Welcome to the LAW 792-S1 LibGuide. This semester you will be introduced to and practice the advanced legal research skills needed for the effective practice of law. These skills and conventions include advanced skills for engaging in the legal research process; how to find, choose, and cite to appropriate authority; practitioner oriented research resources; how to evaluate legal resources; individual and firm legal technology; and ethics and security.
This guide will serve as the main resource for class preparation and exam review in this advanced legal research course. Specific course information can be accessed through the College of Law course page for the course at https://www.law.illinois.edu/intranet/academics/courses/pages/course.aspx?id=1470
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.
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 your client's legal problem. A lawyer cannot advance the strongest argument if they 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 your client, but can lead to discipline, civil liability, or even disbarment for you. For an example of how this could happen, read Deters v. Davis, 2011 WL 2417055 (E.D. Ky. June 13, 2011).