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Home Page > Courts > Finding the Law > What do you need to know to find the law?

How is Legal Information Organized?


Legal information can be divided into two types:

  • Primary sources. Statutes, regulations, ordinances and cases are all examples of primary sources. Primary sources can be used to answer your questions.

  • Secondary sources. Encyclopedias and books about specific topics (also known as treatises) are examples of secondary sources. Secondary sources give you general information and can suggest primary sources to answer your questions. Secondary sources are very helpful to start your legal research and can save you the time of finding primary sources yourself.


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Low-income New Jerseyans can get free legal help by phone: call our toll-free hotline at 1-888-LSNJ-LAW (1-888-576-5529), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Outside of New Jersey, please call 732-572-9100 and ask to be transferred to the hotline.