There are a number of tools that can be used to find periodical articles. Unless the periodical is found in full text on the Internet, Hein Online, LexisNexis, Westlaw or some other online services, finding a legal periodical is usually a two-step process. First, you must find the citation to the article. Then, the publication that the article is in must be found. There are various indexes, both paper and electronic, to help find citations to articles within legal periodicals.
The Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP) began in its print version in 1908. It currently covers approximately 1000 legal publications, primarily scholarly Anglo-American journals. The electronic version has current and retrospective databases, with coverage in the retrospective database going back to 1908. Access it via the Electronic Resources menu. Use the barcode number located on the back of your Southwestern ID card as the password for remote access. Additionally, ILP is available on LexisNexis and Westlaw.
LegalTrac is another option. In addition to law reviews and journals, it indexes selected legal newspapers and law-related articles from other publications. With coverage beginning in 1980, it currently indexes approximately 1300 periodicals. LegalTrac available via the library's Electronic Resources menu. Equivalents of LegalTrac are available on LexisNexis and Westlaw.
Indexing services such as ILP and LegalTrac provide the most comprehensive access to legal periodicals. Although both LexisNexis and Westlaw provide full text services, these databases cover fewer journal titles than the indexing services and the titles available span a shorter time frame. The earliest articles in the full text services date from the mid-1980's. Most journals currently covered became available online in the late eighties and early nineties. Therefore, it is recommended that your research begin in an indexing service. The relevant citations can then be checked in a full text database for availability.
Most articles found in the indexing services, whether available electronically or not, are likely to be found in the Taylor Law Library's periodical collection on the lower level. The call number and location of journals can be found by clicking on an icon on ILP or a hyperlink on LegalTrac from the results screens. Otherwise, to locate the article in the library simply perform a title search, using the journal title, on the library's online catalog. If the library owns the journal, its bibliographic information will appear on the screen. Note the call number and location. That's all you need to find the volume containing the article.
In order to solve some of the shortcomings of other electronic sources for law reviews, Hein Online is a service that allows access to the early years of over 720 legal periodicals. Almost all start with volume one of the law review. Some go back as far as the early 1800's. Although the intent was to cover those pre-1980's issues of journals not covered by the other commercial legal databases, in most instances issues from recent years are available as well. Full text searching is possible along with searching by citation and title. Unlike legal periodicals on LexisNexis and Westlaw, Hein Online displays the images of the original publication. Hein Online can be accessed via the library's Electronic Resources menu.