Legal Research Techniques-Robin Schard

Legal Research Techniques

Law 151BS
Fall 2015
Course Web Site:

Robin Schard
Office D-138
Class Schedule     Course Description and Requirements     Sample Research Journal Entry

Class Schedule

Aug. 19 (Monday?)

Introduction to Course
Register for TWEN
What Research Skills Should Law Students Develop?
Reading: AALL Legal Research Competencies
Please read the excerpt from the article entitled Which Practice-Ready Courses Should You Take? from the Student Lawyer on the TWEN page, Additional Readings section
Powerpoint: Introduction (pdf)
Library Web Page
Library Catalog
Subscription Databases

Huka Falls
Aug. 24

Evaluating Information
Refresher: Evaluating Web Sites (10:17)
Boilerplate: a technological milestone
Dehydrated Water
All About Explorers
Dog Island
World Trade Organization (

WHOIS Lookup (
Scout Report (
Urban Legends & Folklore or
Places to complain about fraud:
     Internet Fraud Complaint Center (FBI & National White Collar Crime Center)
     National Fraud Information Center
     SEC Complaint Center (corporate, consumer or mail fraud)
     FTC Consumer Complaint Form (trade, retail, consumer fraud)
     Florida Division of Consumer Services

Aug. 26

Evaluating Authority (Listen to recording and complete exercise before class on Aug. 26th) (Bring exercise to class on Aug. 26)
Due: Evaluating Authority (Due in-class on 8/26)

Aug. 31 Basics of Using Bloomberg Law
Sept. 2 General Online Searching Techniques
Sept. 7

Labor Day

Sept. 9, 14, 16

Secondary Sources: The Basic and the Practical
Refresher Recordings:
The Process of Legal Research (06:32)
How and When to Use Print Sources (08:56)
Secondary Sources Part I (15:00)
Secondary Sources Part II (10:47)
Reading: Nutshell Chapters 2 and Sections 3-6 and 7-6
Handout: Exercise on Secondary Sources
Due: Topic Selection for Pathfinder (9/14)

Sept. 21, 23

Constitutions and Statutes
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 4
Exercise: Sign-up for statutes research practicum (Sign-up sheet will be available on TWEN after class on 9/23)
Due: Secondary Sources Exercise (9/23)

Sept. 28, 30

Case Law Research
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 3
Citation of Unpublished Opinions
Refresher Recording: Case Law Research (14:53)
Due: Research Journal Entry (9/30)

Oct. 5-9

Fall Break

Oct. 12, 14

Administrative Law
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 6
Handout: Exercise on Administrative Law
Due: Encyclopedia Section for your Pathfinder (required) (10/14)

WPA Poster
Oct. 19, 21

Legislative History
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 5
Handout: Exercise on Legislative History
Due: Administrative Law Exercise (10/21)

Oct. 26

Research Strategy
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 1

Oct. 28

Fact-Finding, Interviewing
Reading: Choose one of the articles in the Additional Readings section of the TWEN page.
Reading: Adam J. Post, Advice for Your First Client Interview, Law Trends & News (Fall 2009).
Reading: Jim Calloway, The Initial Client Interview, Oklahoma Bar Association (2002).
Due: Legislative History Exercise (10/28)

Nov. 2

Looseleafs and other Topical Sources
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 8
Due: Overview to your Pathfinder (required) (11/2)

Nov. 4

Government Documents and Agency Materials

Nov. 9

Legal Tech Audit, Verdicts, Settlements, Court Rules & Citators
Reading: Nutshell Chapter 7

Nov. 11

Search Engines and Online Techniques
Last day for pathfinder drafts (optional) (11/14)

Nov. 16

Florida and State-Specific Legal Research

Nov. 18

Researching Business and Non-Legal Materials

Nov. 23

No Class

Nov. 24 Final Pathfinder due by 11:59pm.
Please put it in the Assignment Drop Box on TWEN, e-mail it to me, or turn it in to me directly.
Last update: 8/31/2015