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Sample Searches

LegalTrac Sample Searches

LegalTrac provides indexing for more than 800 titles including major law reviews, legal newspapers, bar association journals and international legal journals. The database also contains law-related articles from more than 1,000 additional business and general interest titles.

Search 1:

A law student working on a class project wanted to find article citations in LegalTrac dealing with secular humanism as a religion, especially in public schools.

Solution:

  1. Opened LegalTrac and went to the "Subject guide search" page.
  2. Entered "secular humanism and religion and public school*" in the entry box.
  3. Clicked on the "Search" button and retrieved more than 10 article citations.

Search 2:

A University of Michigan law school student using LegalTrac wanted to retrieve article citations about U.S. Supreme Court decisions and issues related to affirmative action from 2002 to the present.

Solution:

  1. Opened LegalTrac, entered the "Subject guide search" page to find the preferred terms for "U.S. Supreme Court" and "affirmative action".
  2. The preferred term for "affirmative action" was "affirmative action".
  3. The preferred term for "U.S. Supreme Court" was "United States. Supreme Court".
  4. Went to the "Advanced search" page.
  5. Selected "Subject (su)" and entered "United States. Supreme Court" in the first entry box.
  6. Selected "Subject (su)" and entered "affirmative action" in the second entry box.
  7. Limited by date "after" 2001.
  8. Clicked on the "Search" button and retrieved more than 15 records that fulfilled the student's request.

Search 3:

A law student at Michigan State University using LegalTrac wanted to retrieve some article citations on the about the Patriot Act in relation to its constitutionality.

Solution:

  1. Opened LegalTrac and went to the "Subject guide search" page.
  2. Entered "Patriot Act" in the entry box and clicked the "Search" button. The preferred term was "Antiterrorism Act of 2001".
  3. Returned to the "Subject guide search" page and entered "constitution". The preferred term for this case was "United States Constitution".
  4. Went to the "Advanced search" page, selected "Subject (su)" and entered "Antiterrorism Act of 2001" in the first entry box.
  5. Selected "Subject (su)" and entered "United States Constitution" in the second entry box.
  6. Clicked on the "Search" button and two article citations matching the requested criteria were retrieved.

Search 4:

A customer using LegalTrac called search assistance seeking help in constructing a search strategy to retrieve article citations from the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the Los Angeles Lawyer, the Los Angeles Magazine and the Los Angeles Times dealing with O.J. Simpson and public opinion in relation to the Nicole Simpson murder trial.

Solution:

  1. Opened LegalTrac, entered the "Subject guide search" page to find the preferred terms for "O.J. Simpson" and found that "Simpson, O.J." was the better term to use.
  2. The preferred term for "public opinion" was "public opinion".
  3. Went to the "Advanced search" page.
  4. Selected "Subject (su)" and entered "Simpson and (O.J.)" in the first entry box.
  5. Selected "Subject (su)" and entered "public opinion" in the second entry box.
  6. Limited search to the following journals by browsing for and selecting them:
Los Angeles Daily Journal
Los Angeles Lawyer
Los Angeles Magazine
Los Angeles Times
  1. Clicked on the "Search" button and retrieved more than 20 records that met criteria of the customer's request.

Search 5:

A user of LegalTrac wanted to retrieve any citations dealing with California Proposition 187, which dealt with making illegal aliens ineligible for public services.

Solution:

  1. Opened LegalTrac and went to the "Subject guide search" page.
  2. Entered "Proposition 187" in the entry box and clicked on the "Search" button.
  3. Retrieved were two preferred terms:

    California Proposition 187 of 1994
    see California Illegal Aliens Ineligibility for Public Services, Verification and Reporting Act of 1994

    California Proposition 187 of 1994 (Draft)

  4. Went to the "Advanced search" page.
  5. Selected "Subject (su)" and entered "California Proposition 187*" in the first entry box and selected "OR".
  6. Selected "Subject (su)" and entered "California Illegal Aliens Ineligibility for Public Services*" in the second entry box.
  7. Clicked on the "Search" button and retrieved more than 65 citations.
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