Legal Treatises by Subject
In this guide you will find legal treatises for various fields of law arranged alphabetically. Treatises are secondary sources that cover an area of law in depth, and are a good place to start in order to find explanations and citations of primary law such as statutes and case law.
NOTE: although some of the publications have older copyright dates, many of them are updated periodically with supplements or new chapters/pages—so if an older dated publication looks interesting, check for supplementation (often in a pamphlet in the back of the book).
|Administrative Law||Family Law/Domestic Relations|
|Agency/Partnership||Forms - General Practice|
|Antitrust Law/Trade Regulation||Health Care Law|
|Civil Practice and Procedure||Insurance|
|Collection Laws||International Law|
|Constitutional Law||Internet and Information Law|
|Corporation Law||Legal Research|
|Criminal Law and Procedure||Property|
|Education Law||Professional Responsibility/Legal Ethics|
|Environmental Law||Wills, Trusts, and Estates|
WHAT IS A LEGAL TREATISE?
Legal treatises, sometimes called loose-leaf treatises because of the method of updating them, are meant to serve as comprehensive analytical resources on particular areas of law. They are typically written by experts on the subject, and address major areas of the subject as well as issues or controversies that have arisen in that subject. Treatises are often quite comprehensive in scope, and in print form can take up many volumes. One notable example, Collier on Bankruptcy, has 19 volumes, plus 8 supplementary volumes and one volume for the index. Treatises must often balance comprehensive coverage with depth of coverage, so that is something to bear in mind when examining a treatise in your own subject. Often, treatises do more than explain what the law is. They outline the controversies, conflicting interpretations, trends, and possible future changes of laws, usually combining case law, statutory law, administrative law and any other applicable authority on their subject. Treatises give ample citations to relevant primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, etc.) to support their analysis and explanation. They are updated regularly as the law changes, often several times a year at least.
WHY USE A TREATISE?
Such a rich source of information can be useful in several situations. If, for instance, you are unfamiliar with a particular area of law and would like a comprehensive overview of some subject, you might find a treatise to be useful. If you have a narrow question of law and are unsure of the context, a treatise could be useful. Treatises contain citations to cases and other authority that you can use to find a starting point for further research.