Descriptive Word Index

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An alphabetically arranged aid used in legal research used to locate cases that have discussed a particular topic.

The descriptive word index contains key words and phrases that lead researchers to the information they are seeking. For example, in preparing a brief on behalf of a client who slipped and fell in a supermarket, an attorney might look in the descriptive word index under the heading "slip and fall" to find legal precedent for the case.

Descriptive word indices are generally part of all case digests.