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Legal Research: A Guide to Secondary Resources


Restatements of the Law organize the common law of the United States in a distinctive format that includes the text of legal provisions, official commentary, illustrations, and notes. They are written by the American Law Institute External (ALI), which is a legal organization composed of noted professors, judges, and lawyers. Restatements External are divided broadly into chapters and subdivided into titles and then into sections. Each section begins with a restatement of the law, followed by hypothetical illustrations. Restatements often influence court decisions but are not binding on the courts in and of themselves.  Electronic versions are available on NexisUni and Westlaw, while scanned versions are available on HeinOnline.

Restatements in Print (examples)

The print materials listed below link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online resources are provided when available.

Electronic Databases

Subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.