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New York State Legal Research: Secondary Sources

Quick Tips

Secondary sources collect, condense, and interpret the law. They're a great place to start when you don't even know where to begin. Use the index, table of contents, or search box to locate a topic. Then, read the entry to learn about that area and find links to primary authority (statutes, regulations, cases, etc.).

Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias are a great place to begin your research. They are designed to give you a quick overview of a wide variety of topics. New York Jurisprudence succinctly states the substantive and procedural law of New York. It can be found on both Westlaw and Lexis.

Treatises

Treatises are scholarly examinations of a single subject (e.g., evidence). They are more exhaustive than encyclopedias and are a great way to expand your knowledge. The Fordham Law Library curates an extensive list of New York treatises.

Practice Materials

Practice materials are a type of treatise specifically designed for practitioners. They are concerned with the application of law and typically include forms, checklists, tips, and advice. Here are a few essential titles:  

  • Carmody-Wait 2d New York Practice with Forms (Westlaw)
    • Extensive treatment of civil and criminal procedure
    • Contains templates that can be adjusted for a wide variety of forms
  • New York Practice Series (Westlaw)
    • Composed of multiple editions, addressing various areas of substantive and procedural civil and criminal law
    • Depending on the edition, includes forms, tables of cases, statutes, and other assorted rules
  • New York Practice (ProView)
    • Also known as Siegel's
    • One of the two major guides examining civil practice in New York
    • Includes tables of cases, statutes, and other assorted rules
  • New York Civil Practice (Lexis)
    • Also known as Weinstein, Korn & Miller
    • The other major guide examining civil practice in New York
    • Cross-referenced with Bender's Forms for the Civil Practice