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State and Local Government Law Research Guide: Journal Articles

This Research Guide is designed to assist students conduct research in the Public Law & Public Policy Seminar, 2014.

Law Reviews

Sometimes law review articles can be one of the best places to find current research on your topic. These sources can be used to find journal articles. Although there is a lot of overlap on Lexis and Westlaw, unique articles can be found in both databases.

Indexes are the best way to begin your search because you are searching just subjects, titles and authors.  For broad topic research-- this will lead you to the essetial law review articles on a topic.

Full Text Databases

  • Westlaw Full-Text Law Reviews : Search the full text of all Westlaw's journals, law reviews and newsletters.
  • HeinOnline : HeinOnline offers full-text PDFs of law reviews and legal periodicals. Click on "Law Journal Library" to browse by title. Use the Search tab at the top to search the collection.

Google Scholar

  • Google Scholar is an important free research tool that allows you to search a broad range of article databases (including Heinonline, Jstor and SSRN) and online scholarship repositories with one search. Results are ranked by the number of citations to an article.


  • SSRN Legal Scholarship Network hosts working papers and articles in final and pre-publication form.  

Non-Law and Law Related Articles

  • Google Scholar : Try searching Google Scholar. (You may then need to locate the full-text using Lexis or Westlaw or one of the library's subscription databases.)
  • San Francisco Public Library Articles & Databases: - San Francisco Public Library cardholders may remotely access SFPL's online periodical databases, including JSTOR (full-text academic journals going back to 1838). Click on the "Periodical Finder" link at the top of the page to search for a specific journal.