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Terminology / Discourse

Trafficking Statistics

Locating State Laws and Judicial Activity

Understanding Legal Citation (for statutes, legal codes, and more) 

Any law, court case, rule or regulation has a legal citation.  Legal citations has a specific format and it is different from the citation format used in other academic disciplines.  To do legal research you need to be able to understand a legal citation.  This is how to read a legal citation:

  • Law Name:          Civil Rights Act of 1964           
  • Legal Citation:    78 Stat 241

78 is the volume number; Stat is the abbreviation for United States Statutes at Large, the publication; and 241 is the page number. IThis is a terrible example and I will try to update it!)

This format - volume number, abbreviation for the publication, and page number - remains basically the same for all legal materials (including state law reporters) and it is used to cite law review articles as well as other legal sources.

State Agencies

Tertiary {Reference] Resources

Secondary Sources: Law Reviews and Legal Journals ; Databases with legal content

Legal Research: A Guide to Secondary Resources (Law Library of Congress) ; see also this guide from Harvard Law School Library Note: Both links may include publications that are not available at the WSU Libraries (but may be available at the U of I Law Library)

What's a "law review?"

Law Reviews.  Available via Nexis Uni. WSU Only Access.  Nexis Uni provides legal codes, court opinions, full-text law reviews and legal periodicals with extensive search options.  Dates of coverage vary by title.  

Law Journal Library. Available via HeinOnline WSU Only access. Note that HeinOnline includes a number of other collections that may be relevant for this topic. 

Law Review Commons.  Brings together a growing collection of law reviews and legal journals in an easily browsable and searchable format. It contains both current issues and archival content spanning over 100 years.  Currently provides over 300 open-access law reviews.

ABA Legal Technology Resource Center.  Search more than 400 online full-text law review and journals and related sources, including Congressional Research Service Reports.  Coverage varies.

Secondary Sources: Monographs (books) and Academic Article Databases

General: Think Tanks, Research Institutes, and NGOs

Note that think tanks and research institutes may have a (or multiple) specific policy perspective (i.e. centrist, liberal, conservative, feminist, libertarian, etc). 

About think tanks - On Think Tanks

Find more: Bing search,  think tanks trafficking

Locating Relevant Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)


Google/Bing syntax human trafficking (or "human trafficking", or just trafficking, or "sex trafficking" or labor trafficking, etc.)

         (You can also do   or -- but they will give you governmental results ;-)


law review trafficking - example for searching academic sites, but you have to be careful of what you find because you may get student personal pages, etc.

Note that these are largely U.S.-based because we are using default US web syntax. You can search the French, or Australian, or Malaysian or most any other country's instance of "the Web" by using country codes


Citing Your Sources (APA)

But what about regulations/administrative law?

At the federal level the legislative branch passes laws (the U.S. Code), but the executive branch is usually charged with implementing them through administrative law/regulations (Code of Federal Regulations). States will have their own equivalents. This is probably out of scope for this class, but I'm including it for the curious!

For individual states you would have to look at each one independently. For example, in Washington State the compilation of law is the Revised Code of Washington (RCL), and the regulatory code is the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).


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