Legal Research Techniques-Robin Schard

Legal Research Techniques

Law 151AS
Fall 2019
Course Web Site:

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

Class Schedule

Aug. 13

Room Change: I've been notified by the Registrar that we will be meeting in F402.

Introduction to Course
Register for TWEN
What Research Skills Do Lawyers Need?
Required 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
Introduction to the Class
Law Library
Research Databases
West Academic Study Aids

Abraham Lincoln
Aug. 15, 20

Online Searching Techniques
Powerpoint: Online Searching

Aug. 22, 27

Evaluating Authority and Information
Evaluating Authority (Listen to recording and complete exercise before class on August 22nd) (Bring exercise to class on August 22nd)
Required Reading: From Hate Speech to Fake News (See Editor's Note for caution) and Computer Scientists Demonstrate the Potential for Faking Video
Due: Evaluating Authority (Due in-class on 8/22)

Boilerplate: a technological milestone
Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity
Manhattan Airport Foundation
All About Explorers
Dog Island
CNN Quiz Can you Spot the DeepFake?
Which Face is Real

Can You Tell a Fake Video from a Real One?

WHOIS Lookup (
Scout Report (

Aug. 29

Basics of Using Bloomberg Law
Powerpoint: Research Guide

Sept. 5, 10

Secondary Sources, Basics
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)
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapters 2 and Sections 3-6, 7-5, and 7-6
Due: Topic Selection for Research Guide (9/5)
Powerpoint: Evaluating Information Sources
Hein Online
Index to Legal Periodicals
uSearch Law Library Catalog

Sept. 12, 17

Competitive Intelligence (Business Development/Business Intelligence)
Required Reading: Ann Lee Gibson, How to Create and Use Competitive Intelligence: 45 Tips for Law Firms, Law Practice, Mar. 2008 at 47. (The reading is also available in TWEN, under Additional Reading.)

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
(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

Sept. 19, 24

Constitutions and Statutes
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 4
Exercise: Sign-up for statutes research practicum (Sign-up sheet will be available on TWEN after class on 9/24)
Due: Overview Section for Research Guide (9/20 11:59pm)

Sept. 26, Oct. 1

Administrative Law
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 6
Handout: Exercise on Administrative Law
Due: Briefing Book
(10/4 by 11:59pm)

Oct. 7-11 Fall Break

Oct. 15, 17

Case Law Research
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 3
Due: Administrative Law Exercise (10/17)
Citation of Unpublished Opinions
Refresher Recording: Case Law Research (14:53)

WPA Poster
Oct. 22, 24

Legislative History
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 5
Handout: Exercise on Legislative History
Due: Encyclopedia Section for Research Guide (10/25)

Oct. 29

Research Strategy
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 1

Oct. 31

Practice-Ready Resources
Due: Legislative History Exercise (10/31)

Nov. 7 Verdicts, Settlements, Citators, & Court Rules
Recommended Reading: Nutshell Chapter 7
Recording: Researching Court Rules (13:29)
Nov. 12

Foreign & International Research
Last day for research guide drafts (optional) (11/11)

Nov. 14 New Research Tools and Law Office Technology
Nov. 19 Government Documents, and Statistics
Nov. 21 No Class
Final Research Guide 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: 9/12/2019