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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

Oct. 31, 2005.
Kristy Moon, editor.

Looking for Journals?

by Kristy Moon

If you’re looking for journal articles, you have vast resources at your disposal. The Law Library subscribes to almost all the law reviews and journals published by the 190 ABA-approved law schools. The UW Libraries subscribe to thousands of other journals. 


If you have a citation to an article, search the Law Library catalog or the UW Libraries catalog to see if the journal is available in print or electronically. Search for the title of the journal, not the article.

Tip: For the Law Library’s catalog, use the keywords search and limit your search to “Serials only.” For the UW Libraries’ catalog, click on “Journal searches” and the screen will turn blue. Now books won’t be included in your search results!


If you don’t have a citation, you might begin with an index. For online indexes, go to the Law Library’s homepage and click on “Legal Databases & Indexes” under the heading “Research.” 

  • LegalTrac indexes articles from 1980 to date
  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals indexes articles from 1985 to date
  • Current Index to Legal Periodicals indexes articles published in the last six weeks.  (For an in-depth look at LegalTrac, read the article below.)

The Law Library also has print indexes such as Current Law Index, Index to Legal Periodicals, and Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (K33 Reference Area).

Once you retrieve a citation using an index, you’re ready to search the catalog (see above).

Full-Text Searching

You can bypass the index and the catalog and instead do full-text keywords searches.

LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Hein Online will provide full-text article searching. LexisNexis and Westlaw provide law review from the early 1990s to date.

  • In LexisNexis, choose the “Law Reviews & Journals” file under the “Secondary Legal” folder.
  • In Westlaw, click on the “Journals and Law Reviews” link under the heading “Secondary Sources.” 

Hein Online has scanned hundreds of law reviews and journals, beginning with volume 1 of each title (it’s nice to see articles in PDF). 

From the Law Library’s homepage, click on “Legal Databases & Indexes” under the heading “Research.” You can do full-text keywords search or pull up articles by citation.  

The UW Libraries subscribe to many e-journals and full-text databases. 

From, under the heading “Resources,” click on




“Research Databases”
“Electronic Journals”

You can:

  • browse e-journals by title (A-Z horizontal list)
  • do a keywords search in mega- databases such as Expanded Academic ASAP, ProQuest, or Web of Science
  • find a list of suggested e-resources for each academic discipline.

LegalTrac Gets Relevant

by Cheryl Nyberg 

LegalTrac is a great tool for identifying law review articles by subject. Recently, a new search option became available on LegalTrac: the Relevance search. 


  1. Click on the "Legal Databases & Indexes" link (under Research on the Law Library’s homepage.
  2. Select on LegalTrac.
  3. Review search options on the navigation bar on the left, including the new Relevance search.
    1. The Relevance search retrieves up to 200 articles that match your search terms, with the most relevant articles listed at the top
    2. The Keyword, Advance, and Journal searches retrieve articles in reverse chronological order (most recent articles listed first).


Give the Relevance search a try the next time you want to find law review articles.

Bonus: A new PowerPoint slide show that provides step-by-step instructions for using LegalTrac is now available.