F&M College Library

SOC 480: Sociology of Law


This guide will lead you to different aspects of sociological and legal research -  and will introduce you to some of the most important databases and 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 NEXIS Uni(see above).

  • Select "Cases" from the menu box on the left side of the page
  • Then select either Federal Cases or State Cases
  • If you don't have the citation to the case, you can search by parties and put in the party names.
  • The results will be a mix of Supreme Court decisions and decisions from lower federal courts.
  • The only drawback to using NEXIS Uni is that you have to scroll through much summary and head-notes material before you get to the actual opinion of the court. However, this added material can be very helpful in understanding the significance of the case.

We also still have U. S. Supreme Court cases in print!

    • United States Reports (569 vols., so far)
    • Ref. JK 1561 .U5 (located 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.