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Legal Encyclopedias Research Guide

Brief explanations of legal encyclopedias and American Law Reports are featured.

What is a Legal Encyclopedia?

A legal encyclopedia is a comprehensive set of brief articles on legal topics. It is arranged similarly to a general encyclopedia, such as Encyclopedia Britannica, with topical articles arranged in alphabetical order. In the final volume(s) of most legal encyclopedias is an index. The two most popular general legal encyclopedias are Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.), and American Jurisprudence, 2d (Am.Jur.). In addition, there are numerous state legal encyclopedias, as well as encyclopedias with a more narrow focus, such as American Jurisprudence Trials.