Secondary Sources Research Guide

This guide explains various types of secondary sources, including legal encyclopedias and American Law Reports, and how to use them.


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What is a Treatise?

A treatise focuses on a single area of law and is written by experts in that area. Treatises range from broad, multi-volume sets to narrowly focused one-volume titles.  

Why Use a Treatise?

Practitioners rely heavily on treatises for the detailed coverage and practical tips they contain. The content varies tremendously, but you can usually find thorough explanations of the law at issue along with citations to relevant cases, statutes, regulations, and other secondary sources. Some treatises also contain the full text of these materials in appendices.

Finding Treatises

You can locate relevant treatises by legal subject area using our Treatise Finders or by keyword searching in the Law Library's catalog.

Treatises Tutorial

Running time: 1:27 minutes

Created/updated: June 2023
Last reviewed: June 2023

Treatises (Online)