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Advanced Legal Research: Researching Secondary Sources & Practice Tools

This guide will help you research in secondary sources and practice tools.


Let’s talk about things that are not treatises, specifically form books and practice guides. There are two types of legal practice:

  1) Transactional practice or out of court practice; and

  2) Trial Practice

Transactional practice involves the drafting of contracts, wills, and other documents and advising clients of compliance with the law; and on deal making, etc. There are all types of transactional practice material out there.  There’s no point in you re-inventing the wheel if you don’t have to. Transactional practice material provide collections of sample legal forms that use boiler-plate language.  Often you can get multiple types of a form.  For example, a longer, detailed form or a shorter form. Forms can operate as a checklist to ensure that you do not forget to include something or show you how something is formatted.  Particularly useful are the annotated form sets which will tell you why certain clauses are necessary and let you know whether it is pro-purchaser or pro-seller, etc.

One thing to keep in mind any time you are looking to use a form is that you don’t want to just take a form off the shelf and use it.  You’re going to need to change and adapt it to your jurisdiction and circumstances. 

Bloomberg Law Transactional Forms

Bloomberg Law Icon  NOTE: These resources are only available to UC Law students and faculty.

Bloomberg Law is a great resource for transactional forms.  Search for forms across content, or check out some specific collections, like ALI-ABA or PLI forms, both linked from thetransactional research resources or the DealMaker Documents and DealMaker Clauses.

Gale Legal Forms

Gale Legal Forms (available from The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County -- Must be a library card holder to access).

General legal forms available include real estate contracts, wills, premarital agreements, landlord tenant forms, business, corporation, and many others.
Gale Legal Forms Help Guide

Lexis Practice Advisor

NOTE: These resources are only available to UC Law students and faculty.

Lexis Practice Advisor is a Lexis product that provides a comprehensive portal for specific transactional practice areas.  It provides model forms and agreements with annotations (these forms can be downloaded into Microsoft Word); relevant secondary source materials; practice tips and checklists; emerging issues information; and selected cases and codes. From the Lexis Advance search screen, select “Lexis Practice Advisor” from the red "Research" drop-down menu in the upper left corner.

Lexis Practice Advisor User Guide

Selected Transactional Form Books in Print

Form books can be found in UCLID by title or keyword searches or by doing a subject search. There are many subject specific form books.

Clicking on a link below will do a subject search on UCLID with that subject heading.

Lexis Advance Transactional Forms

Lexis Advance Icon   NOTE: These resources are only available to UC Law students and faculty.

Search across content type for forms. You can also set a pre-search filter to specify forms under the content types drop-down. You can also go to Browse Sources > Search Sources > and search "forms" in the box to see what form databases are available.

There are numerous subject specific form databases.

Westlaw Transactional Forms

WestlawNext Icon  NOTE: These resources are only available to UC Law students and faculty.

From the initial WLN screen, click on forms to go to the form finder,

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