Legal Research Courses in Spring 2015

Ted Potter and Matthew Braun teaching in Advanced Legal Research

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Law Librarians will teach Business and Tax Legal Research, Historical Legal Research, and Advanced Legal Research in Spring 2015.

Business and Tax Legal Research (Instructors: Don Ford, Matthew Braun)

  • Develop expertise for researching business legal sources and business-related sources, as well tax legal research.
  • One credit, pass-fail course meets on Wednesdays from 12:40 to 2:10 and finishes before spring break. There will be no exam.

This course will focus on resources and techniques for effective and efficient business and tax law research. Concepts such as competitive intelligence, legislative analysis, and statistical research will also be addressed. The class sessions will include a combination of lecture, discussion, and in-class exercises. Students will work on real-world examples to apply and sharpen their research skills. The instructors expect students to attend class regularly and to submit completed assignments on time. 

Historical Legal Research (Instructor: Noëlle Sinclair)

  • Learn how to conduct research using early English and American legal sources, including online legal databases and print sources.
  • One credit, pass-fail course meets on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 and finishes before spring break.

This course will focus on conducting research using early English and American statutes and cases. Students will work in the Rare Book Room of the Law Library with historical resources in print, as well as with electronic databases and online resources. The emphasis will be on conducting research (finding cases and statutes), but the history of the books within the changing context of law reporting and publishing will also be discussed. This class would be of interest to those interested in history and using early legal resources effectively, and those interested in a deeper understanding of the legal research tools we use today.

The weekly class will consist of a variety of tools, discussion, lecture, and hands-on exercises. An individual project will serve as the final examination. This class is open to both law and graduate students. As we only meet for eight sessions, regular attendance is expected.

Advanced Legal Research (Instructor: Ellen Jones)

  • Master efficient, effective, and cost-effective legal research skills and strategies across multiple resource types, formats, and platforms.
  • Two credits, pass-fail, semester-long course; students attend one hour each Thursday and Friday from 2:10 to 4:20.

This course builds on the introduction to legal research presented during the first year Legal Analysis, Writing and Research course. The purpose of the Advanced Legal Research course is to permit students to acquire an in-depth knowledge of American legal resources. Current print and electronic resources will be explored for the purpose of developing better, more efficient search techniques, and to assist students in selecting the most effective formats for their research.

Through a combination of lectures, class assignments, and exercises, students will review the basic sources of legal information, utilize a variety of techniques for accessing the legal information, and develop personal strategies for managing information. Students will also complete advanced training sessions in LexisNexis and Westlaw, and the Internet.

The course may also introduce some non-legal information sources which are of increasing importance to the legal community, as well as briefly introduce research resources of other legal jurisdictions and international law.

To register for these courses, please consult the College of Law's page in ISIS.