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Secondary Sources: ALR

A guide designed for first year law students on the MU Law Library's resources for secondary sources / Last updated by Jacob Wood, JD '25

What are ALRs?

The American Law Reports (ALR) contain annotations (articles) on very narrow legal issues that tend to be more in-depth than the analysis in legal encyclopedias. The print version of the ALR typically uses a case that illustrates a legal concept very well to explain the issue, while the electronic versions dive straight into the legal analysis. ALR annotations also provide references to case law and statutes from many different states to help you understand how a particular legal has been applied in different jurisdictions. ALR annotations also contain references to  other secondary sources, including related ALR annotations, treatise and encyclopedia articles, and law review articles.  Individual ALR annotations also contain their own indexes and tables of contents.

Useful features:

  • In-depth analysis of decisions from all jurisdictions
  • Annotation-specific libraries of secondary source references for further research
  • Comprehensive index as well as indexes to individual annotations

Things to be aware of: 

  • Like encyclopedias, ALRs are not typically cited
  • Be sure to check the pocket parts for updates

Locating ALRs