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Property Law: Start Here

Property Law, geared towards an audience of first year law students

Legal Lingo

When researching Property Law, you will come across unfamiliar words, or familiar words in unusual contexts. Black's Law Dictionary is the premier source for finding legal definitions. There are several copies of Black's throughout the Law Library, and you can find it online on Westlaw as well.   

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How does society assign rights to the ground, and everything on it? That is the question that Property Law seeks to answer. To be clear,  this guide is about real property. Black's Law Dictionary, 9th ed., defines "real property" as "land and anything growing on, attached to, or erected on it, excluding anything that may be severed without injury to the land. • Real property can be either corporeal (soil and buildings) or incorporeal (easements)."

American property law has its roots in the English Common Law. Cases decided hundreds of years ago can still be relevant today. Given the vast amount of legal information on the subject, this LibGuide is designed to point you in the right direction in your studies. 





How to Use This Guide

When tackling a new area of law, a secondary source is the best place to start to gain a basic understanding. Secondary sources will also point you to cases and statutes in a way that may be easier than starting with a search in those databases. 

If you find a statute that relates to your real property issue, you still need to look at caselaw. Real property has been around a long time, and you will need to see how statutes interplay with common law principles in a jurisdiction.


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