Lightning Lessons: Finding Relevant Case Law by Subject

Credits & History

Created by Jeanne Frazier Price, Director of the Wiener-Rogers Law Library / Louis Wiener, Jr. Law Library Professor of Law


Finding Relevant Case Law by Subject

There are three videos in this series that focuses on helping you find case law by subject or point of law discussed in the decision.  The videos correspond to the three comprehensive legal research databases.  Each of Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg include topical indexes that allow you to locate cases that address particular law-related issues no matter how those issues are expressed in the text of the case and regardless of the context in which the issue arose.  Using an index rather than a keyword search – especially if you are researching an area of law with which you are unfamiliar or that employs terms of art – is sometimes a more efficient way of locating relevant case law than using a simple word search.

Begin with the Westlaw video as Westlaw’s Key Number system has the longest history and some might say the most well-developed index of law-related topics.  Follow with the video on Lexis’ Legal Topics, a system that takes a different and perhaps more modern approach to indexing by subject.  And finish up with video on Bloomberg, a relatively recent entrant into the world of organizing cases by point of law.

Additional Resources