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Legal Research Guides

Page history last edited by Michael Feldman 10 years, 9 months ago

Selected Readings on the U.S. LegaI System


Adapted from a list compiled by the Duke University Law School


Overviews of the System and How it Works


Benitez, Alberto Manuel. An Introduction to the United States Legal System: Cases and Comments

Burnham, William. Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States (4th ed.)

Farnsworth, F. Allan. An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States (3d ed.)

Feinman, Jay M. Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About the American Legal System

(2d ed.)

Fine, Toni M. American Legal Systems: A Resource and Reference Guide

Fletcher, George P. American Law in a Global Context: The Basics

Fundamentals of American Law (Alan B. Morrison, ed.)

Hay, Peter. Law of the United States: An Overview

Hegland, Kenney F. Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law in a Nutshell (4th ed.)

Introduction to the Law of the United States (Clark & Ansay, eds.) (2d ed.)

Johns, Margaret Z. & Rex R. Perschbacher. The United States Legal System: An Introduction (2d ed.)

Melone, Albert P. & Allan Kames. The American Legal System: Foundations, Processes, and Norms

Moliterno, Jan ms E. & Fredric I. Lederer. An Introduction to Law, Law Study, and the Lawyer's Role

Schubert, Frank. An Introduction to Law and the Legal System (9th ed.)

Von Mehren, Arthur Taylor & Peter L. Murray. Law in the United States (2d ed.)  This presentation of the American legal system is designed for lawyers of civil law backgrounds.


The Courts


Carp, Robert A., Ronald Stidhani & Kenneth L. Manning. Judicial Process in America (7th ed.)

The Federal Court System in the United States: An Introduction for Judges and Judicial Administrators

in Other Countries (Office of Judges Programs, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts) (2d ed. 2001)


Meador, Daniel John. American Courts (2d ed.)

Miller, William S., A Primer on American Courts

Neubauer, David W. Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Politics in the United States (3d ed.)

Segal, Jeffrey Allan, Harold J. Spaeth, & Sara C. Benesh. The Supreme Court in the American Legal



Legal Encyclopedias & Dictionaries


The entries in West's Encyclopedia of American Law (2d ed.) define terms and highlight significant concepts, events, cases, and people. American Jurisprudence 2d (1962 ) (Practice & Procedure KF154 .A42) and Corpus Juris Secundum (1936 ) (Practice & Procedure) synthesize federal and state law to provide a comprehensive summary of American law.

Black's Law Dictionary (5th ed.) is considered the most authoritative American legal dictionary. A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (2d ed. and Mellinkoffs Dictionary of American Legal Usage  are dictionaries of legal language as used in the U.S. today. Legal Terminology  provides basic explanations of legal terms.


Legal Language/Legal Writing


Garner, Bryan A. The Elements of Legal Style (2d ed., 2002) and Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text with Exercises

Rossini, Christine, English as a Legal Language (2d ed.)

Teply, Larry L. Legal Writing Citation in a Nutshell  -


Especially for International Students


Alcaraz VarĂ³, Enrique & Brian Hughes. Legal Translation Explained

Brostoff Teresa Kissane & Ann Sinsheinier. Legal English: An Introduction to the Legal Language andCulture of the United States (2d ed.)

Gader Shafran, Rachel. The International Student's Survival Guide to Law School in the United States: Everything You Need to Succeed

Hoffman, Craig & Andrea Tyler, United States Legal Discourse: Legal English for Foreign LLMs

Neacsu, Dana. Introduction to US. Law and Legal Research

Nedzel, Nadia. Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International Graduate

Ramsfleld, Jill J. Culture to Culture: A Guide to U.S. Legal Writing

Wojcik, Mark E. Introduction to Legal English: An Introduction to Legal Terminology, Reasoning, and Writing in Plain English (2d ed.)


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