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Sections & Course Pages
This LibGuide is a resource for all Law 627 students. This guide is the best resource for answering questions about studying legal research.
For specific Law 627, Fall 2021, course information and additional resources posted by your professor, use the links below to access the individual course page assigned to your section. [You will be prompted to login.]
Section 1: Professor B.J. Kaplan
Section 2: Professor Davidson
Section 3: Professor Lambert
Section 4: Professor Braun
Section 5: Professor McDade
Section 6: Professor Hunter
Welcome to Law 627: Fall 2021
Welcome to the Law 627 LibGuide. This semester you will be introduced to and practice the skills needed to search for relevant legal authority, both in print and electronic forms. These skills and conventions include how to find, choose, and cite to appropriate authority; how to evaluate legal resources; the ethical use of information in the law; and the legal research process.
This guide will serve as the main resource for class preparation and exam review in your Legal Research course. Specific course information can be accessed through the College of Law course page for your professor. Links to individual faculty course pages for Law 627 are located in the left-hand column of this page.
In addition to the information outlined within the LibGuide itself, you will find a variety of external links and resources. You may find other texts, websites, and resources will be helpful supplements to this guide and your coursework.
Importance of Legal Research
Legal research plays a primary and important role in a lawyer's job.
In fact, legal research provides the necessary grounding for almost all legal work. Effective legal research will directly affect the outcome of a client's legal problem. A lawyer cannot advance the strongest argument if he or she cannot find the strongest legal support for that argument. Lawyers have an ethical obligation to their clients to be thorough and efficient legal researchers. Efficiency in legal research can be defined as (1) the best possible result, (2) in the least possible time, (3) at the lowest possible cost. Efficiency is achieved through knowledge of research techniques and practice over time.
Ineffective or incompetent legal research can not only hurt a client, but can lead to discipline, civil liability, or even disbarment. For an example of how this could happen, read Deters v. Davis, 2011 WL 2417055 (E.D. Ky. June 13, 2011).
Course Materials - eBooks
Principles of Legal Research (3rd ed., 2020) by
Publication Date: 2020-08-26
Principles of Legal Research provides comprehensive yet concise coverage of research methods in both online and printed resources. It has been thoroughly updated to explain the latest features of the major legal research platforms as well as dozens of other free and subscription websites. In this expanded and reorganized edition, an introductory survey of research strategies is followed by discussion of major secondary sources, treatment of the sources of U.S. law created by each branch of government, chapters on specialized resources for litigation and transactional practice, and an overview of international and foreign law. Other new features include a deeper look at search algorithms and executive branch lawmaking. Sample illustrations are included throughout, and an appendix lists hundreds of major treatises and topical services by subject.
Legal Research in a Nutshell (13th ed., 2018) by
Publication Date: 2018-09-20
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. For more information and additional teaching materials, visit the companion site.
Additional Legal Research Books
Basic Legal Research: Tools and Strategies (7th ed.) by
Call Number: KF240 .S66 2018
Basic Legal Research: Tools and Strategies, Seventh Edition by Amy E. Sloan is known for its clear, step-by-step instruction in the basics. Using a building-block approach, the textbook breaks material into discrete, readily comprehensible parts. Self-contained chapters on sources make the book flexible for any type of legal research course. Useful pedagogy throughout the text includes end-of-chapter checklists, clear examples, and summary charts. Helpful sample pages and examples of research sources guide students through the presentation.
Impeccable Research: A Concise Guide to Mastering Legal Research Skills by
Call Number: KF240 .O82 2016
Unlike conventional legal research books that just teach students how to find and use the various sources of law, this book stresses a systematic, practice-oriented approach to acquiring legal-research skills. It presents a simple yet highly effective research strategy that prepares students to efficiently solve the types of complex legal-research problems they can expect to encounter in the workplace.
Where the Law Is: An Introduction to Advanced Legal Research (5th ed.) by
Call Number: KF240 .A76 2018
This newly updated textbook and course reference is designed specifically for advanced legal research classes and for upper-level students who want to achieve a better understanding of how to use the sources of legal information that they learned about in their introductory courses. It provides in-depth guidance through the research process, advice on format selection, and detail about the tools and techniques needed to function as skilled legal researchers. Up to date discussion of all media is fully integrated throughout. It focuses on the types of information the researcher needs, rather than on descriptions of particular information products.
Federal Legal Research (2nd ed.) by
Call Number: KF240 .F48 2015
Publication Date: 2015-06-23
This book complements the state-focused Legal Research Series. Federal Legal Research offers concise explanations of primary authorities in the federal system, along with chapters on secondary sources, updating, legislative history, and legal ethics and court rules. The book covers current platforms in Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg; free online sources; and print sources. Federal Legal Research takes a process-oriented approach to research. Its in-depth discussions of strategies and techniques for conducting American legal research make it effective in classes that integrate research, writing, and analysis as well as in courses with a bibliographic approach.
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 citation is the practice of crediting and referring to authoritative documents and sources. In this course, and in many legal contexts,the citation format will follow guidelines set in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (21st ed., 2020).