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Legal research and writing

This guide provides an introduction to legal research and writing for law students.

Journal Articles and Papers

This page reviews the use of articles and papers as secondary legal materials.

It provides some suggested interdisciplinary databases you can use to locate articles.

About journal articles and papers

Legal literature periodicals or journals comprise law reviews, bar association publications, and special subject journals – including articles, case comments, and book reviews.

Journal articles are often cited or quoted in case law.

Journal articles can be published quickly and often offer critical examinations of underdeveloped topics, controversial issues, and new developments and thus can be useful for researching fine points and new developments in the law. 

Contents of periodical articles are accessible through UVic Libraries' Library Search engine or directly through relevant legal databases.

Contents are not available at the article level in the library catalogue. You can search periodical indexes (print or electronic) for citation information. The catalogue then will show titles (print or electronic) and their location (or link) in the library's periodical collection.

Index to Canadian legal literature

ICLL is a core index for legal commentary published in Canada. This database indexes articles, case comments, books, theses, essay collections, continuing legal education, government publications, audio-visual materials and seminar proceedings in English and French.

ICLL is available on the databases Westlaw Edge Canada and Lexis+. Both are available by password to students registered in the Faculty of Law.

Other legal literature indexes

Legal literature databases and indexes can help you find legal books and journal articles. They are organized by legal subject to help you focus your search. You can also search by keyword.

Other useful databases

Other journal databases contain legal literature including full text articles.

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