Library Services

Falvey Memorial Library is the primary library for students in the College of Professional Studies.  Students in the Paralegal Professional Certificate Program have access to library spaces, services and collections.  Falvey offers study spaces with Wildcard access 24/7.  Services include live chat, consulations with research librarians, interlibrary loan and document scanning.  Our collection spans print materials and electronic books, journals and databases all available via your VU login.

The Villanova Law Library works closely with the College of Professional Studies to support the Paralegal Professional Certificate Program.  Experienced law librarians are available to consult with program professors about assignments and recommend online sources (including those available through Westlaw accounts provided by the program) and titles from their extensive print collection of legal encyclopedias, form books, and federal and Pennsylvania practice materials.  When browsing their website, be aware that some legal database licenses are limited to enrolled law students.  Please direct inquires to reference@law.villanova.edu to consult with a law librarian or arrange a visit.

Legal Databases & Search Engines

For researching primary legal materials (consitutions, judicial decisions, statutes, regulations) your best tool may be your personal WESTLAW account.  The resources listed below may also be beneficial.

 

  Nexis Uni  Limitations on Use
Formerly known as LexisNexis Academic. Provides full text access to national and international newspaper and magazine articles and news transcripts, business, company, and industry information in the U.S. and abroad, and legal documents, including U.S. Federal and State court cases, and law reviews. Coverage varies.

  Google Scholar
Use the radio button to choose case law, select the jurisdiction.

  Law Library of Congress Guide to Law Online
Annotated list of free, reliable sources for state and federal law online including constitutions, regulations, statutes, legislation, and cases.

  Free Sites for Legal Research
Curated and annotated list of free sites for legal research by Villanova Law Library

  Legal Information Institute
More than a website pointing to free authoritative sources for executive, legislative and judicial materials. This site also provides access to secondary sources, a lawyer directory, subject arrangements and explanations about landscape of legal materials.

Secondary Legal Sources

Secondary legal sources such as encyclopedia articles, dictoraries, and books called treatises are a good way to begin to understand the the principles and contour of legal subjects.  It is much easier to gain orientation to legal topics using secondary sources than by driving right into the law itself.

Westlaw provides access to many secondary legal sources such as American Law Reports.

  Black's Law Dictionary, 11th edition
Paralegal students use your Westlaw username and password to sign on.

  Nutshell Series
The Nutshell series offer concise, easily understood introductions to legal topics. We have a number of Nutshells as ebooks.

  Paralegal Series
Handbooks (ebooks) for legal assistants on substantive legal topics and professional practice by Aspen/Wolters Kluwer.

  American Jurisprudence 2nd
Legal encyclopedia

  Matthew Bender Publications on Nexis Uni
Matthew Bender is a noted legal publisher of many books on both substantive areas of law and practice and forms. Browse the titles included in the Nexis Uni database.

  Villanova University School of Law Library Catalog
Use this search to discover print books in the Villanova Law Library Collection. Visit the library to consult these materials.

  Falvey Book Search
Falvey does have some books on legal topics.

  WEX
A crowdsources legal dictionary and encyclopedia hosted by Cornell Law School.

  Open Jurists Dictionaries
Access to out of copyright editions of Black's and Ballentine's. Helpful but a bit dated.

Law Review Databases

Law reviews are the academic scholarly periodical literature covering all aspects of the law.  They typically explore emerging, contentious and evolving areas of law in great detail.  They assume fluency with legal terminology and reasoning.

  HeinOnline
Provides full text access to legal periodicals, books, government documents, legal texts, and other primary source collections in the legal field.
Subscription courtesy of the Charles Widger School of Law Library.

  Nexis Uni  Limitations on Use
Formerly known as LexisNexis Academic. Provides full text access to national and international newspaper and magazine articles and news transcripts, business, company, and industry information in the U.S. and abroad, and legal documents, including U.S. Federal and State court cases, and law reviews. Coverage varies.

  Google Scholar
Interdisciplinary search engine for scholarly literature. Not exclusively law reviews, but many are found here. If you hit a paywall, search for full text on Falvey's web site "articles and more"

citation guides

  The Indigo Book
A guide to the Uniform System of Citation (Bluebook) in the public domain.

  Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (LII 2006 ed.)
Written by Peter W. Martin of Cornell University, this is a guide to the Harvard Bluebook and ALWD citation manuals.

  The Bluebook Uncovered: A Practical Guide to Mastering Legal Citation by Dionne Anthon
A textbook on legal citation for legal writing courses, but also a useful reference.

Non-Legal Research 

Paralegals are often tasked with non-legal research projects.  Common topics include gathering background on people, organizations and property, but may also extend to events and topical research across many domains.

To save time and energy, find out what research tools are available to you by contacting the libraries and research centers at your disposal.  Many of research tools and approaches are not readily discoverable on the free web.  Reach out to your firm library, public library or academic library for guidance.

 

  Fact Finding: Persons, Companies & Property
Curated and annotated list of sources by Villanova Law Library. Note many of the recommended databases are restricted by subscriptions.

  Business Subject Guide
List of business databases available via Falvey.

paralegal Profession

These links to associations, blogs and news related to the paralegal profession will help stay current on developments.

  ABA Journal Paralegals

  Paralegal Bootcamp Blog

  Paralegal Voice Podcast

  NALA: The Paralegal Association

  Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations