Secondary sources are not the law themselves, but they contain useful analysis, interpretations, and commentaries on the law.
Beginning your legal research by consulting secondary sources can help you gain a big-picture understanding of the issues at play. As an added bonus, a good secondary source will point you toward relevant primary authority that may be useful for your research.
Here is a quick rundown of different kinds of secondary sources that may be helpful when starting legal research.
Selecting "Secondary Sources" from Westlaw's main page will allow you specify how you would like to browse or search its collection of secondary sources. You have three options:
HeinOnline contains a wealth of materials related to legal history and legal scholarship. The main page gives you the opportunity to limit your search to specific collections, like the Law Journal Library, that may be useful for finding relevant secondary sources.