Often one of the best places to start legal research is with a legal treatise. This is especially true for law students who have less experience in the law and need to get a good overview of the area of the law they’ve been asked to research. Since students have access to Lexis Advance for their summer work, I thought I’d highlight how to find legal treatises on Lexis Advance.
One way to find treatises on Lexis is to browse treatises by subject or jurisdiction. On the main Lexis page you can click on “Secondary Materials” and then “Treatises, Practice Guides & Jurisprudence” to get a list of jurisdictions and subjects.
You can then click on a subject or jurisdiction to get a list of treatises, practice guides, and legal encyclopedias that are relevant. While this gives you relevant sources, sometimes it gives you too much, making it difficult to identify important treatises if you aren’t familiar with them.
Another option is to identify a relevant treatise and go to it directly. One of the big differences between Westlaw and Lexis is what treatises they provide. For example, Westlaw has civil procedure treatise Wright and Miller’s Federal Practice and Procedure while Lexis has Moore’s Federal Practice.
One way you can figure this out is by going to a legal treatise guide like those provided by Harvard and Georgetown. If we look at Civil Procedure, the Harvard list shows us some main civil procedure titles and also tells us which ones are available on Westlaw or Lexis. Knowing that Moore’s Federal Practice is on Lexis, I can now go to the Lexis search box and start typing in Moore’s Federal Practice. Clicking on the title will add the title as a source to search. Clicking on the lines next to the title takes me to the Table of Contents, which can be a useful research tool.