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Law Library

Legal Research Review: American Law Reports

About ALR's

Each article is:

  • a comprehensive survey of a narrow legal issue
  • thoroughly researched
  • includes treatment of the issue across jurisdictions
  • published by West, but on both Lexis Advance and WestlawNext.

You will not find an ALR for every legal issue, but it is well worth your time to see if one exists because ALRs are a goldmine of legal information.

ALRs are published by West, but can be found on both Lexis Advance and WestlawNext

When to use ALRs:

  • Find a survey of a legal issue
    • Across jurisdictions
    • With differing fact patterns
  • Identify cases and statutes on your legal issue
  • ALRs are generally NOT the best secondary sources to cite.

Components of an ALR

  • Table of contents
    • Some annotations can be hundreds of pages long. Browse Article Outline to find pertinent sections of the annotation
  • Index
    • A subject index to this one ALR annotation
  • Table of Cases/Statutes
    • Cases cited in the ALR annotation, sorted by jurisdiction
  • Preliminary Matters, Includes:
    • Scope of the annotation, read to make sure the annotation is relevant to your research
    • Related annotations
    • Summary & Comment
  • Research References
    • Related ALR resources
    • WestlawNext databases
    • West Topics & Key Numbers
    • Other secondary sources