Researching Law Journal Articles

Search dozens of open access law journals from Canada, the United States and Europe:

The search is powered by Google and was created using Google Custom Search Engine.

Finding Articles: Indexes

  • Find article citations through legal indices or from the bibliographies and footnotes of other secondary legal sources you come across.
  • What is a legal index? A research tool to help you find articles related by subject heading, author, case law or legislation.
    • Editors compile article entries by scouring legal journals
    • Each entry includes the article title, predefined legal subject heading(s), name of author(s), and possibly the predominant legislation written about within the article.
    • Legal indices do not provide the full text of articles, instead only giving you the citation of the article.
    • The power in legal indices lies in the sheer number of articles that are included.
    • Tip: If a professor asks you to find a case comment, look one up using a legal index. Search by the case name to find out what articles or case comments have been written about it.
  • Once you have a citation:
    • Decipher or find out what is the full title of the abbreviated legal journal through a legal abbreviation list or dictionary.
    • Find out where the journal can be found by browsing an alphabetical list from the University of Toronto’s “Database of Law Journals Available Electronically and at the Bora Laskin Law Library.” As a tool, it can help to direct UWindsor users to resources that we have here at the law library.
      • If the law title is available electronically, determine which database has coverage for the date of the article. To see if we subscribe to the database, look it up on our Research Sources page.
      • On rare occasions an article will only be available in print. Look up the journal title in our online library catalogue.
    • Alternatively, you can look up the journal title from the University’s online catalogue.
      • Use Leddy Library's Journal List to view an alphabetical listing of all print and electronic journals held by both the Leddy and Law Libraries.
      • This list will not pick up law titles held in Lexis+* or Westlaw Edge Canada* – so these systems will need to be checked separately from this search.
    • If we do not have it, we can request it through inter library loans for you.

Full Text Searching

  • Not necessarily an efficient use of your time, therefore we don't recommend starting your search with this strategy unless you are familiar with the keywords and authors in the field you are researching in.
  • Especially if you are using services such as Lexis+ or Westlaw Edge Canada, where you can incur charges for every search you make outside an academic institution.
  • As well, online full text databases have a limited number of articles included, meaning that some articles will be missed in searches, which can be a concern when the legal topic is new or has few articles written about it
  • Tip: Start your secondary search with books, and read up on the topic to build up your legal vocabulary. Keep notes on variations of describing a legal area by keywords or phrases.

How to Set Up a Journal TOC Alert Through Hein

UWindsor users may create your own account which can be used to monitor new journal articles.

  1. Create your own personal MyHein account which can be done once you are logged into HeinOnline.
  2. On the top right hand side of the welcome page there is a link to MyHein. From here you can create a personal account. 
  3. Create the eTOC alert. See page 4 of the MyHein Users Guide for information about creating an eTOC alert.



  • Lexis+* - "U.S. Law Reviews and Journals, Combined". Law Users Only
  • Westlaw Edge Canada* - Law Users Only
  • HeinOnline - Campus users. Excellent historical collection. Scanned journals.
  • Current Index to Legal Periodicals
    • Current awareness tool developed and maintained by the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington – based on speciality law topics
    • Online via HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library



  • Criminal Justice Collection - Available to Essex County Library cardholders.
    • "Whether studying to become a lawyer or law enforcement officer, paralegal, or for a career in Homeland Security, this collection rises to the challenge. Users will have access to hundreds of full-text journals."

Items marked with an *asterisk are available to Faculty of Law password holders only.

Updated March 13, 2023. A Demers.