Legal Forms in the Library

By Susana Camargo-Pohl, Reference Librarian,

IntroductionFinding Forms in the Law LibraryFinding Forms on the Internet
Self-help Form BooksGeneral Form Books - SubstantiveGeneral Form Books - Practice
Federal Form BooksSubject Form BooksNew Jersey Form Books


Forms are often the backbone of successful legal document drafting. They are model instruments with suggested terminology and other essential details needed in formal legal documents. Generally forms are used as a starting place and then tailored to meet specific needs. Laws and court rules are constantly changing so when using a form it is necessary to read it carefully and revise the form to fit the current laws of the jurisdiction where it is to be used.

The Law Library has many different types of form books. Form books include either substantive or practice forms. The main distinction being that practice forms provide the language for documents filed with a court during litigation. Substantive forms include those such as contracts or wills. Federal form books can also be found in the library. These forms are specifically geared toward conducting matters in federal court. Also there are subject form books devoted to a particular topic and state form books designed for a specific state. A New Jersey listing of form books is included in this guide.

Finding Forms in the Law Library

This guide will assist you to find forms in the law library. Some of the major form books are listed, however there are many more options for finding legal forms.

The library online catalog is a good resource to help locate forms. There are many different ways to use the catalog to find form books. A SUBJECT search of "forms" results in nearly 200 subject matches. Scanning these you might locate the particular type of form book you are interested in. A WORD search of the topic you are looking for and the word "forms" is another way to use the online catalog to locate forms. For example, a WORD search in the catalog for "bankruptcy forms" results in about 25 books that have both the word "bankruptcy" and "forms."

Many treatises will include forms, either integrated within the text, in the appendix or as a separate volume. Use the catalog to locate a treatise on your topic and then check the index of the treatise to locate forms within the text. For example, Uniform Commercial Code, 3rd Ed., by James J. White and Robert S. Summers. West Group, St. Paul, MN, 1988. This treatise has an appendix with sample forms.

Some state codes and rule books will include both substantive and practice forms. Consult the general index of the state code or rules under the term forms. For example, the New Jersey Statutes Annotated includes forms such as the one found at N.J.S.A. 3B:3-4, which is a form for making a will self-proved at the time of execution. The New Jersey court rule book also has various practice forms in the appendices such as interrogatory forms and a form for notice of appeal to appellate division; see Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey, by Sylvia B. Pressler. Gann Law Books, Newark, NJ.

Finding Forms on the Internet

The Internet is becoming an increasingly popular place to find legal forms. As always, when using forms, be mindful of the authenticity and validity of the information. Be sure to verify information in the form with the current laws of your jurisdiction. If possible, use your state's judiciary page (state pages are located at www.state.(state abbreviation).us). The New Jersey State Judiciary page at has a link for a Legal Resource Room which includes appellate forms.

Using Internet search engines to locate specific forms might work but it is not a very efficient method of finding forms. If you would like to find forms on the Internet the following is a list of locations with legal forms:

Court TV Forms and Model Documents at
Findlaw Forms at
Findlaw State Corporation and Business Forms at
The 'Lectric Law Library Forms Room at
Legaldocs...Legal Documents Online at
WashLaw WEB forms directory at

Self-help Form Books

Another source of forms that has grown in popularity are the "self-help" books designed for lay persons. Although it always best to consult an attorney for legal matters, these books may be referred to for guidance. One of the major publishers of this type of book is (1-800-846-9455 or publishes books on general and specialized legal topics such as divorce, wills, and bankruptcy.

Self-help material may often be ordered through Web sites, catalogs or purchased at stationery or office supply stores. Not all stores carry this type of material so it is best to call and ask before making a trip. Oak Tree Office Supply (1-888-625-8733 or sells legal self-help material. Blumberg Excelsior (1-800-LAW-MART or is another supplier of self-help legal forms. Contact these or other vendors if you would like information on this type of material. These products may be useful but are not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney.

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American Jurisprudence, Legal Forms, 2d, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Co., Rochester, NY, 1971.

A multi-volume set containing more than 15,000 forms commonly used in business and legal documents. The set includes forms such as contracts, trusts, leases, wills and incorporations. Two volumes entitled "Federal Tax Guide to Legal Forms" cover tax law and are cross-referenced from the main volumes. The set has an index and is updated annually with pocket-parts. This set was originally published by Lawyers Co-operative but has been published by West Group since West's acquisition of Lawyers Co-op in 1997.

Call Number Location: KF170.A542

Current Legal Forms with Tax Analysis, by Jacob Rabkin and Mark H. Johnson, [et al]. Matthew Bender, New York, NY, 1948.

This looseleaf collection contains forms arranged topically under the following subject areas; Partnerships, Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, Franchising, Computers, General Business, Credit and Finance, Gift and Estate Planning, Domestic Relations, Employment and Retirement, Corporations, Real Estate, and Agriculture. It is especially useful for its inclusion of tax considerations and provides tax compliance checklists. The set is updated regularly with looseleaf inserts. Matthew Bender is now part of Lexis Publishing.

Call Number Location: KF6286.R32

Nichols Cyclopedia of Legal Forms Annotated, by Clark A. Nichols. Clark Boardman Callaghan, New York, NY, 1936.

Another multi-volume set arranged similarly to American Jurisprudence. This set includes forms, checklists, and questionnaires for a variety of topics. It is especially useful because it cross-references to both American Jurisprudence 2d and Corpus Juris Secundum. It also gives examples of forms from various jurisdictions. The library CANCELED updates to this set in 1997 so compliance with current guidelines should be verified. Clark Boardman Callaghan is now part of West Group.

Call Number Location: KF170.N48

West's Legal Forms 2d, West Group, St. Paul, MN, 1981.

This 39 volume set includes many types of forms arranged topically. Individual units are Business Organizations, Retirement Plans, Debtor-Creditor Relations, Real Estate Transactions, Domestic Relations, Estate Planning, Commercial Transactions, Elder Law, Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks, Employee Benefit Plans, Employment Agency and Service Agreements, and General Forms. The set is kept up to date with pocket parts and revised volumes.

Call Number Location: KF170.W3

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American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms Annotated, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Co., Rochester, NY, 1966.

This set includes state and federal pleading and practice forms. The forms are arranged alphabetically by title, similar to those found in American Jurisprudence 2d. The highlights to this set include; the Governing Principle behind the law given at the beginning of each topic; Checklists of allegations reminding users of permissible or required actions; a Procedural Timetable featured at the front of each volume listing principal procedural steps in chronological order; Statutory References and Procedural Rules References; Trial Aids referring users to Am Jur Proof of Fact; and Case notes. (See New Jersey Pleading and Practice Forms.) The library canceled the supplements to this set in 1992 but plans to begin periodic updates (see the Reference Librarian for more information).

Call Number Location: KF8836.A45

Bender's Forms of Discovery : an exhaustive compilation of forms, practice, and procedure on modern discovery designed to enable lawyers to elicit from adverse parties such information as may be essential to adequate preparation for trial. Matthew Bender & Co., New York, NY, 1963.

Volumes 1-13 are issued under title: Bender's forms of interrogatories. Kept up-to-date with looseleaf supplements.

Call Number Location: KF8900.A3 B451

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Federal Procedural Forms, Lawyers Edition, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Co., Rochester, NY, 1975.

This set is a comprehensive set of procedural forms for practice in federal courts in criminal, civil and administrative matters. The set is arranged alphabetically and the spine indicates whether the content of the volume deals with the Supreme Court, federal courts of appeal, district or bankruptcy courts, or some other national court. It is updated by pocket-parts.

Call Number Location: KF8836.F4

Nichols Cyclopedia of Federal Procedure Forms, by Clark A. Nichols. Callaghan, Wilmette, IL, 1952.

A companion publication to Cyclopedia of Federal Procedure. Kept up to date by revised volumes and pocket parts.

Call Number Location: KF8840 .C931

West's Federal Forms, 3rd ed., West Group, St. Paul, MN, 1952.

This set is arranged by the different federal courts and begins with forms used in practice before the United States Supreme Court. The following volumes cover U.S. Courts of Appeal, U.S. District Courts, and other national courts such as bankruptcy courts. Kept up to date with pocket parts and revised volumes.

Call Number Location: KF8836.W4

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Form books on a particular subject can be found by searching the catalog. The following subject listing is illustrative, not exhaustive.


Alternative Dispute Resolution with Forms, 2nd Ed., by Jay E. Grenig. West Group, St. Paul, MN, 1997. Updated. Call Number Location: KF9084 .G74 1997


Collier on bankruptcy, 15th Revised Ed., Lawrence P. King, editor-in chief. Matthew Bender & Co., New York, NY, 1979. Volumes 11-13 of the set contain bankruptcy forms. Updated. Call Number Location: KF1524 .C61

Bankruptcy Code, rules and forms, West Group, St. Paul, MN, 1983. Updated.

Call Number Location: KF1527.A32 B38

Bankruptcy forms are also available from the Official Bankruptcy Forms page of the Federal Judiciary at


Computer Law: Drafting and Negotiating Forms and Agreements, by Richard Raysman and Peter Brown. Law Journal Seminars-Press, New York, NY, 1984. Updated. Call Number Location: KF390.5.C6 R3


Federal Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders: Forms, 4th ed., by Boris I. Bittker, Meade Emory, and William P. Streng. Warren, Gorham & Lamont, Boston, MA, 1995. Updated.

Call Number Location: KF6464 .B5 RESERVE


Complete manual of criminal forms, 3rd ed., by F. Lee Bailey and Henry B. Rothblatt. Lawyers Co-operative Pub. Co., Rochester, NY, 1993. Updated. Call Number Location: KF9619 .B3 1993


Lindey on Entertainment, Publishing, and the Arts : Agreements and the Law, 2nd Ed., by Alexander Lindey. C. Boardman Co., New York, NY, 1980. Updated. Call Number Location: KF2992 .L5 RESERVE

Scott on Multimedia Law, 2nd Ed., by Michael D. Scott with James N. Talbott ... [et al.]. Aspen Law & Business, New York, NY, 1997. Updated. Call Number Location: KF2765 .S362


Immigration Procedures Handbook. C. Boardman, New York, NY. Updated.

Call Number Location: KF4819 .I484 RESERVE


For federal tax forms go to the Internal Revenue Service web page at http://www.irs.ustreas. gov/prod/forms_pubs/index.html. For state tax forms follow the links from the state page at http://www.state.(state abbreviation).us.

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Collection Practice in New Jersey, by Thomas Clark & Richard Eichenbaum. New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New Brunswick, NJ, 1998.

This volume is part of the New Jersey ICLE Practical Skills Series, also known as "how to" handbooks for lawyers. The handbook is geared toward the attorney who becomes involved in either commercial or consumer collections. Over 30 forms are included to assist the practitioner.

Call Number Location: KFN1967.C6 C5 1998 NJREF

Forms for New Jersey Divorce Practice, by Edward S. Snyder. New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New Brunswick, NJ, 1999.

This ICLE publication is in its fifth edition and is updated as needed to reflect changes and statewide developments. The loose-leaf contains forms for all stages of the process beginning with the initial interview and ending with post-judgment practice. Practice notes are included throughout to assist the practitioner.

Call Number Location: KFN1900.A65 S69 1999 NJREF

New Jersey Appellate Practice Handbook, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New Brunswick, NJ, 1999.

This ICLE handbook has everything you need to know to handle cases before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, including: Supreme Court review; the record on appeal; standards for appellate review; judgments and reconsiderations; motions; and more. Chapter 12 is entitled "Appellate Practice Forms" and supplies 31 forms for New Jersey appellate practice.

Call Number Location: KFN2355 .N49 1999 RESERVE

New Jersey Corporate Forms: Practice, by Stuart L. Pachman. Aspen Publishers, Rockville, MD, 1989.

This loose-leaf is intended to assist the New Jersey practitioner drafting documents in connection with corporate practice. Each form contains a prefatory note with explanations and suggestions. The last update to this loose-leaf was October 1997, and there are no current plans by the publishers to produce further updates.

Call Number Location: KFN2013.A65 P33 1989 RESERVE

New Jersey Estate Planning, Will Drafting, and Estate Administration Forms: Practice, by Alvin C. Martin & Robert D. Borteck. Aspen Publishers, Rockville, MD, 1988.

This manual provides you with a clear, current, and comprehensive reference to New Jersey estate planning issues. Compiled by two experts in New Jersey estate planning law, this looseleaf-format, two-volume set contains chapters on every major area of estate planning and administration. Part 1 covers Estate Planning and Will Drafting while Part 2 covers Estate Administration. Updated periodically by loose-leaf inserts.

Call Number Location: KFN1940.A65 M37 RESERVE

New Jersey Family Law Practice, by Gary N. Skoloff and Laurence J. Cutler. New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New Brunswick, NJ, 1999.

This three volume set is the place to start when looking for divorce related forms. It is published by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education of New Jersey and is in its ninth edition.

Call Number Location: KFN1900.S55 1999 RESERVE

New Jersey Forms : Practice-oriented Forms for New Jersey Legal and Business Transactions, Lawyers Co-Operative Pub. Co., Rochester, NY, 1970.

Title on cover: "New Jersey forms; legal and business." This set consists of practice oriented forms for legal and business transactions. It is updated annually by pocket parts.

Call Number Location: KFN1868 .N45 NJREF

New Jersey Law with Forms, by C. Zackary Seltzer. Matthew Bender, New York, NY, 1964.

This multi-volume loose-leaf set was once the Encyclopedia of New Jersey Law. Volume 2B, Municipal Corporations is by E. Judson Jennings. The set is updated approximately every one and a half years.

Call Number Location: KFN1865 .S4 NJREF

New Jersey Limited Liability Company: Forms and Practice Manual, Data Trace Legal Publishers, Brooklandville, MD, 1994.

This loose-leaf deals with the practical aspects of drafting limited liability company documents. It is updated periodically to reflect changes in the law and is currently in its second edition.

Call Number Location: KFN2007.A65 G65 NJREF

New Jersey Pleading and Practice Forms, Lawyers Co-operative Pub. Co., Rochester, NY, 1987.

This set is known for its concise summaries of New Jersey civil and criminal procedural law coupled with an extensive collection of reliable and well-drafted pleading and practice forms. It is organized by subject and each volume has its own index in addition to the index volume for the entire set. The 9 titles that make up the set are Civil Procedure, Real Property, Torts, Family Law, Contracts, Business Organizations, Commercial Transactions / Consumer Protection, Employment Relations, and Criminal Procedure. This is another Lawyer's Co-op set that is now published by West Group. It is updated annually by pocket parts.

Call Number Location: KFN2330.A65 N49 NJREF

New Jersey Practice, West Group, St. Paul, MN.

This West publication is a multi-volume set organized by topic with each topic having a different author who is an expert in that particular field. Each topic has its own index and each component treatise has its own updating. Titles within New Jersey Practice include Court Rules Annotated, Civil Practice Forms, Wills and Administration, Real Estate Law and Practice, Legal Forms, Skills and Methods, UCC Forms, Law of Mortgages, Criminal Practice and Procedure, Local Government Law and many more.

Call Number Location: KFN1880 .N4 NJREF

New Jersey Real Estate Forms: Practice, by David S. Gordon, Robert C. Schachter, & Charles Applebaum. Aspen Publishers, Rockville, MD, 1988.

This work lays out the details of real estate transactions in a clear, concise format. Topics covered include: Brokerage Agreements, Agreements Relating to Sales, Closing Documents, Improvements to Real Property, Easements, Discharges, Postponements and Releases, Financing, Real Estate Creditor's Remedies, Security Agreements, and more. The authors are New Jersey attorneys who know which detailed facts and sample forms are important for practitioners to have. This loose-leaf is regularly updated.

Call Number Location: KFN1926.A65 G67 RESERVE

New Jersey Real Estate Leasing Forms: Practice, by Martin E. Dollinger. Aspen Publishers, Gaithersburg, MD, 1991.

This loose-leaf is intended to serve as a guide for those who practice in the area of real property leasing in New Jersey. The first part consists of various lease forms and the second part has the many different forms that might be used in connection with real property leasing. The updates to this loose-leaf were discontinued by the publisher in 1999 but the guides to lease drafting may still be used as long as compliance with current laws is verified.

Call Number Location: KFN1917.A65 D65 NJREF

New Jersey Transaction Guide, Matthew Bender, New York, NY, 1984.

This Matthew Bender loose-leaf consists of 12 volumes plus an index and tables volume. The set is divided topically and is updated regularly.

Location: KFN1880 .N43 NJREF

New Jersey Will and Trust Forms Manual (3d ed.), by Walter S. Kane. New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New Brunswick, NJ, 1998.

This loose-leaf provides a step-by-step guide to preparing wills and trusts in New Jersey. It is a comprehensive 2-volume set and includes hundreds of pages of authoritative explanations of Will, revocable trust, and irrevocable trust tax laws with all necessary forms. The set is updated by loose-leaf inserts and new volumes as needed.

Call Number Location: KFN1940.K36 1998 RESERVE

Real Estate Closing Procedures, by Christine F. Li. New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New Brunswick, NJ, 1998.

Includes forms necessary for buying property in New Jersey. Kept up-to-date with new volumes.

Call Number Location: KFN1927 .L5 1997

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