Legal Ethics and Legal Profession Research Guide

This guide focuses on the codes of professional ethics and ethics opinions from the American Bar Association and state bar associations. This guide also identifies resources for researching management of law offices and corporate legal departments.

Secondary Sources

The library has many books written on the legal profession, including topics such as the management of law offices and corporate legal departments, law firm technology, and merger management. On the fifth floor of the Williams library the call numbers KF300-KF320 are the general browsing area for material on law office management.

Alternatively, it may be helpful to search the library catalog by author for American Bar Association Section of Law Practice Management. This search will retrieve over 150 of these publications in our collection.

Databases Compass, formerly ALM Legal Intelligence, is a preeminent publisher of American Lawyer, National Law Journal, and other publications, provides access to their business research and legal industry intelligence. Surveys of law firm economics, corporate representation, billing hours, and much more are available for download. Examples include: Law Firm Leaders Report, Diversity Scorecard, and Summer Associate Survey. 

View our Tutorial for help using this resource.

Running time: 2:03 minutes

Created/updated: June 2022
Last reviewed: January 2023

Bar Resources

Bar organizations maintain resources relevant to the operation of a law practice.  The American Bar Association maintains several collections, including:

The ABA also hosts a Law Practice Division that provides additional resources.  Professional communities like the Association of Legal Administrators do so as well.

At the state level, state bar associations maintain their own resources on law practice management specific to their jurisdiction, as well as hosting community organizations focused on practice management; check the various state bar organization websites to find them.


Periodical literature provides current awareness of the profession, including rankings of the top firms, management trends, and automation pointers. A few of the most prominent periodicals for coverage of law firm practices include:

For a comprehensive search of professional issues, you should also look at business periodicals, which are available in the following databases: