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Suggested Resources for Law

Current Events and Announcements

The North Carolina General assembly passed a statute preventing the free distribution of printed volumes of North Carolina Appellate Division Reports to the North Carolina Community College system.

  • There will no longer be printed any reports or appeals volumes from the court system provided at no cost to North Carolina Community College Libraries.
  • The last print volumes in the law collection at the Central Library are volume 243 from the North Carolina Court of Appeals Reports and volume 369 of the North Carolina Supreme Court Reports.
  • Reports may still be accessed online: North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Opinions

Finding Law Materials

Each branch, or level, of the legal system has its own specific materials. Remember, there are the 3 branches of government—Judicial, Legislative and Executive, and then there are different levels and types of law attached to each one:

The Federal Government

Judicial Branch Legislative Branch Executive Branch

Who: US Supreme Court

Legal Product: Opinions/Decisions – Case Law¹

Who: Senate & House of Representatives

Legal Product: United States Code United States Statutes

Who: President

Legal Product: Code of Federal Regulations

Who: US Courts of Appeals

Legal Product: Opinions/Decisions-Case Law


Who: US District Courts*

Legal Product: Opinions/Decisions-Case Law
*The 94 U. S. judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a U. S. court of appeals.


Remember, the whole configuration is repeated 50 more times at the state level; then you have municipal codes as well.

For example, the paralegal collection has the following reporters and digests for finding federal case law:

  • Supreme Court Reporter¹: contains the opinions/decisions of the U.S Supreme Court – Case Law¹
  • West’s Federal Practice Digest: Case law arranged alphabetically by topic for each volume in the set (for example, Double Jeopardy to Drugs & Narcotics), and provides case holdings and full case citations, so the researcher can find the case law in the Reporter¹.

These types of reporters and digests (case finders) are published for Federal, Regional, and State case law. Law students must always locate the actual written opinion—never rely on what is published in the digests (or indexes or citators) for the text of the cases.

The paralegal collection also has legal encyclopedias, such as American Jurisprudence and Corpus Juris Secundum, and legal dictionaries. Those resources work just like any encyclopedia and/or dictionary.

Best Databases for Legal Research


Magazine and Journal Subscriptions

  • North Carolina Law Review

A University of North Carolina School of Law student-operated journal serving judges, attorneys, scholars, and students by publishing outstanding legal scholarship. The Review provides timely and thought-provoking commentary.

  • The North Carolina State Bar Journal

A highly respected quarterly magazine which contains a wide range of articles covering everything from law office technology to professionalism and pro bono work. In addition, the Journal contains timely information of interest to North Carolina lawyers such as State Bar Ethics opinions, disciplinary actions, rule amendments, and State Bar Committee actions.

  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly

Legal news, daily court opinions, and hard-to-find resources from Lawyers Weekly.

Books & More From Our Collection

Legal Collection Materials Checklist - Annotated:  These are listed in shelf order starting at the far end, right side, facing downtown/uptown/center city Charlotte of the stacks.  Titles in RED are kept current with a West print subscription

  1. Federal Reporter; Federal Reporter 2d (2nd ed.); Federal Reporter 3d: Case law reporter publishing decisions from the US Court of Appeals
  2. Federal Supplement (Fed Supp):  Publishes decisions from the Federal District Courts
  3. West’s US Supreme Reports:  Supreme Court Opinions
  4. US Supreme Court Reports Lawyers Edition, 2nd ed.; LexisNexis  (L.Ed. 2d): Supreme Court Opinions
  5. Federal Shepard’s Citations:  Citations to decisions published in the Federal Reporter, the Fed Supp, and others.
  6. West’s Federal Practice Digest, 2d, 3d and 4th:  Index to cases and decisions of Federal Court using the head notes that summarize the points of law in a case and arranging them by subject.
  7. United States Code and Administrative News (U.S.C.C.A.N):  Selected collections of congressional and administrative material such as the full text of new federal laws, executive orders and federal regulations.
  8. United States Code Annotated (USCA) - Bound volumes and supplements:  The official compilation and codification of permanent federal statutes.
  9. Southeastern Reporter and SE Reporter 2d:  The compilation of US state court rulings and opinions from Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
  10. Shepard’s SE Reporter Citations (10 volumes only–not kept current):  Citations to decisions of NC courts; helps practitioners to check, validate and see the history of court opinions.
  11. North Carolina Supreme Court Reports:  Official publication of the NC Supreme Court opinions (now found online at as the GA ended the free distribution of the print titles to the NC Community College system).
  12. North Carolina Appeals Reports: Publishes decisions from the Federal District Courts (now found online at as the GA ended the free distribution of the print titles to NC Community College system).
  13. Shepard’s NC Citations: Citations to decisions of the NC courts to help practitioners check and validate the status (overturned; rescinded) of the court opinion and see history of the opinion.
  14. NC General Statutes (called the NCGA–North Carolina General Assembly):  The official version of the NC statutes; annotations provide guidance to codification and decisions.
  15. West’s NC Criminal and Motor Vehicle Law: Provides targeted access to all NC criminal and motor vehicle laws and regulations, including excerpts from the NCGA the NC Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, and the NC Division of Motor Vehicle regulations.
  16. NC Rules of Court; Federal, State and Local:  Provides the rules of court needed to practice before the courts in NC.
  17. West’s NC Digest (burgundy red), NC Digest 2d.:  Case law topics in alphabetical order for NC state and federal court decisions and includes scope notes topic outlines located by Descriptive Word Indexes, Table(s) of Cases amd Words and Phrases volumes.
  18. Strong’s c Index (dark blue):  Index to case law and provisions of the state constitution, statutes and court rules plus articles of interest to NC legal practitioners.
  19. Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Case Digest:  A reporter series covering significant UCC cases from all federal and state jurisdictions with commentary and analysis.
  20. American Jurisprudence (AmJur):  An encyclopedia of US law published by West covering all fields of American law — state and federal, criminal and civil, substantive and procedural. The contents compiles, examines, and summarizes the broad principles of American law and provide direct leads to supporting cases, related annotation, forms, proofs and trial techniques.
  21. Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS):  A comprehensive encyclopedia providing a broad overview of state and federal legal topics  with lengthy footnotes and citations to cases and some statutes.
  22. AmJur Proof of Facts – donation, not kept current:  Discusses the element of proof, practice, evidentiary and defense considerations and model discovery.
  23. American Law Review (ALR)
  24. Shepard’s Citations for ALR
  25. Code of Federal Regulations:  the official compilation and codification of federal regulations (as opposed to statutory law found in the USCA). Not kept current
  26. Martindale-Hubbell Law Digest:  Describes the laws of the US and foreign jurisdictions.  Now ONline for FREE! At when user registers an account.  Once registered, all you have to do is go to “Search Legal Topics” and enter "Law Digest" followed by the name of the jurisdiction you are looking to find in the keyword search field.
  27. Secondary materials shelves  — LC order
  28. NC BAr Association Continuing Legal Education (CLE) materials –  dark blue binders.  Distribution discontinued.

Browse Our Shelves!

Call Number
Subject Area
General Law
Religious Law
Law in UK & Ireland
Law in North America
Law in Canada
Law in the United States
Law in North Carolina
Law in South America
Law in Europe
Law in Asia, Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area, & Antarctica
Law of Nations




Having Trouble Searching the Catalog? Try out a few of our favorite search terms:
  • Law Reports
  • US Constitution
  • US Supreme Court or District Courts
  • North Carolina Statutes
  • Federal Law
  • Specific Categories of Legal Practice:
    • Trial/Litigation
    • Real Estate
    • Family Law
  • Specific Laws:
    • Capital Punishment
    • Firearms Laws
    • Intellectual Property
    • Controlled Substances
    • Civil Liberties
    • Children's Rights
  • Legal Forms
  • Jurisprudence
  • Municipal Code

Additional Help

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