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A legal secondary source (aka secondary authority) is writing about the law (aka primary authority). Legal secondary sources have two main purposes:
1. Provide an explanation of the law
2. Provide citations to primary authorities such as cases, statutes, regulations, etc.
A secondary source is often the BEST STARTING POINT for legal research, especially when you are unfamiliar with the area of law.
You can save a lot of time at the beginning of your research by locating a good secondary source. Ideally, you would like a secondary source that is authorative, current, and specific to your jurisdiction (if possible) which provides in-depth treatment of your topic.
There are a VARIETY of different types of secondary sources.
American Law Reports (ALRs)