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Legal Research: Using Nexis Uni (Lexis Nexis)

This guide will describe the basics of doing legal research at the URI Libraries.

What is Nexis Uni?

The URI Library subscribes to Nexis Uni (formerly Lexis Nexis) which is a news, business and legal database.  The U.S. legal file provides the full text  to the following:

  • All federal and state statutes, codes and regulations
  • All federal and state case law going back to the inception of that body of law (1789 for federal and date of statehood for the states)
  • Articles of all major law journals
  • Briefs of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Shepard's (for more information, see the "Shepard's" section of this guide)
  • Plus a number of basic legal reference sources (for more information, see the "Additional Research Help" section of this guide).

Nexis Uni provides extensive help resources.   There are searching tips below every search screen  There are also help links on every page and access to a wiki. The tips given in the box below are to help you to quickly get started.

To access Nexis Uni go to:

Nexis Uni Search Tips

  • When typing in your search keep in mind that Nexis Uni is a full text database so to avoid unmanagable numbers of search results, take advantage of any limiting options that are available on the screen
  • When viewing your results, it's best to sort them by relevance which can be done by the "sort" pull down menu.
  • When navigating between the results list and viewing the full document, use the backward key in your browser and not the Nexis Uni "results list" link.  If you have resorted your results or used any other limits, this link will automatically delete those limits and you'll have to redo them.
  • All documents in Nexis Uni are text rather than image files so if you need to print a document, there is no way to easily tell how many pages it will be.  Since many court opinions and law review articles can run 20, 30 or more pages, it's a good idea to use the "print preview" option to determine the exact number before actually printing.

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Deborah Mongeau
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