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American Law Reports (ALR): ALR

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2023 3:05 PM

What is ALR?

ALR is a collection of articles (collected in several large series) focusing on VERY specific topics. 

Each ALR article cites to cases across multiple US jurisdictions (state and federal), highlighting the disparate trends in treatment of very narrow points of law.

For more descriptions of ALR see/listen/watch:

American Law Reports (ALR) Zimmerman's Research Guide 

How to Find the Law by Morris L. Cohen., pp.115-134 (9th ed. 1989) Law Library KF240 .C538 1989 (Ref & Ref Desk)

MP3 Audio (listen/ download or read transcript): ALR by Beth DiFelice (CALI)

ALR Online


Where is ALR Located?

**ALR is shelved on the 2nd floor in Federal Core Collection.**


  • ALR First Series, 1919-48
  • ALR 2d Second Series, 1948-65
  • ALR 3rd Third Series, 1965-1980
  • ALR 4th Fourth Series, 1980-92
  • ALR 5th Fifth Series, 1992-2005
  • ALR 6th Sixth Series, 2005+
  • ALR Federal, 1969-2005
  • ALR Federal 2d, 2d 2005+

(Pre-1969, consult ALR through ALR 3d, v.27)

How to find an ALR citation by SUBJECT

ALR 3d - 6th, ALR Quick Index (Shelved after ALR Federal)
ALR Federal, ALR Federal Quick Index
ALR 1st - 6th & Federal, West’s ALR Digest (Shelved after ALR Federal)
ALR 1st- 6th & Federal, ALR Index (Shelved after ALR Federal)

How to find an ALR citation by STATUTE, RULE, REGULATION, etc.

ALR 1st - 6th & Federal, ALR Table of Laws, Rules and Regulations (Shelved after ALR Fed.)

How to UPDATE an annotation with more recent DECISIONS

ALR - Search each volume of the ALR Blue Book of Supplemental Decisions
ALR 2d - Search in the appropriate volume and pocket part of the ALR2d Later Case Service
ALR 3rd - 6th Search the pocket part of the same volume
ALR Fed - Search the pocket part of the same volume

How to find SUPPLEMENTING and SUPERSEDING annotations

Use the Annotation History Table in the last volume of the ALR Index to ALR 1st - 6th & Federal and its pocket part. The ALR 5th & 6th Table of Cases and ALR Federal Tables also have Annotation History Tables.

  • If a annotation is superseded, it may be ignored and the later one read.
  • If an annotation is supplemented, both the earlier and later annotations must be read.

​Shepardizing ALR citations

Shepard’s Citations for ALR (Shelved after ALR Federal) Ceased in 2005

  • CASES division lists citing annotation references to cases from state and and federal courts
  • ANNOTATION division lists citing cases and annotations for annotations in ALR

How to find an ALR citation by CASE NAME

For cases reprinted in FULL:

  • ALR - Use volume 12 of the Permanent Digest
  • ALR2d - Use volume 7 of the ALR 2d Digest
  • ALR 5th & 6th - ALR 5th & 6th Table of Cases
  • ALR Federal - ALR Fed Tables

For cases CITED in ALR annotations:

  • ALR 5th & 6th Use ALR 5th & 6th Table of Cases
  • ALR Federal Use ALR Federal Tables


ALR - Interactive Tutorial

American Law Reports (CALI program) 30 min.
Available to Law Students only (come to the reference desk if you do not have a password).


Additional Tools that refer to ALR

These sources also cite to ALR cases and annotations: