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First Year Legal Research Guide   Tags: first, legal_research, year  

Last Updated: Jul 20, 2016 URL: http://lawlibguides.luc.edu/firstyearlegalresearch Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Legal Research in a Nutshell

The books in West's Nutshell Series provide succinct summaries of the law in a wide range of subjects. Legal Research in a Nutshell is a guide to the legal research process in general and to the specific sources used to research the law. A free companion website provides links to the online sources referenced in the Nutshell. This item is part of the Law Library's "Academic Success" collection and is shelved on the 3rd floor. All of the books in the Nutshell Series are also available electronically through West's "Study Aids Subscription," which is currently accessible via Westlaw for LUC law students and faculty. 


Introduction to Legal Research PowerPoint

The following PowerPoint presentation was created to accompany the 2015 First Year Legal Research lecture, "Introduction to Sources of Law and Legal Research."



The goal of legal research is usually to find primary authority (a case, statute, or administrative regulation) to support a legal argument.  To perform legal research, you must learn how to use specialized resources to find these materials. 

During the First Year Legal Research course, you will be introduced to these specialized resources.  You will learn how to find research resources both in print and online formats.  You will also be introduced to electronic citation checking (a system for ensuring that your case has not been overruled or reversed) and will receive training on Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law, the major commercial sources of online legal information.  Finally, you will learn about research strategies, such as knowing how to get started, when it's best to use print and when it's best to use online resources, what to do if you hit a dead-end, and how to know when your research is actually done.

Registering at CALI.org

CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, is a non-profit consortium of U.S. law schools that offers nearly 1,000 online lessons on legal topics. The lessons are generally authored by law school faculty and law librarians. LUC Law School faculty and students may access CALI lessons with a password that is available at the Law Library's reference desk. There are also free downloadable eBooks available through CALI's eLangdell® Press.

List of CALI lessons

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation

Subject Guide

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