Law journals are also an excellent resource for legal research. Journal articles often deal with current legal issues and usually provide detailed analysis.

The best way to find journals is to use journal indexes, found in print at major law libraries and also available by subscription on the following databases:

For a list of journals indexed in the Index to Canadian Legal Literature, click here.

As of June 2010, the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (CAIJ) has made the Scott Index to Canadian Legal Periodicals freely available online (1998 to date).

There are also online journal indexes available for other regions, by subscription:

For free searches that partially "imitate" searches in the foregoing subscription-based online journal indexes, try:

  • Google Scholar Advanced which will search, among other things, law-related articles indexed on HeinOnline and JSTOR (although when you click on a search result, you are then given an option to purchase the article if you don't otherwise have a subscription).

Open access law journals: Annette Demers, the Associate Dean, Law Library and Legal Research Services, at the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, has created a custom Google search for searching open access law journals from Canada, the US, and Europe (that searches the large number of open access law journal websites listed here) – see:

The following subscription databases are best for full-text law journal articles:

A useful technique when searching full-text journals in any of the three foregoing commercial databases is to use "title field" keyword searches if your full-text search is getting to many results (the theory here is that if the desired keyword is in the title of a law journal article, then the article will be on a topic of interest).

The following screenshot shows a search on HeinOnline that limits the search to a keyword in the title of the article ("oppression" OR "oppressive") where the article is from a Canadian law journal (by selecting "Country=Canada"):

Screenshot of field searching in HeinOnline

You can then sort your search results with listing the most recent articles first (Volume Date, descending).

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) contains a lot of free, full-text law journals (most often from law school professors) and can also be a good source to search for law journal articles.

Tip: If you do not have access to HeinOnline, LexisNexis Quicklaw, or WestlawNext Canada, many Canadian public libraries provide online access to digital databases using the barcode on your library code. Some of these databases may include law-related journals.

Cover of 4th edition of Legal Research and Writing
                (Irwin Law)

Legal Research and Writing:
4th Edition

by Ted Tjaden

Softcover 512 pgs.
Published: January 2016
Paperback: 978-1-55221-414-5
Ebook: 978-1-55221-415-2

Purchase here


Irwin Law: Canadian Online Legal Dictionary (click here)

Last updated: January 2016    |    Legal / Terms of Use    |    Ted Tjaden © 2010-2016