LegalTrac: A Comprehensive Web-based Law Index

legaltracLegalTrac- A Comprehensive Web-Based Law Index

 LegalTrac is provided by Gale, A Cengage Company and is the web-based version of the print source Current Law Index. Today, there are over 2,000,000 articles available on this database. The information available on LegalTrac is not only extensive but also current. For example, the information available on the database begins in the 1980s and it is updated daily. LegalTrac provides access to more than 1,200 law reviews, 3003 different publications, legal newspapers, bar associated journals, and international legal journals.

How to access LegalTrac

LegalTrac can be accessed on and off the Charleston School of Law campus. To get to LegalTrac, go to the Charleston School of Law Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library. Next, click on the “Databases” link that will be listed on the right side of the page. Upon reaching the “Databases & Catalog” page, select either “On-Campus Access” or “Off-Campus Access”, depending on your location. LegalTrac will be listed under the “Index” section of the page.

How to search on LegalTrac

Considering the variety and the large number of articles provided on LegalTrac, you may be wondering if there are effective and efficient ways to search through the information. Fortunately, there are! Although LegalTrac provides a researcher with multiple methods to filter a search, there are five quick and easy ways to search on this database:

  1. Basic Search: search using a simple search bar.
  2. Advanced Search: search by selecting multiple filters including documents with full-text, peer-reviewed journals, documents that contain images, publication date, publication title, publication subject, and document type.
  3. Subject-Guide Search: allows you to search by selecting the same filters available when using the advanced search, but also helps you find the right search terms by providing preferred spellings.
  4. Publication Search: search for a specific publication by date, subject, country language, and the format. LegalTrac offers access to over 3,000 publications that can also be viewed in a list format!
  5. Topic Finder: search in by using a visual format. The topic finder selects the keywords that are most often associated with your search terms. Additionally, the Topic Finder allows you to view your results in a “tile” or “wheel” format. Clicking on a particular tile or wheel narrows your search to documents containing the subject you are looking for.

…and that’s about all there is to LegalTrac.  Happy Hunting!

By Haleigh Teegarden
Class of 2020

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