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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Researching Federal Administrative Regulations

This lesson will teach students and practitioners how to research and efficiently locate rules and regulations promulgated by federal administrative agencies. Especially those areas for which Congress has delegated authority to specific administrative agencies. The lesson addresses the official sources of federal administrative regulations: the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and their related materials.

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Rulemaking: Federal Register and CFR

This exercise will introduce you to the quasi-legislative process known as rulemaking. It will familiarize you with the publication system and with the sources you will access to research regulations. The exercise includes several images of Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations pages, and links to regulatory information on the Government Printing Office's homepage.

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U.S. Treaty Research

This lesson will provide an understanding of the language, mechanics and process of conducting research of U.S. treaties: the major sources of treaty texts (both official and unofficial), major indexes and finding tools, major secondary resources to aid in research, sources of reservations and declarations, and finally, resources for updating treaties.

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Indian Treaties

This lesson will teach you how to locate treaties between Indian tribes and the United States government. It will also show you how to determine whether a particular treaty provision is still in effect and how to interpret ambiguous treaty provisions.

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Introduction to Secondary Resources

This lesson will provide an overview of secondary resources used in legal research. Secondary resources are books and other material ABOUT legal subjects and issues: they discuss and explain primary resources such as cases and statutes and can be useful in assisting our understanding about specific areas of law. The student will learn about the different types of secondary resources and what secondary resources are most useful for specific types of legal research tasks.

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Legal Encyclopedias

This lesson is about Legal Encyclopedias. As one of the main types of secondary resources for legal research, Legal Encyclopedias can be useful for a variety of basic legal research tasks. This lesson will give you an overview of legal encyclopedias, explain how they are used in legal research, and run through a couple of hypotheticals using legal encyclopedias. The lesson focuses on the two legal encyclopedias covering American Law in general, Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) and American Jurisprudence 2d (AmJur 2d) and gives some examples of state legal encyclopedias.

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American Law Reports

This lesson is an introduction to the American Law Reports (ALR) and is intended for use by students in introductory legal research classes. The goal is to give you an understanding of the features of the resource, the best methods for using it, and an understanding of when to use it.

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Periodicals and Periodical Indexes

In conducting legal research it is frequently better to begin with secondary sources that explain and interpret the law rather than attempting to start with primary legal authority. Legal periodicals are excellent secondary source starting points. This lesson focuses on strategies and resources to find legal periodicals and relevant articles in support of legal research projects.

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