Treatises are scholarly publications containing an organized summary of the law on a particular subject, such as real estate or copyright law. Practice Guides are a type of treatise which is aimed at practitioners. They are usually less scholarly in tone and contains more practical information, such as useful forms and litigation procedures and timelines.
Treatises and practice guides typically contain:
Print treatises also contain tables of cases and statutes cited, Popular Name tables to look up a Law or Act by name, and an index at the end so you to look your topic up by keyword. The Table of Content at the front of the treatise is also a quick and useful starting point to review important topics contained in the treatise.
Important publishers of treatises include:
Be aware that access to treatises on Lexis and Westlaw are costly and may be outside the institution or firm’s plan. If you use these electronically through Westlaw, Lexis or Bloomberg Law, and your firm does not subscribe to them, you will get charged per document you pull. Instead, the institution is likely to own the major treatise in their field in print, and you will be expected to use it to start your research assignment.
If you’re not sure which treatise to use, you can do the following: