Legal encyclopedias contain brief narrative summaries on particular topics. These can help give a quick overview of basic legal principles and issues. They will also provide you with citations to relevant legislation and cases.
The hierarchical classification structures of legal encyclopedias are useful. They give researchers an overview of the key elements in a given area of law.
Legal dictionaries offer brief definitions or translations of established legal terms and maxims, some of which are derived from languages such as Latin and French. These dictionaries can be helpful in ensuring you have the right search terms when you are starting your research.