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Law reference sources

Abbreviations and Citations 

Use the following to find out the full title of an abbreviation (e.g. WLR, ICLR etc.):

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations
An index to the meaning of abbreviations for English language legal publications, from the British Isles, the Commonwealth and the United States. A wide selection of major foreign language law publications is also included.

IALS: Selected Legal Abbreviations
A selected list of abbreviations compiled by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS).


Use the following to help understand legalese:

Oxford Reference Online
Provides access to the Dictionary of Law, Oxford Companion to American Law and Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions. Available off campus to SOAS Staff and Students only

Glossary (Legal Language)
Glossary of legal terminology and Latin terms used in the law produced by Her Majesty's Courts Service website.

Legal Term Dictionary
Freely available dictionary based on the 1856 Edition of the Bouviers Law Dictionary from Lawguru.


Use the following to find information on particular areas of law:

Encyclopedia of law & Economics
Published by Edward Elgar and the University of Ghent

Cornell Law Library: Legal Research Encyclopedia
Legal resources by topic, definitions and information on international law and individual countries.

Halsbury’s Laws
Encyclopedia providing commentary on the law of England and Wales. Available via LexisLibrary. Access for SOAS Staff and Students only

Max Planc Encyclopedia of Public International Law
Includes over 1,700 articles on Public International Law and is searchable or can be browsed by subject/author.


Use the following to find information about law firms or chambers, or to help find a lawyer:

International Correspondence Lawyers
Lists legal and financial experts in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The Legal 500
Provides details of the recommended law firms and lawyers in the UK. There are also directories covering Europe, the US, Middle East, Mexico and the Asia/Pacific regions.

Provides access to more than one million legal professionals worldwide and includes complete coverage of the USA legal profession.

Law Society: Find a Solicitor 
Search for an individual solicitor or law firm name within the UK. Also includes Registered European Lawyers and Registered Foreign Lawyers. Produced by the Law Society.

Waterlaw Legal
Provides an international directory of law firms, searchable by country.

Other Reference Sources 

CIA World Factbook
Includes detailed data and maps of world's nations and territories.

Chambers Student Guide
Provides essential information on the steps to making a career in the law.

More information

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