Research Guides

TMLL Research Guide - Chapter 10


USING AMERICAN LAW REPORTS FEDERAL


A.L.R. Federal does a better job of incorporating statutory law into the annotations than does the state version. This is often a good place to begin research on a federal topic for which a statute has not yet been identified.

Searching the print version of A.L.R. Federal

  • the A.L.R. Federal "Quick Index" contains a one-volume hardcover topical index, updated by annual pocket part, as well as a three-volume set of tables containing federal cases, statutes and procedural rules which have been cited in A.L.R. annotations.
  • a multi-volume hardcover topical "ALR Index," updated annually by pocket part, covering both the state and federal series;
  • an "A.L.R. Digest" which indexes the annotations by broad subject areas (somewhat similar to the West Digest system). The last two sources are shelved at the end of the state A.L.R. series.

Electronic research

All A.L.R. articles including those in the federal series are available online through Westlaw in the ALR database. ALRcan be searched by terms and connectors or by plain language searching, and then limited by federal jurisdiction. Because its print indexing is quite good, it may be easier to locate helpful annotations in print than online. Additionally, the online format of A.L.R. is difficult to browse. Often it is more efficient to take a print approach to this resource.

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