Resources to begin researching Wisconsin law 

When starting legal research, it's best to begin with secondary sources that will lead you to primary law on your issue.  Listed below are just a few valuable resources on Wisconsin law located in the Law Library:

Books Unbound - Book Unbound is the online version of the CLE (continuing legal education) Wisconsin Bar books that are located behind the Circulation Desk.  This set is offered in two formats, print and online.  In print, you can search for individual titles in the catalog and online you can browse titles alphabetically. This valuable set of books is arranged by legal topic, includes forms, and provides useful tips to lawyers practicing Wisconsin law. 

LOCATION ONLINEBooks Unbound.  Browse by title or use the keyword search box located at the top left of the screen to refine your search.

PRINT: Ask for the State Bar of Wisconsin CLE books, "brown binders" by title, topic or call number.  This is a multi-volume set so it helps to have a title or a call number.

To locate individual titles, search in the UW catalog.

In the catalog's keyword menu box type: Wisconsin CLE books

To refine your search add AND in AllCaps and include a topic.  For example: Wisconsin CLE Books AND "trial practice" to locate the Wisconsin CLE: Wisconsin Trial Practice

Wisconsin Digests - Digests, once the go-to resources for locating case law by topic, the Wisconsin Digests still provide a valuable service by abstracting case law by legal issue.  The digests are not duplicated online, so there is no equivilant to  the print state digests, but many of the features of a digest, such as  researching by headnotes or case abstracts are available in legal databases.  

We have two great print Wisconsin Digest Sets located on the 5th floor of the Law Library in the Habash & Habash Grand Reading Room:


West's Key Number Digest: REF KFW 2457 W47 

Callaghan's Wisconsin Digests: REF KFW 2457 C34 

Wisconsin Annotated Statutes -Another great legal resource is to read the annotations provided by a legal publisher that follow a statute.  These annotations summarize case law and provide titles to law review articles that are relevant to the statute. 

LOCATION: REF 2430 1957 A53

Wisconsin Pleadings & Practice - This is a great resource for information on pleadings, trial cases, and appellate cases, includes forms and is a great resource for researching Wisconsin rules of civil procedure. 

LOCATION: Use the set behind the Circulation Desk.  The set in the Reference Collection is no longer kept up to date: REF KFW 2930 B72


Submitted by Jenny Zook, Reference Librarian on October 27, 2021

This article appears in the categories: Law Library