Legal Research Techniques-Robin Schard

Legal Research Techniques

Law 151AS
Fall 2021
Course Web Site:

Robin Schard
Office D-138
Class Schedule         Course Description and Requirements

Class Schedule

Aug. 24

Introduction to Course & Resources

Before Class
Reading: AALL Legal Research Competencies
Please read the excerpt from the article entitled Which Practice-Ready Courses Should You Take?

In Class
Introduction to the Course
Law Library
Research Databases
West Academic Study Aids

Abraham Lincoln
Aug. 26

Online Searching Techniques

In Class
Online Search Techniques

Aug. 31, Sept. 2

Evaluating Authority & Information
Due: Evaluating Authority Exercise due on September 2nd (bring to class, submit on Blackboard before class)

Before Class
Evaluating Authority Recording
Complete Authority Exercise
Readings: The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News
Computer Scientists Demonstrate the Potential for Faking Video

In Class
Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity
All About Explorers
Dog Island
CNN Quiz Can you Spot the DeepFake?
Which Face is Real

Spot the Deepfake (About)

WHOIS Lookup
Scout Report (

Sept. 7

Basics of Using Bloomberg Law
Bloomberg Law

Sept. 9, 14

Secondary Sources

Before Class
Secondary Sources Recording

Secondary Sources Part I (14:52)
Secondary Sources Part II (10:47)
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapters 2 and Sections 3-6, 7-5, and 7-6

In Class
Secondary Sources
Subject Guide to Treatises & Looseleafs
Hein Online
Index to Legal Periodicals
uSearch Law Library Catalog

Sept. 16, 21

Constitutional and Statutory Research
Due: Topic Selection for Research Guide (9/16)

Before Class
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 4

In Class
Powerpoint: Statutory Research (pdf)
Florida Senate Calendar (2022 dates)
Online Sunshine (FL Statutes, Constitution, Laws)
Florida Statutes (from FL Senate - with bills, etc.)
Florida Statutes (Historical)
U.S. Code (GovInfo)
U.S. Code (LII)
Office of the Law Revision Counsel
Hein Online

Powerpoint: Constitutions
Constitution Annotated (from Congressional Research Service, brief explanations and tables of cases for each section of the Constitution)
Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (from GPO provides basic explanation and leading cases for each section of the Constitution)
Founders' Constitution (text plus supporting documents on understanding the history of each clause)
Century of Lawmaking (from the Lib. of Cong. includes Farrand's Records and other original documents)
The Federalist Papers (Avalon Project at Yale)
State Constitutions Project (NBER/Maryland)
Florida Historical Legal Documents

Sept. 23, 28

Administrative Law Research
Before Class
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 6

Powerpoint: Federal Administrative Law (pdf)
United States Government Manual
A-Z List of Gov't Departments & Agencies (federal)
Code of Federal Regulations (GovInfo, 1996-date)
Federal Register (GovInfo, 1936-date)
Federal Register (NARA) (comments and dockets)
Hein Online
Federal Administrative Decisions, etc
Florida Adminstrative Code & Weekly
Florida Division of Administrative Hearings
Florida Office of Judges Compensation Claims

WPA Poster
Sept. 30, Oct. 5

Case Law Research
Due: Overview Section for Research Guide (9/30)

Before Class
Refresher Recording: Case Law Research (14:53)
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 3
Recommended CALI Lesson: How to Find Case Law Using the Digest
(use authorization code if not already registered for CALI)

In Class
Powerpoint: Cases
State Court Structure (National Center for State Courts)
Casetext (register with your law school email address)
Google Scholar
Fastcase (also on Hein)
U.S. Courts
State Court Web Sites (National Center for State Courts)
Federal Judicial Center
Robing Room (Comments on judges)
FL Supreme Court Briefs and Opinions (before 2015)
FL Supreme Court Briefs (after 2014)
Gavel to Gavel (FL Supreme Court Oral Arguments)
Oyez (U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments)

Oct. 7

Research Strategy and Planning
Due: Administrative Law Exercise

Before Class
Research Strategy & Plan Recording
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 1

Oct. 19, 21

Legislative History Research
Due: Encyclopedia Section for Research Guide (10/22)

Before Class
Legislative History Recording
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 5

In Class
Congressional (Proquest)
Hein Online
Legislative Histories of Selected U.S. Laws on the Internet
Florida Legislative History Research Guide
Florida House of Representatives (history and tracking)
Selected Florida Staff Analysis (1971-1997)
Florida, Current Session(s)

Oct. 26, 28

Practice-Ready Resources

Before Class
Transactional Resources Recording
Litigation Resources Recording

In Class
Sample Brief

Nov. 2

Verdicts, Settlements, Citators & Court Rules
Due: Legislative History Exercise

Before Class
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 7
Recording: Researching Court Rules (14:43)

Nov. 4

Class Cancelled
Individual Appointments Required - Sign Up
Due: Group Presentations (Due Friday, November 5)

Nov. 9

Competitive Intelligence Research

Before Class
Competitive Intelligence Recording

In Class
Bloomberg Law- basic company information, litigation analytics, news, SEC filings
Business Insights: Global - company information, SWOT reports, trade news, rankings
Daily Business Review - legal and business news for South Florida (older articles on Lexis)
Edgar- SEC filings, also on several other databases
Hoover's Company Profiles - company description, history, people, financials
Lexis - cases, news, SEC filings, Corporate Affiliations, SGA Executive Tracker, etc.
Mergent Online - company, financial, stock information, filings, news
Miami Herald - news from Miami-Dade County, 1982-current
OpenSecrets - political donors
Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage - stock prices, basic company, financial information
Sunbiz - Florida Division of Corporations - annual reports, trademarks, registered agents
Thomson One Banker - interactive stock charts, financials, filings, industry peers (IE only)
(Non-legal) Research Guides - Other UM databases and sources
Westlaw - cases, news, SEC filings, Directory of Corporate Counsel, etc.
Wall Street Journal - economic and business news
Yahoo Finance stock information and basic company information

Nov. 11

Foreign & International Law Research Sources

Foreign Law Guide...
vLex Global
Guide to Online: Nations (Law Library of Congress)
World Legal Information Institute
Political Database of the Americas
Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
Constitute Project
More Foreign Law Resources

Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Max Planck Institute)
Oxford Scholarship Online
Oxford Reports on International Law
UN Official Document Service
Treaties in Force
U.S. Department of State (country and treaty reports)
Organization of American States
More International Resources

Nov. 16

Random Sources (that did not fit above)

In Class
Municode (municipal ordinances or codes)
Uniform Law Commission (unannotated) (Uniform Law Annotated)
Hein Online
pronunciation dictionary
Public Records Online (search property records)
Florida Bar Practice Resource Institute
Florida Bar - General Practice Solo and Small Firm
Miami-Dade Clerk of Court (11th Judicial Circuit & County)(Civil, etc.)
Florida Professional Liability (Office of Insurance Regulation) (malpractice claims)
Making of Modern Law
Miami-Dade Public Library System
Public Records (Lexis)

Nov. 18

New Research Tools and Law Office Technology
Last day for research guide drafts (optional) (11/18)

In Class
Josef Legal Step One Bot
Legal Tech Audit / Technology Requirement
ABA Legal Technology Resource Center
LinkedIn Learning
Ross Intelligence: EVA (What Happened to Ross)
Lex Machina (Lexis)
Ravel Law (Lexis)
Compose (by Casetext) (video)
Cybersecurity Tips for Working fom Home (Law Technology Today)

Nov. 23

Government Documents, and Statistics

In Class
Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Compilation of Presidential Documents
Congressional Research Service Reports
Energy Information Administration
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Fed. Open Data
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Florida Department of Corrections
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Florida Secured Transaction Registry
Government Publishing Office (GPO)
Library of Congress
National Institutes of Health
National Freedom of Information Coalition
Public Papers of the President (full run of the Public Papers of the President is on Hein)
Small Businss Administration
Statistical Abstract of the United States
Uniform Crime Reports
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Nov. 30

No class

Dec. 1

Final Research Guide due by 11:59pm.

Last update:11/23/2021