You may be wondering why you would use Secondary Sources in legal research. Primary sources (such as cases, statutes, and regulations) have binding authority, whereas secondary sources do not; instead, secondary sources have persuasive authority, and can be used to support your legal argument. Moreover, secondary sources are an excellent place to begin your research, because secondary sources offer explanation and analysis of legal concepts; thus secondary sources also serve to expand your research and further your understanding of a particular legal problem.
This guide discusses the various types of secondary sources most commonly used and relied upon in legal research. You can access the different pages of this guide by clicking on the colored tabs across the top or using the links in the Table of Contents box to the left.
To begin, there are some basic secondary sources that can help you understand what you are reading, namely, legal dictionaries and abbreviation aids. These can help you understand the meaning behind unfamiliar legal terms and interpret unclear citations.
|Legal Dictionaries||Legal Abbreviation Aids|