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Legal Assistant (Paralegal) Resources   Tags: law, legal, paralegal  

Last Updated: Sep 3, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Understand Your Topic Print Page

What Do You Know?

You probably already know a little something about the topic you chose, but it's important to find out more in order to write an intelligent research paper and/or make a good argument. 

Ask yourself:

  • What do I know?
  • What can I find out?

Reference resources help you find out more!

Library Research Guides lead you to the best resources to use when searching for information on your topic.

Always check to see if there's a Research Guide on your topic.


    Quick Tips

      • Look up your keywords in the indexes to subject encyclopedias.

      • Read articles in these encyclopedias to set the context for your research.

      • Note relevant items in the bibliographies at the end of the encyclopedia articles.

      • Additional background information may be found in your lecture notes, textbooks, and reserve readings.


                Legal Resources @ the Library

                Click on one of the handy PDF guides below for a list of all the legal resources available at Cerritos College Library


                Related Guide


                Understanding Your Topic - Where to Look

                Reference Sources   person with a book head

                Once you have chosen a topic for your paper, use general reference sources to get background information on your topic. Reference books such as the encyclopedias, dictionaries and handbooks, and the current issue titles are a good starting point for your research because they help you become better acquainted with your topic.

                See the lists below for some selected reference sources available online and in print. Ask a librarian if you need help finding more resources.

                Online reference resources require login for off-campus use.  Enter your Cerritos College login when prompted.  For more login information see the Database Login page.

                Selected Library Reference Sources - Online

                Here are some of the library's online reference resources which can help you get some background information on your topic.  These resources are available on and off campus.

                • Gale Virtual Reference Library  Icon
                  Provides access to the content of more than 270 reference sources in a database format for multidisciplinary research.
                • Gale Encyclopedia of Law
                • West's Encyclopedia of American Law
                • CQ Weekly
                  Congressional Quarterly's magazine on government, commerce and politics. Reports on acts of Congress, tracks legislation and floor action, major news events, committees and subcommittees, and backroom maneuvering. Archives date back to 1983.
                • Military & Government Collection  Icon  Icon
                  EBSCO database designed to offer current news pertaining to all branches of the military and government, offers a thorough collection of periodicals, academic journals, and other content pertinent to the increasing needs of those sites. Provides cover-to-cover full text for nearly 300 journals and periodicals and indexing and abstracts for more than 400 titles. Click here for title list.

                Selected Library Reference Sources - Print

                Here are some reference books that are located in the library's Reference area. Although they cannot be checked out, students are able to photocopy pages.

                Cover Art
                Ballentine's Thesaurus for Legal Research and Writing - Jonathan S. Lynton
                Call Number: REF KF156 .L96 1994
                ISBN: 9780827362086
                Publication Date: 1993-10-01

                Cover Art
                Black's Law Dictionary, Standard Ninth Edition - Bryan A. Garner
                Call Number: REFDESK KF156 .B53 2009
                ISBN: 9780314199492
                Publication Date: 2009-06-25

                Cover Art
                Corpus Juris Secundum
                Call Number: REF KF154 .C56 - East Wall of Reference

                Cover Art
                Immigration Law for Paralegals - Maria Isabel Casablanca; Gloria Roa Bodin
                Call Number: REF KF4819.85 .C375 2010
                ISBN: 9781594608179
                Publication Date: 2010-08-01

                Cover Art
                Legal Research - Stephen Elias; Susan Levinkind; Richard Stim (Editor)
                Call Number: REF KF240 .E35 2007
                ISBN: 9781413306934
                Publication Date: 2007-09-23

                Cover Art
                Nolo's Guide to California Law - Lisa Guerin; Patricia Gima
                Call Number: REF KFC81 .G83 2008
                ISBN: 9781413308624
                Publication Date: 2008-07-26

                Cover Art
                The Oxford Book of Legal Anecdotes - Michael Gilbert (Editor)
                Call Number: REF K183 .O95 1986
                ISBN: 0192821121

                Cover Art
                The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States - Kermit L. Hall (Editor); James W. Ely; Joel B. Grossman
                Call Number: REF KF8742 .A35 O93 2005
                ISBN: 9780195176612
                Publication Date: 2005-05-19

                Cover Art
                The Paralegal's Handbook - Anita Haworth; Lesley Cox
                Call Number: REF KF320 .L4 H39 2010
                ISBN: 9781607147138
                Publication Date: 2010-10-05

                Cover Art
                Shepard's Acts and Cases by Popular Names, Federal and State.
                Call Number: KFC59 .S52 2010 - East Wall of Reference
                ISBN: 0769843123

                Cover Art
                Shepard's California Citations
                Call Number: KFC59 .S44 - East Wall of Reference

                Cover Art
                Shepard's California Case Names Citator
                Call Number: KFC59 .S433 2008 - East Wall of Reference

                Cover Art
                Summary of California Law
                Call Number: KFC80 .W5 - East Wall of Reference

                Cover Art
                Using the California Style Manual and the Bluebook - Susan Heinrich-Wells
                Call Number: REF KFC75 .H45 2000
                ISBN: 0314248560
                Publication Date: 2000-03-01

                Cover Art
                The U. S. Legal System - Timothy L. Hall (Editor)
                Call Number: REF KF387 .U15 2004
                ISBN: 9781587651892
                Publication Date: 2004-04-01

                Cover Art
                West's California Criminal Law - Douglas Dalton
                Call Number: KFC1100 .D35 - East Wall of Reference
                ISBN: 9780314067463
                Publication Date: 1995-07-01

                Cover Art
                West's California Jurisprudence 3d : Based on California Statutes and Regulations, and Case Law, State and Federal.
                Call Number: KFC80 .C29 - East Wall of Reference


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