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Secondary sources, which come in a variety of different forms, comment, summarize, and explain the law. Secondary sources are an excellent starting place for researchers who are unfamiliar with a particular subject or those who need to refresh their memories. Through secondary sources, a researcher can learn the vocabulary of an area of law and the context in which that law will be used. Starting a research problem without the necessary background and terminology is most often an exercise in wasted time and effort. While secondary sources are a terrific way to obtain background information and additional sources, they are not the law. Only very rarely will you cite to a secondary source.
Texas print secondary sources are located on the 2nd floor at Tarlton. Most resources are in the 2nd floor Reading Room, while some popular resources are behind the Circulation Desk on reserve.
This page lists general secondary sources on Texas law. For specialized practice-oriented resources, see the pages on practice guides and form books.
Texas Jurisprudence, now in its third edition, provides very general background information on different areas of Texas law. It will also provide citations to additional sources in which to do research—cases, law reviews, practice materials.
Some other Tex Jur finding tools in print that can be helpful are the Table of Laws and Rules and Table of Cases. For example, if you know a statute or case law citation already, you can look it up to see where it is discussed in the legal encyclopedia. (Depending on the time of year, an additional update volume may be on the shelf for the indexes of Tex Jur.)
In general, using print is a four-step process:
The online resources Law.com, Law360, and the Texas Lawbook provide up-to-date information about Texas legal issues and offer email alerts. Journals like the Texas Bar Journal and Texas Lawyer, which are available both in print and online, also provide a means of staying current on Texas law.
Tarlton collects print UT Law CLE and State Bar of Texas CLE materials. Older materials include audio cassettes that are in the media center. Texas CLE materials are shelved by subject area. Search in Tarlton's catalog, TALLONS, for relevant CLE materials.
Texas CLE materials are also available online from Texas Bar CLE (UT Law only) and UT Law CLE. Westlaw (UT Law only) provides select access to Texas CLE materials.
Popular secondary sources are often available electronically on Westlaw and Lexis. Tarlton's Lexis and Westlaw subscriptions are limited to faculty, students, and staff.
Nexis Uni and HeinOnline also provide access to helpful secondary sources. Nexis Uni and HeinOnline are available to all on-site patrons and remotely to members of the UT academic community.
The Texas State Law Library provides free, off-site online access to Texas secondary sources. For more information about free online Texas resources, visit Tarlton's guide, Texas Legal Research: Free Online Resources.