As a law student or practitioner, you may be asked to draft legal forms. Fortunately, there are numerous sources to consult for sample forms for use in legal and business transactions and in civil and criminal court proceedings. Generally, collections of forms are accompanied by extensive references to case and statutory law and sometimes by citations to law review articles, treatises, and practice materials. Editorial commentary is usually provided.
Some forms are multi-jurisdictional in scope while other forms are for use in one particular jurisdiction. State-specific forms are often available in that state’s code (look under ‘Forms’ in the general index to the code) and in state treatises and practice materials. Sets of forms for use in practice before the federal courts are also available.
Legal forms for use in a specialized area of law practice may be found in a treatise or a looseleaf service (e.g. tax). There are forms for motions and pleadings in civil and criminal litigation and even forms devoted to a phase of the litigation process (e.g. discovery).
Forms on the Internet may be free or require an access fee. Forms required by an organization or a governmental body may be accessible from its website. Also, some law school and commercial websites have links to collections of forms.
This TimeSaver is a guide to selected sources for legal forms.
To locate forms in the Law Library’s collection, use the Library’s WebCatalog. Search words in the titles and contents of books by typing ‘forms’ and the legal subject area and/or jurisdiction desired. Also, the subject heading ‘forms’ will work to retrieve a listing of forms by subject and jurisdiction.