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American Law Reports (ALR)  

Last Updated: Sep 1, 2010 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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CALI Lesson on ALR

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    Select American Law Reports (ALR) lesson under 1L - First Year Lesson Topics.

Publishing History

In publication since 1919, each series contains the following coverage:

ALR: 1919 through 1948

ALR 2d: 1948 through 1965

ALR 3d: 1965 through 1980

ALR 4th: 1980 through 1992

ALR 5th: 1992 through 2004

ALR 6th: 2004 -

ALR Fed: 1969 through 2005

ALR Fed 2d: 2005 -

ALR International: 2010 -


What, Why, & Where

American Law Reports (ALR): What & Why

American Law Reports (ALR) annotations provide in-depth coverage of legal issues in areas of law with discrepancies between jurisdictions.  The annotations set forth differences in the way the law is applied across jurisdictions.  Annotations are articles on a specific area of law that summarize the area as well as provide in-depth treatment to the legal issue.  The annotations also set forth why the particular case is so important, jurisdictional splits, views from both sides of the case, and citations to relevant cases from all jurisdictions.

ALR annotations are very useful when you know little about an area of law, want to find cases on a topic, and want to know how varying jurisdictions treat a particular issue.  If you find an ALR annotation on point, your research nearly is complete.  The annotations also provide references to relevant statutes, regulations, and other secondary sources such as law review articles, treatise materials, forms, and West's Key Numbers.

ALR is secondary authority, meaning you could cite it but probably should not.  Although secondary authority is sometimes persuasive, it's best to use it to point you to primary authority.

Where To Find ALR

In The Library

ALR 1st through 6th Series, ALR Fed and ALR Fed 2d, and ALR International are available in print on the first floor of the law library.  The ALR Index and West's ALR Digest are available also in print on the first floor.


Lexis provides access to the full text of ALR annotations within the 2nd through 6th series, ALR Fed, and ALR Fed 2d.


Westlaw provides access to the full text of all ALR annotations except ALR International.  Westlaw also provides access to the ALR Index and electronic annotations not available in print.

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Michele Thomas
Former UALR Law Librarian
Contact Info
For information on this LibGuide or other reference questions, please contact any reference librarian in the law library.

ALR on the shelf


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