This LawGuide introduces fundamentals of legal research. It includes a framework for beginning your research, the vocabulary of legal research, and basic "how-tos" for finding the law.
Because law has a unique vocabulary, legal research is challenging for beginners. This LawGuide is intended to be a reference for addressing the early challenges. As you become more adept at researching, you can merge techniques you've learned from a number of sources.
In addition to your legal research class, the major legal publishers provide instruction in person and online. You should take advantage of this instruction and the advanced legal research research classes available after your first year. It is critical that you become familiar with using the major search providers before the summer because you need to be prepared to use whatever your employer has!
Law is generated by the three branches of government.
Remember that there are multiple levels of government!!
You wouldn't have to spend three years and lots of $money$ to study it!
"Authority" is one of the most important concepts you need to understand before you begin to look for the law. It may sound b-o-r-i-n-g, but make sure you understand how to evaluate sources before moving forward.
Much thanks to Sarah Gotschall, University of Arizona Law Librarian extraordinaire, who continues to inspire me and who originally developed these materials and allowed me to adapt them for use here.