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Criminal Law & Procedure: Start Here

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Research Tips

Before starting your research:

  • Clarify what it is you are researching and why. Ask questions.
  • Try to spot the important issues
  • Identify your jurisdiction
  • Brainstorm some keywords to use as search terms
  • Make a research plan: where will you look, and why?

Some helpful tools:


This LibGuide was originally authored in 2013 by Laura Hartnett, Faculty Services Librarian at Northeastern University School of Law.  It was updated by Alfreda Russell, Law Librarian at Northeastern University School of Law, in 2017.


This LibGuide will help you locate the primary and secondary sources that are relevant for researching criminal law, including state and federal statutes, case law, and rules of criminal procedure. 1L's will find the Model Penal Code (MPC) to be a useful source for understanding criminal law, since most states have adopted portions of the MPC and the majority of criminal cases are heard in state courts.


How to Use this Guide

This guide is intended to introduce you to some of the key resources available at the Northeastern University School of Law Library for researching criminal law. 

Here are some suggestions:

  • Preparing for an exam? Check out the Study Aids page

The U.S. criminal law and procedure materials mentioned in this guide -- except where classified as Reference, Reserve or Database -- are most often found in the KF9201-9827 range on the 4th Floor of the Law Library. 

Massachusetts criminal law and procedure materials are generally found in the KFM2961-2998.8 range on the 4th Floor of the Law Library; many are published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE).

Get Help

Reference Librarians are available to help you with your research questions

3rd Floor Law Library at Info Desk

Monday -Friday
8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Tel: (617) 373-3332

Lexis Online Study Aids