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The Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library

ENST 295: Environmental Law

Primary and Secondary Sources in Legal Research

Primary sources

In legal research, primary sources are the law itself. This may include city ordinances, state and federal statutes, agency regulations, and case law.

You are expected to use 5 to 10 primary sources in your research paper or legal memorandum.

Secondary sources

In legal research, secondary sources are those that analyze or discuss the law. These include books, law review articles, and news articles. 

You may use secondary sources in a limited way in your research paper or legal memorandum.

Guides to Research

You may be interested in exploring guides to research in related topics, such as environmental science, environmental history, or other relevant disciplines. Browse the subject guides for areas related to your topic to find databases and other recommended resources to help you in your research.

Here are a few Research by Subject guides that may be useful:


Subject Librarian

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Jill Hallam-Miller
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Bertrand Library
Research Help Area Rm 109
Phone: 570.577.2055
Text the Library @ 570-487-3898
Office Hours: M-F by appointment