Law librarians participate in the educational mission of the College of Law in a variety of ways. In addition to one-on-one instruction at the Reference Desk, librarians participate in two types of of legal research courses described below. Librarians also give presentations to seminar and substantive law courses.
College of Law Legal Research Courses
Legal Analysis, Writing and Research
At the College of Law, legal research is introduced as part of the Legal Analysis, Writing and Research (LAWR) course taught throughout the first year. Over the two semesters, students will learn to use case reporters, statutes, citators, and secondary resources. Training on LexisNexis and Westlaw is integrated with print resources in the LAWR instruction.
Advanced Legal Research Course
Advanced Legal Research, a two-credit course, is offered to second- and third-year law students by College of Law Reference and Electronic Services Librarians. Enrollment is limited. As stated in the course description, the purpose of the Advanced Legal Research course is to permit students to acquire an in-depth knowledge of American legal resources and to familiarize students with some of the many non-legal information sources available that are of increasing importance to the legal community. Current print and electronic resources will be explored for the purpose of developing more effective and efficient search techniques and to assist students in determining when to use on-line or print resources for their research. Topics covered in class will include a review of the basic sources of legal information, techniques for accessing the desired information, techniques for accessing the desired information, and the development of personal strategies for managing information.
Foreign, Comparative and International Legal Research Course
This course is offered by the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Librarian during the fall semester and has limited enrollment. This course will familiarize students with treaty research, locating and identifying documents from international organizations and tribunals, and legal research in selected jurisdictions outside the United States. A variety of print and electronic sources and research methods in foreign and international law will be presented during class periods, some of which will be held in the library. Half the course covers public and private international law, of particular interest to students participating in the Jessup International Moot Court Competition. The course's second half deals with foreign law (i.e., the law of other countries, such as Canada, France, and Mexico).
Students are responsible for completing research exercises as assigned and for passing a final exam. The instructor provides guidance regarding substantive law so that students properly concentrate on legal research, viz., finding the law.
The Law Library is a vast resource for conducting thorough and sophisticated research. The librarians constantly endeavor to help users make the most of the resources by providing periodic legal research refresher sessions, research guides (print and electronic), topical pathfinders (more sophisticated research tools than research guides), and online tutorials to allow for learning research strategies at the time of need. Please make suggestions for legal research training by contacting Ted Potter, Head of Public Services, Room 238 of the Law Library or by e-mail at: email@example.com.