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Legal Research Basics: Methods of Finding Cases: Home

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About this Guide

Welcome!  This guide is meant as a tool to introduce you to case law research.  The pages of the guide, accessible from the tabs across the top or the Table of Contents box to the left, represent different methods of finding cases.  We focus here on research in Lexis Advance, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law, but there is also a page of the guide devoted to free and low-cost alternatives.

Citation Format

Interpreting a case citation:

Cases are published in reporters, organized by jurisdiction and date.  There are both official and unofficial reporters.  Check Table 1 in The Bluebook to see which reporter you should cite to for your jurisdiction.

Here's an example of a typical case citation:

420 N.E.2d 105                      


The Volume Number


The name of the reporter and its series number


The page on which the case begins

See below for lists of the most common federal and state case reporters.

Federal Reporters

Regional (State) Reporters