Education law encompasses a wide variety of topics:
The general law library materials, such as the statutes, regulations, court reporters, legal encyclopedias, American Law Reports, non- education law treatises and legal periodicals provide coverage of these education issues within their specific scope and context. This guide, however, does not focus on these general tools, but rather on the specialized tools which exists and deal primarily with education law issues.
Compared to many other areas in a law library collection, and especially considering the broad scope of the field as discussed in the first paragraph, there are surprisingly few materials which focus on education law topics. Although there are a few specialized treatise materials for the attorney interested in education law issues, many of the materials are written for the layperson...the teacher or principal who is trying to figure out what the law is so that he or she can comply with it. West Group offers a few basic titles, and LRP Publishers offers some materials for the practitioner and many for teachers, especially strong in special education law. Matthew Bender offers the only comprehensive treatise in the field. Individual associations publish more materials; the Education Law Association (formerly National Organization on Legal Problems in Education (NOLPE)) produces a variety of useful short works on a variety of practical topics. A few of the practitioner’s titles are loose-leaf and updated, but the lay person’s titles are not usually updated. They are inexpensive, though, and occasionally new editions do appear. There are other miscellaneous publishers which offer coverage of other education issues. The Department of Education produces relatively few documents through the U.S. Federal Depository Program. And, as mentioned below, searching the legal periodicals, both general journals and those focused on specifically on education, is a particularly productive research source since they provide a broad and rich coverage for many issues, and especially for current issues.