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PHIL 378 / PG 348: Philosophy of Law

Getting Started with Nexis Uni

Nexis Uni (previously known as LexisNexis Academic) is a powerful search tool and a rich source of information for a wide range of topics including business, law, environment, health and medicine, government, consumer, biographies/people, country profiles, and news. 

Legal information in Nexis Uni includes 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 from major law journals
  • Briefs of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Shepard's Citations 
  • Plus a number of basic legal reference sources 

Accessing Nexis Uni


Accessing Nexis Uni

From the Collins Memorial Library webpage, click the Databases A-Z link, then click the letter "N", then choose Nexis Uni.

Case Law

Case law involves decisions made by the courts/judges, published in 'reporters.' The judicial branch of the government interprets the laws passed by the legislative and executive branches and hears actions to enforce the requirements.

A typical citation: 

Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1

Includes the name of the case, physical volumes, the court reporter (here U.S. stands for U.S. Reports, which are federal Supreme Court reporters), and the page number where the case begins.

How To Find a Specific Legal Case: Main Search Box

You can quickly find a case on Nexis Uni in a variety ways. When looking for cases, it is best to search by the citation because you go directly to the case.​

  1. Type the case citation or party name in the big search box


  1. Click on All Content Types (next to the magnifying glass icon) and select Legal
  2. Choose Cases - US - the court or state if you know it
  3. Type in the case citation

How To Find Legal Cases: Pod Searching

From the home page, you can create a simple search targeting a particular type of content through the Task Pods. Click on the content type that you want to search and fill in the available options. 

For example:

pod searching example

Shepardizing & Signal Indicators

Shepard's provides a comprehensive case citation and treatment history to verify the validity of case law, statutes, agency opinion, and other legal document. When you shepardize a case, you will find "citing decisions" that refer to the original case. Those appeals may affirm, question, or overturn the original case.

  • Any U.S. federal or state case can be Shepardized in Nexis Uni
  • Links to Summary, prior history, subsequent history, treatment, and law review references.
  • After finding a case record click on "Shepardize this Document" on the right or click on the target symbol next to the name.

Shepardize example


Signal Indicators

When you retrieve cases in Nexis Uni, the case will have one of seven possible Signal Indicators (icon) right before the title. The icon indicates how citing cases refer to the case. 

Nexis Uni: How to Search From the Home Page Tutorial

Nexis Uni Advanced Search Tutorial

Why Register?

The free registration option allows users to create a Nexis Uni account by providing their name and email address. Once you have created an account, you can take advantage of several useful customization features.

Some of the features available if you register:

  • Save searches, documents and notes and share them with other users
  • Set up alerts to track new content added to Nexis Uni
  • View search history to provide a quick overview of earlier research
  • Choose to set one of the discipline pages as your Uni home page.