Skip to Main Content
site header image

PROLAW Program Research Guide: Getting Started


This guide is designed to provide faculty and students in the LUC Law School's PROLAW program with a roadmap for their research. It includes sources specific to the topic of the "Rule of Law," but it also includes sources and tools related to international and foreign legal research that may be useful for PROLAW program researchers. The guide also provides instructions on how to use the LUC Libraries' online catalog, PowerNotes (a tool for organizing and aggregating your research), and RefWorks (a bibliographic aggregator tool). See under the "FAQs & Demos" tab for information about these resources. 

PROLAW students and faculty may access LUC electronic books and subscription databases via the proxy server with their LUC logins and passwords.  Participants in the PROLAW program also receive instructions for setting up Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg Law accounts for academic use

World Justice Project Rule of Law Index®

The World Justice Project is a non-profit organization "working to advance the rule of law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity." The Project is supported financially by a number of individuals, organizations, corporations, and law firms, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy.  The Project compiles an annual "Rule of Law Index" that offers a picture of the extent to which individual nations adhere to the rule of law. 

ABA Rule of Law Initiative

The American Bar Association has a Rule of Law Initiative. According to the organization's website, the Initiative is "dedicated to promoting rule of law around the world. The ABA Rule of Law Initiative believes that rule of law promotion is the most effective long-term antidote to the pressing problems facing the world community today, including poverty, economic stagnation, and conflict."

What is the Rule of Law?

There is a plethora of scholarship on the general topic of the "Rule of Law." Listed below are several articles/papers that serve as good introductions to the subject.

Map of Legal Systems

Sponsored by the University of Ottawa, JuriGlobe is a multilingual databank that provides general information on world legal systems.  Countries are categorized by type of legal system, and a color-coded map is included that displays the geographic distribution of legal systems.

Online Translators

English translations of foreign and international legal materials are often difficult to locate and can be unreliable.  Only in rare instances are authoritative English translations available.  If authoritative versions are not available, look for "official" translations that are created by, or for, a government organization.  Further, look for synoptic translations, which allow for side-by-side comparisons of the vernacular with the English translation.  Some types of legal materials are translated into English more often than others, such as those pertaining to commercial law. 

Many online translators are available on the WWW, but these should be used with caution since web translators do not generally include specialized legal or commercial vocabulary.  Online translators, however, may be of some help in getting the general sense of a document or passage.  Examples of WWW translators are:


Resources Related to the Rule of Law (LUC Rome Campus)

The following is a list of selected books related to the rule of law currently available in the LUC Rome campus library, including electronic books available to LUC students via the online catalog. Websites related to the general topic of the rule of law are also listed. Other selected books at the Rome campus library associated with this topic are listed under the "Books" tab of this guide. 


Under the auspices of the Hauser Global Law School Program at New York University, this website provides links to a growing collection of articles on foreign, comparative, and international legal research. Examples of countries covered include: Cambodia, Chile, Hungary, Lesotho, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Turkey, and Zimbabwe.