The Law Library has several resources dedicated to legal research. Books about Illinois legal research are located in the Illinois Alcove near the reference desk. Other books on general legal research can be found in the Practical Skills collection.
This guide is intended as a companion to LAW 792-A, Advanced Legal Research: Illinois.
This course will focus on conducting legal research within the state of Illinois. The guide provides information on primary legal sources such as Illinois session laws, case law, administrative agency decisions, and Illinois legislative history sources. The guide also includes links to major Illinois web sites that provide the state's constitution, statutes, legislative history, cases, regulations, government resources, and government statistics.
The guide also details Illinois-specific secondary source materials such as practice guides, encyclopedias, and forms.
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to successfully:
While you are a student at the College of Law, you will find that you have access to a large collection of materials, both electronic and in print. Once you graduate, you can still access much of the collection, however, you will have to physically come to the Law Library or be on the Urbana-Champaign campus to utilize some of the resources.
For those of you who are placed in another part of Illinois, it is always wise to find a law library near your place of practice. You may find your court or city has a law library which may be available for use. In addition, many law schools will allow access to their library. You should check first to ensure whether you will have access to a given library because it can vary greatly. Some academic law libraries are open to the public, as is the case with the College of Law. In other circumstances, access may be limited to members of the bar or even to alumni of the respective law school.
While this course will focus on legal research within the jurisdiction of Illinois, students will need to rely on many universal legal research skills. Below is a list of a few resources which may be helpful in reviewing core concepts such as the structure of the legal system, search strategies, and research process.