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Police Academy

Use this guide to find laws, cases and court decisions on the state and federal levels and law reviews and articles from journals

What this guide will help you locate and use

This guide was created by WCC librarians to assist the Police Academy students in their online legal research. This guide will help you locate court decisions relating to law enforcement. In addition, you will learn how to find federal and state criminal laws.

  • Locate U.S. and State Supreme Court decisions
  • Locate U.S. Federal and state laws
  • Utilize Lexis/Nexis to find legal information
  • Utilize FindLaw to find legal information
  • Locate secondary sources such as articles in law reviews and newspapers
  • Evaluate different types of information
  • Search the web efficiently and effectively to find quality legal information

Primary and Secondary Sources

Legal Research involves the location and analysis of primary and secondary sources

Primary sources in legal research comprise:

  • Case law: Judicial decisions or "judge-made" law and related resources such as legal briefs and oral arguments;
  • Statutes: Legislative law--bills passed by Congress;
  • Regulations: Rules developed by the Executive branch agencies to interpret and define broader statutory law.

Secondary sources for legal research include:

  • Newpapers and magazines;
  • Legal encyclopedias
  • Books;
  • Scholarly law reviews and other articles from law journals