I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START
|West's Nutshell Series® and West's Hornbook Series®
You will no doubt discover at times that you know absolutely nothing about the legal subject you need to research. (Even experienced practitioners find themselves in this predicament.) An ideal place to start would be in one of West's Nutshell Series. There are more than 115 titles in the Nutshell Series, and each is a concise treatise on one of more than 70 legal topics, such as product liability, evidence and taxation. For more extensive treatment and more citations, consult a text from West's Hornbook Series, which is made up of comprehensive treatises covering well-settled principles in major subject areas.
|Corpus Juris Secundum® and American Jurisprudence 2d
Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS®) and American Jurisprudence 2d (Am Jur® 2d) are comprehensive legal encyclopedias. They contain easy-to-read explanations of legal principles derived from cases and statutes with citations to cases, statutes and law review articles. Each is supplemented with regular "pocket part" inserts containing amendments to the main volume and recent case citations. In addition, Am Jur 2d contains references to American Law Reports (ALR®) annotations; CJS contains relevant West topics and key numbers. If you have access to Westlaw, you can search Am Jur 2d and the CJS online. With Westlaw, you are not confined to fixed classifications and topic headings. You can even enter descriptions in plain English (Natural Language), e.g., when does retroactive application of a tax statute violate due process.