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Political Science 418: Legal Research & Writing: Home

Legal Research Databases

Andersen Library provides access to two general legal research databases: Nexis Uni and Westlaw - Users must login with a UWW Net-ID.

Both contain primary and secondary legal sources: federal & state appellate court cases, statutes, and regulatory (administrative) law; American Jurisprudence 2d legal encyclopedia; and law reviews. Westlaw also provides American Law Reports, Corpus Juris Secundum, and Black's Law Dictionary. For federal and state court case updating, Nexis Uni provides Shepard’s, while Westlaw provides KeyCite.

Suggested Sources for Biographies of Judges

American Bench, 24th ed. (Reference Collection, 2d fl., KF8700.A19 A44 2014)

Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court (2011 ed.: see chapter 22; 1990 ed. in 3rd-floor Main Collection at KF8742 .W567 1990)

The Supreme Court A to Z (Reference Collection, 2d fl., KF8742 .A35 S8 2007)

Search for judges in Oxford Reference Online Premium, which contains sources such as The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (online 2 ed., 2005, selectively updated 2011)

Search Research@UWW's "Books, Media and more (UW Whitewater)" scope for books, using the person’s name in subject (last name first) or try these keyword "in subject" searches:

  • Judges AND "United States" AND Biography
  • Judges AND "United States" AND History
  • "United States Supreme Court" AND History

Search for confirmation hearings in Research@UWW's "Books media and more (UW Whitewater)" scope or the ProQuest Congressional database.

Search for judges by name in the database Biography Reference Bank

Search other article databases for judges using their names as subjects

Search Nexis Uni or Westlaw for case opinions they have written. - See screenshots at right.

  • In Nexis Uni: Click "Advanced Search," then "Legal," "Cases," and finally "US Cases". Use the "All Fields" drop down to select written by, opinion by, dissent by, or concurrence by and enter the justice's last name. Along the left side of the result list, select the court.
  • In Westaw: Select "Cases," then select the desired court, and then click "Advanced" and scroll down to "Concurring," "Dissenting," or "Written By" and enter the justice's name. Note: Except for "Written By," Westlaw searches within the opinion text, not just the authors of the opinions.

In both databases, you can search for majority opinions written by a current U.S. Supreme Court justice with:

  • "<last name> delivered", e.g., "kavanaugh delivered", or
  • <last name> /1 delivered, e.g., kavanaugh /1 delivered

Select the court if needed. (In Westlaw, be sure to click to view all of the cases.) When looking at a case, use "Go to" to move quickly to different parts of the case, such as the majority opinion.

See the bios on the U.S. Supreme Court web site and the SCOTUSblog site.

Login to Access Library Resources

Access to licensed resources requires a login with a UWW Net-ID and password (same as UWW e-mail & D2L/Canvas login). The Troubleshooting page may help if there any difficulties.

More Legal Research Help

There are plenty of academic libraries and law school libraries with legal research guides if you want more help! I recommend: First Year Legal Research Guide (Loyola).

Legal Information Institute (Cornell)

The Legal Information Institute at Cornell provides links to open access legal sources and also provides information about legal topics.

Screenshot: Opinion By in Nexis Uni

Screenshot: Written By in Westlaw

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Barbara Bren
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