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Research Assistant Resources

This research guide is a survival guide for NYU Law research assistants (RAs), providing resources for all stages of their RA work.


This section of the guide is a short introduction to international and foreign law research. We have several in-depth guides for foreign and international law research, including guides on the United Nations, and Foreign/International Taxation, and WTO/GATT Research available here.

Should you run into questions or concerns with your research, feel free to reach out to the librarian assigned to your faculty member for specialized advice. Please check this list to determine which librarian you should contact. 

Foreign Law Research

In this guide, "Foreign Law" refers to the national law of non-U.S. jurisdictions (like the laws of India, Brazil, and China, for example). Foreign law research can be complicated for a number of reasons, including: the uniqueness of each state's legal system; the lack of English translations of most foreign law; and the fact that often the only place to find a nation's law might be in a fee-based database to which NYU Law doesn't subscribe, or is in books the library doesn't own. 

In general, if you do not have background knowledge on the legal system of the country you are researching or you are unsure of what specific foreign laws or cases might address your topic, you should start your research in a secondary source like a treatise, or in a research guide (including but not limited to those created and maintained by the NYU Law Library). These resources can explain the legal system, terminology, and concepts of a particular nation and can provide the primary sources available in the area.

For those performing comparative law research, which refers to research comparing and contrasting the foreign laws of different jurisdictions, some excellent starting points include HeinOnline's Multinational Sources Compared: A Subject and Jurisdiction Index and Brill's Foreign Law Guide.

For more information on foreign law research, use our Foreign Law by Jurisdiction research guide.

International Law Research

"International Law" refers to the law between or among nations, like agreements created by the United Nations, NATO, the WTO, the WHO, and the International Criminal Court. International law research requires a variety of sources, and also requires the researcher to determine what treaties apply in what jurisdiction. If you are approaching International Law from a U.S. perspective, the Restatement of the Law (Third), the Foreign Relations of the United States is a great starting point. Additionally, we recommend this guide on public international law from GlobaLex, NYU Law's foreign and international research guide project.