Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Legal Research: Get Started

What is a Primary source? Primary sources (or primary documents) are legal documents like legislation, cases, statutes (laws), regulations, parliamentary materials (bills, debates).

What is a Secondary source? Secondary sources are materials that discuss primary sources. This could include legal dictionaries or encyclopedias, books and articles.

Unless you are already familiar with the case or legislation you are researching it is often to begin with secondary sources as they will often cite relevant primary sources. Secondary sources also provide an expert's insights into your topic.

Citation Style Guides

Please verify with your professor what citation style and version is preferred.

Legal Terminology

Legal Research


Profile Photo
Sarah Brown
Dana Porter Library
Main Floor
519-888-4567 ext. 41987