LAW 5491: Advanced Legal Research - 2184

Advanced Legal Research
Class Term:
Spring Term 2017-2018
Catalog Number:
Class Number:
Class Schedule:
Monday, Thursday
2:00 pm
3:15 pm



3 (2 Contact, 0 Field)
Graduation Requirements:
"W" Writing
Professional Skills
General Enrollment Course
Full Year Course:
Standard Courses

Grading Details

For course evaluation, in addition to classroom participation, students will work on a series of compact research assignments, couched as research requests for which substantive research and a written answer will be required. For a primary project, students will draft a “Pathfinder”, which is a critical, annotated guide to the literature of a particular subject which describes and evaluates materials available and places them in an appropriate research strategy. As a comprehensive overview of the legal research resources and strategies on a particular subject, the Pathfinder is similar in length and research complexity to a seminar or law review paper.


This course will build on the material presented in the Foundations of Legal Research course, and will provide students with a broader array of strategies and skills to approach legal research projects. The course is to be broadly divided into three components. The first component focuses on strategic approaches to legal research, how to incorporate the research process into the litigation or transactional problem presented and to more effectively integrate the various legal research tools available into that strategic approach. Cost-effective research strategies, including strategies to effectively manage real-world Lexis and Westlaw costs will also be covered. This component will somewhat overlap with, but significantly expand on material from the Foundations course, and will give students a broader understanding of the research process. The second component of the course recognizes that not all substantive areas of the law utilize the same research resources, strategies and techniques. During this component of the course, students will be exposed to specific topical research areas and spend several weeks looking at the unique resources and research challenges presented by those areas. The third component of the course returns all students to the same material and focuses on non-legal research areas such as medical and scientific research, business and corporate research, investigative research, and financial and marketplace research. The use of experts in these areas as guest lecturers is anticipated. 

Advanced Legal Research