Advanced Legal Research

B639 is taught by A. Ahlbrand, K. Buckley, K. Mattioli, J. Morgan

Advanced Legal Research will offer students an opportunity to gain in depth working knowledge of legal research methods and resources. The course will emphasize use and comparison of a broad range of legal research tools, including traditional print sources and a host of electronic materials. The course will review the complete range of federal and state primary sources, legislative history, administrative materials, all major secondary resources and practice aids, as well as specialized topical resources. Upon completion of this course students should be able to evaluate research options and make choices that best suit the widest possible variety of modern legal research situations.

Each class period will focus on a specific type of resource or research process (e.g. cases and the organization of the courts, administrative codes, legislative history) and will include lectures, demonstration of relevant electronic resources, and in class exercises to reinforce the day s topic. Each class or group of classes will be followed by a brief research exercise to both measure and enhance the student s expertise with the materials presented in the classroom. This bibliographic approach to the legal research process will lay the groundwork for the course s capstone project, a detailed legal research memorandum in an area selected by the instructors. The process of researching and writing the memorandum will provide students with an opportunity to review all the studied resources within the context of a discreet substantive question and develop their skills at conveying the fruits of their research to others.

Each student s course grade will be based on (1) research exercises given at the end of each subject or module, (2) a research memorandum on a topic of the instructors choice, and (3) class participation/attendance.