key numbers

Using Digests in Legal Research

Have you tried searching for legal cases by randomly typing in key words in a database? Searching this way can be time consuming and is often unsuccessul. Instead, try using a West digest that provides you with specific subject headings.

Thomsen West, a publisher of legal materials developed a key number system that assigns key numbers to subject headings. In the law library we have Virginia and West Virginia Digest in print. This digest is a multivolume set and the subjects, with their assigned key number, are listed alphabetically.