F&M College Library

BOS 332: Law, Ethics, and Society


This guide will get you started with many different aspects of legal research and will introduce you to some of the most important resources.

"But to live outside the law you must be honest"

- Bob Dylan, "Absolutely Sweet Marie"

Selected Reference Sources

Indexes and Databases

How to Find Court Cases

The fastest method is to use Westlaw Next  (see above)


From the Browse menu, select Cases.

In the menu box on the top of the page, type in the citation for each case listed below:

(a citation looks like 588 U. S. 310)

               Here are the citations for the cases you will need to find:

               John Doe v. Unocal       110 F.Supp.2d 1294       

               The citation will lead you directly to the case.

               Grutter v. Bollinger        539 U.S. 306                   

                The citation will lead you directly to the case.

               Citizens United v. FEC       588 U.S. 310             

               There are 1,962 results for this citation, but the Supreme Court decision will be the first one on the list.



Use Westlaw Next (see above) for this.

               From the Browse menu, select Cases.

              Then choose the jurisdiction of the case: by court, by circuit, or by state.

               When you make a selection, the next page will have a search bar at the top.

               Here you can search by the name of the case (the parties) or the case citation or a topic.


United States Reports (574 vols., so far)

  • Ref. JK 1561 .U5 (these volumes are in the compact shelving on the Ground Floor)
    The official compilation of U. S. Supreme Court opinions. Recent opinions are available on the Supreme Court's web page.