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Legal Research FAQs: Locating Forms

About Forms

Forms are templates or guides which attorneys use when drafting legal documents.  Generally, attorneys use forms as a starting place to find suggested language, and then tailor them to meet their specific needs.  These resources for legal forms do not include bureacratic forms that have legal effect (e.g. a W-2 form).

Formbooks tend to fall into one of two categories:  practice forms, which are used to draft litigation documents, and legal forms, which are used to draft transactional documents (e.g. contracts, wills).

This guide contains some of the major resources (both in print and online) for finding forms in our Library but is not intended to be an exhaustive list.  If you can't find what you need here, or are looking for more specific subject matter (e.g. estate planning forms), you can also try a keyword search in our Library's online catalog.  Access to resources in IICLE Online requires a valid Loyola Law School ID and password; access to resources in Westlaw or Lexis require an individual user ID and password.

Locating Practice Forms

In addition to the resources listed below, handbooks published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (a/k/a IICLE) will often contain  forms.  For a complete list of IICLE handbooks available in the Library, check the Library catalog.  A complete list of online IICLE resources is available to Loyola Law School users via IICLE Online.

Locating Jury Instructions

Jury instructions are special formbooks that contain the instructions on the law which are given to juries at the end of a trial.  There are two types of instructions:  pattern, which are usually approved by a state bar association or Supreme Court, and non-pattern, which are not.  In Illinois, pattern instructions must be used if applicable unless the presiding judge determines that they do not accurately state the law.  Non-pattern instructions may be used when no pattern instructions exist, or in cases when pattern instructions do not accurately state the law.

Locating Legal Forms

In addition to the resources listed below, handbooks published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (a/k/a IICLE) will often contain  forms.  For a complete list of IICLE handbooks available in the Library, check the Library catalog.  A complete list of online IICLE resources is available to Loyola Law School users via the IICLE Online Web site.