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Legal Research Guides
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.
Illinois Legal Research, 2e by
Call Number: KFI1275 .W65 2009
Publication Date: 2009-08-01
Shows how to find and stay current with Illinois cases, statutes, regulations, and local court rules. Focusing on state materials, it can be used as a supplement to national research texts or on its own to learn legal research. This book also explains how to locate secondary materials specific to Illinois law. Although the text was designed primarily for law students, seasoned attorneys will also appreciate the many secrets of Illinois legal research disclosed in this text. Wojcik's book includes materials on on citing Illinois under the Bluebook (for both law review formats and practice documents), the ALWD Manual, and local court rules.
Legal Research in a Nutshell, 13e by
Call Number: KF240 .C54 2018
Finding and using legal resources effectively is an essential skill for lawyers. This comprehensive but succinct guide covers research procedures using major online services, free Internet resources, and library materials. Several hundred websites are discussed and placed in context for effective and productive use in research. Discussion includes coverage of legislative history, administrative law, specialized and interdisciplinary resources, and research in international and comparative law. Appendices list state research guides and treatises and services by subject, and a companion website has a regularly updated list of URLs and illustrations of online and print resources.
Just Research, 3e (Aspen Coursebook) by
Call Number: KF240 .O18 2011
Publication Date: 2011-06-17
Just Research uses a process approach to teach students how to use print and electronic sources to research issues governed by state and federal statutes, common law, and constitutional law.
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:
- Apply fundamental legal research skills to Illinois jurisdiction-specific resources
- Articulate the basic structure and format of the Illinois court system, legislative branch, and administrative agencies
- Identify and utilize Illinois court information, including court rules, case law, and dockets
- Identify and utilize Illinois legislative information, including statutes, pending legislation, and legislative history
- Identify and utilize Illinois administrative law information, including regulations and other agency resources
- Identify and utilize Illinois-specific legal research aides, including traditional secondary sources, practice tools, and web-based resources
Law Libraries in Illinois
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.
Legal Research Guides
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.