Legal Research

  • This Subject Area Index lists all CALI lessons covering Legal Research.
  • The Legal Research and Writing Outline allows you to search for terms of art that correspond to topics you are studying to find suggestions for related CALI Lessons.
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Legal Research Methodology

This lesson is designed to help law students develop their abilities to handle legal research assignments. Students who have some experience doing legal research or who have completed their first year legal research course will benefit the most. Legal Research Methodology may also be used to supplement the learning process for students studying legal research for the first time.

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Introduction to Search Logic and Strategies

This lesson is designed for students taking an introductory legal research course who are already somewhat familiar with online research on Westlaw and Lexis. Students will learn search term selection strategies and the mechanics of terms and connectors searching for both systems. This lesson should be useful for students with basic or intermediate searching knowledge and experience.

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Cost of Legal Research

We are all aware of the perils of poor electronic legal research skills. And, we have all heard of ways the misuse of electronic legal resources has challenged those engaged in legal practice. Though Westlaw® and Lexis® provide us with sophisticated functionality that can ease the pain of legal research, these systems do not necessarily provide the most cost efficient means of conducting research. You may think that using them makes better use of your time, which necessarily results in savings to your clients, but remember, you will bill for the time you invest in electronic researching, in addition to the cost of the research, and if you have not developed a strategy to search effectively, you may incur increased research costs and additional man hours.

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The Legal Research Game: Fee or Free Edition

Choosing the most appropriate sources to fill your research need is a crucial part of your research strategy. Knowing when it is more appropriate to use print legal research sources and when it is more appropriate to use free or fee-based electronic legal research sources is important for efficient and cost effective research. This exercise will focus on the decisions you may need to make when choosing between print, free web, and fee-based electronic databases.

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Evaluating Web Sites

This lesson will provide the student with the tools to effectively judge the content of web pages. Included in the exercise are four criteria for evaluation: authority, accuracy, comprehensiveness and currency. Each of these concepts is defined through the use of descriptive text followed by screen images of actual law-related web sites to illustrate the concepts.