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Using Databases at Oakton

Nexis Uni provides access to primary source material such as case law, statutes, and regulations or dives into secondary source materials such as legal news or law reviews for background or analysis of a legal topic. Some general tips:

  • Truncate your terms with an asterisk (*) to find more results.  For example, type comput* to find the words computer or computing.
  • Search for exact phrases with quotation marks (“”).
  • Use just a few key words in your search.  The database will not look for common ‘stop words’ like: been, however, so, or, in, etc.

Access more detailed directions and videos below.

Click the link below to search Nexis Uni Criminal Justice & Paralegal. (You will need to log in with your myOakton username and password if you are off campus.)

Searching for a Subject or Legal Case

You can simply type keywords in the main search box to begin, but you will be searching all of Nexis Uni, not just the Criminal Justice portion. To refine your topic search to legal resources:

  1. Type your search terms in the search box.
  2. Click on the drop-down arrow to the left of the search box. Narrowing options will open below.
  3. Select the most appropriate category on the left. For legal research, some of the most useful categories include Content Collection, Cases and Codes, and Practice Areas & Topics. 
  4. Once you have selected a category on the left, check the boxes on the right for the types of materials most relevant to your research. You can select more than one.
  5. Once you have selected your narrowing options, click on “Search.”

main search box in Nexis Uni Criminal Justice & Paralegal

To find legal cases specifically:

  1. Select the “Cases and Codes” category. You can search using the parties, the legal citation, or just a general topic keyword.
  2. Once you have selected “Cases and Codes” you can limit your case search to a specific court, circuit, or state/territory.

legal case search options in Nexis Uni Criminal Justice & Paralegal


Once you have done a search, you will reach the results list:

  • Results appear in order of Relevance. Click on the “Sort by” drop-down menu to select other options for sorting. 
  • To get more information about an article listed in your search results, click on the title.

Nexis Uni Criminal Justice & Paralegal results list

  • If you scroll down the page, the left-hand navigation (under “Narrow By”) also allows you to further limit your results. 
  • You can search a date range (under “Timeline”), select a specific subject term (under “Subject”), choose a particular industry (under “Industry”), and more. 


Once you click on an article title, the following options and information appear:

  • The tool bar at the top includes icons you can click to print, email, and download the full text of the article.

Nexis Uni Criminal Justice & Paralegal article

  • Keep scrolling down the page to access the full text of the article (under the “Body” section). The title will be at the top, and your search terms will be highlighted as they appear in the title and body of the article.
  • To get a formatted citation (MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, Bluebook), click the box that says "Export Citation" and select your desired style from the drop-down menu that appears.

Nexis Uni Criminal Justice & Paralegal citation and article body

Nexis Uni - Tutorials

Length: 3:02
Length: 4:14
Length: 1:57

You can find more helpful videos about using Nexis Uni on their YouTube playlist.