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Introduction to Legal Research

This guide is an introduction to legal research at the University of Melbourne. This guide is intended for law students in the JD, MLM , Breadth programs who are new to legal research. Students in other disciplines who may need to conduct legal research


Secondary sources are the best place to start legal research because they provide an overview of an area of law and lead you to primary sources. To find the secondary sources relevant to your topic, check out the Law Library Research Guides. We have produced a number of guides on a range of subject areas and jurisdictions.

After completing this module you should have a better understanding of how to locate and navigate secondary sources such as: 

  • Dictionaries and encyclopaedias
  • Books (including ebooks) 
  • Journal articles
  • Commentary (loose-leaf services)
  • Government publications
  • Law reform materials