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Secondary Sources

American Law Reports

American Law Reports (A.L.R.) are essays with case discussions and analysis of a legal topic in depth.   The ALR articles and annotations provide background information and analysis of a particular legal issue with citations to both primary and secondary sources.  The annotations include West Key Numbers and citations to other ALR annotations, pertinent law reviews, treatises and form books.  There are six ALR Series published so far; the original ALR which covers annotations written from 1919-1948 through ALR 6th which covers 2005-date.  There are also two ALR Fed Series; ALR Fed covering 1969-2005 and ALR Fed 2d which covers 2005 to date.   You can access all eight ALR Series on both Lexis and Westlaw.

Bar Journals

Bar journals are current awareness journals produced by the American Bar Association or the various State Bar Associations.  They are aimed at practitioners and discuss member activities and have articles on recent cases and legislation of interest to Bar members.  They can be found on HeinOnline, Westlaw and Lexis


Blawgs are legal blogs.  They are written by attorneys and law school professors and concerned primarily with legal issues.  Many have the latest legal news and links to cases and documents and also cover topics not prominent in the mainstream media.  They are generally not citable, but they can be a great way to keep up and to follow topics of interest and find legal news.

Finding a good legal blog is easy. Justia and the ABA both have great blawg directories. Other prominent examples include the LawProfessor Blogs for those interested in legal scholarship and SCOTUSBlog, which tracks the daily activities at the Supreme Court.  

Bloomberg BNA

While much more than just a secondary source, Bloomberg BNA is legal publishing company that includes current awareness for practitioners and those in academia.  It highlights the latest cases, statutes and regulations and provdes expert commentary through its dailies, reports and libraries. 

CCH IntelliConnect

CCH IntelliConnect is the online platform for Wolters Kluwer resources and includes in depth materials on certain areas of law as well as current awareness features.  The focus tends to be in the areas of tax, employment, healthcare and  intellectual property law.