Indexes to Legal Periodicals

Indexes to Legal Periodicals

There are several ways to find articles in legal periodicals. In several countries, there are periodicals or paper indexes, like the ones listed in this entry. There are (in some cases, there were) other indexes (like Abstracts of Book Reviews in Current Legal Periodicals, or Legal Contents). And there are legal databases which offer legal articles content, like Dialeg and Legaltrac. Some have dessapeared, like Wilsondisc, who used the Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP).

Indexes to Legal Periodicals in the United States

Most legal researchers and law students begin their research for law reviews and journals by referring to a legal periodical index. Legal periodicals are an important secondary source in the legal literature. There are different types of legal periodicals; some are scholarly, while others are more popular in content. The periodical literature is so extensive that, without adequate indexing, access to it would be difficult.

There are many methods of finding references to articles in law reviews or bar journals. Judges give references to law review material in case decisions. Notes in annotated statutes or codes can include citations. Some case law digests and most treatises give citations to periodical articles. Shepard’s Citations also list some law review articles relevant to specific cases or statutes. However, the most common method for locating citations is to use periodical indexes and bibliographies. Several of the most commonly used United States indexes are listed below.

Legal Resources Index indexes over 900 legal periodicals since 1980. It also includes references to articles which appear in the major legal newspapers published in the United States. Access is by subject, author, and the names of cases and statutes which are the focus of the article. Book reviews are included in the author index under both the author and the title of the book reviewed. Full bibliographic information is provided at each access point. The index is accessible on LexisNexis, and on Westlaw.


LegalTrac is a CD-Rom service that indexes more than 800 major English-language legal periodicals. This index contains entries from 1980 forward and is updated monthly. It used Legal Resources Index. Users can search LegalTrac by entering key words that might appear in a record (including an author’s name) or by an article’s subject.

The Index to Legal Periodicals

This print resource indexes law reviews and other legal periodicals; coverage begins in 1888. In addition to containing a subject and a book review index, each volume contains a table of cases and a table of statutes. These two tables refer to legal publications that have dealt to some substantial extent with a particular code section or case. The set receives a new paperback supplement 11 months a year; these supplements cumulate quarterly.

Legal researchers should note that both LegalTrac and the Index to Legal Periodicals index a much broader range of articles than are available on either Lexis and Westlaw.

Current Law Index

Current Law Index (CLI) contains the same periodical article citations as Legal Resources Index. CLI does not include references to newspaper articles, and it cumulates only every year. Access by subject, author, title, and case and statute name is the same as in Legal Resources Index.

Index to Legal Periodicals

The Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP) begins in 1926. ILP indexes approximately 800 legal journals. Access is by subject, author, case name, and statute name. Full bibliographic information is given only under the subject entry. There is also a section which indexes book reviews under the author of the book reviewed. Beginning in 1981 the index is searchable online in LexisNexis and Westlaw.

Index to Legal Periodical Literature

Index to Legal Periodical Literature, known as the Jones-Chipman Index, precedes the ILP and indexes American legal periodical literature from the early 19th century to 1937. Indexing is by subject and author.

The Current Index to Legal Periodicals

The Current Index to Legal Periodicals, produced weekly by the University of Washington Law library , takes article titles from major law reviews as received in the library and places their citations in lists by subject categories. This index is mounted on Westlaw.

Insurance Periodicals Index

The Insurance Periodicals Index, available on Westlaw in the IPI database, contains index entries from more than 35 publications in the fields on insurance and employee benefits.

Current Law Journal Content

Current Law Journal Content is an indexing database, without subject analysis, that can reconsititute the text arrangement of a journal issue’s table of contents. The updating of CLJC ceased on May 13, 2011. Existing indexing (approximately 2000 – April 2011) is still available. It covers 1,337 journals. Washington & Lee Law School Library prepares CLJC with assistance from the Tarleton Law library at the University of Texas.

The Index to Periodical Articles Related to Law

This set provides selective indexing of articles in various nonlegal journals and periodicals. It is useful for an interdisciplinary research of Legal topics . Coverage begins in 1958.

Current Contents

Current Contents is a weekly current awareness service prepared by the Cardozo Law Library. The contents pages of selected law reviews and American Bar Association journals received in one week are photocopied and arranged alphabetically by journal title. There is no indexing or cumulation of issues.

Shepard’s Law Review Citations

Shepard’s Law Review Citations lists citations to articles from legal periodicals found in cases since 1957. The citations are taken from cases reported in the federal courts. Since 1979 references to articles found in the state and regional reporter system as well as in some of the major law reviews are included. The law reviews and legal periodicals for which citations are given are arranged in alphabetical order by periodical title.

Main sources: Salvador Trinxet Llorca, and Dr. Lillian & Dr. Rebecca Chutick Law Library, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law,

Indexes to Legal Periodicals in the world

The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP) is a print resource that indexes legal periodicals dealing with international and comparative law and the municipal law of countries with a Common law basis, excepting the U.S., the U.K., and Commonwealth countries. Indexing, which includes non-English language publications, began in 1958. In addition to author, subject, and book review indexes, articles are also assigned geographic listings which group by country or region the Legal subjects which will be found in the subject index to have articles relating to that country or region. The set is updated by quarterly supplements; the final update is a hardbound cumulation.

The Index to Canadian Legal Periodical Literature

The Index to Canadian Legal Periodical Literature indexes Canadian legal periodicals, articles related to law in non-legal Canadian journals, articles published in topical law reports and collected essays, and cassettes. The index begins in 1961. Author and subject indexes both contain complete bibliographic information. A table of cases and book review index are provided., an IRLII (Irish Legal Information Initiative) website, established by the UCC Law Faculty, contains an index of Irish Legal Periodicals from 1997 to date. Links are provided to articles available online with the consent of the copyright holder. We provide a list of keywords describing each article. began life as a section of the IRLII website. Since early 2007 it has been given its own idenity as it deals primarily with secondary sources of law rather than the caselaw and legislation more associated with IRLII. contains a comprehensive listing of academic articles published in 20 Irish journals from 1997 to date. This index may be searched by author, title, or keyword.


Dialog was founded in 1972 as the “world’s first commercial online search service”. It used the Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP). Now, as part of ProQuest, Dialog is focused on providing content and search capabilities to researchers in corporate, business and government settings worldwide.



See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

AccessUN, Common law, Law library, Legal Resources Index, Legal subjects, Legal topics, Lexis, List of Constitution Law Periodicals, List of International Law Indexes and Databases, List of Legal Databases and Indexes, List of Legal History Broader Databases, UK Case citators, country.



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