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Health Law Resources

A guide to information resources for health care administration and nursing students learning about health law

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Primary and Secondary Sources in Legal Research

Legal research can include the use of both primary and secondary sources. 

Primary sources are official pronouncements of governmental lawmakers.  Examples of primary sources include court decisions, statutes, and regulations that influence legal doctrine. 

Secondary sources are works that discuss, explain, or analyze legal doctrine, but are not actual laws.  Examples of secondary sources include: treatises, hornbooks, restatements and practice manuals.


Legal Primary Sources

Legal Secondary Sources

Court decisions




Regulations that form the basis of legal doctrine



Practice manuals


Law reviews from academic journals


Guide Originally Created by:

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Debbie Percher
Debbie Percher
Reference Librarian