Law Library Legal Research Program

Law Library Legal Research Program

The Law Library Legal Research Program builds on the critical research skills you learn in the Legal Writing Program by integrating advanced skills into the upper division curriculum. The Program is taught by library faculty – experienced law librarians who have also practiced law.

Why legal research matters

Legal research is an essential lawyering skill that you will use throughout your law career. It involves searching, analyzing, and evaluating information to ethically provide legal advice. Knowing how to effectively and efficiently conduct legal research is necessary for the competent practice of law: research skills lead you to the relevant court rules, statutes, regulations and cases for every aspect of law practice.

What we do

Library faculty integrate advanced legal research instruction into the curriculum in the following ways:

  • We teach advanced research skills, such as finding pending regulations and researching statutory intent, by guest lecturing in the Legal Writing Program, Externship Program, and Clinic.
  • We work individually with students in all law school programs to give students guidance when they need it.
  • We embed in clinic courses to teach and mentor students as they research real client problems.
  • We equip law journal staff with a suite of research presentations, individual guidance and a 1 credit elective research course.
  • We teach a variety of legal research elective courses each year.

Short Legal Research Programs

  • Annual Spring Legal Research Tune-Up
    Each spring, library faculty present a half day conference to teach research skills for summer employment or externships. Watch for the announcement on Connect SU!
  • Independent Study Research Support
    Independent Studies are 1-2 credit research and writing projects. Supervised by a faculty member, they include a member of the library faculty who provides individualized research instruction to support the student’s project.
  • Legal Research Electives
    Library faculty teach a variety of credited courses every semester and during the summer. All courses are pass/fail.

Courses Open to all Students

Legal Research Strategy and Sources LRES-500: one week, one credit

  • Learn the fundamental concepts and skills to research cases, statutes, and regulations using major commercial and free resources.
  • Gain proficiency in planning research, using secondary sources, and navigating online resources.

Advanced Legal Research LRES-350 one semester, two credits

  • Provides comprehensive instruction in advanced research techniques across research platforms.
  • Emphasizes development of cost-effective and interdisciplinary research strategies.

Online Advanced Legal Research LRES-360: eight weeks in the summer, two credits

  • This fully online course mirrors the content and approach of Advanced Legal Research.

Courses for Specific Student Groups

Essential Research Skills for Journals LRES-375: eight weeks in the fall, one credit

  • Fundamentals and techniques of legal and interdisciplinary research.
  • Available only to students in their first year of journal participation.

Essential Research Skills LRES-600: eight weeks in the fall, one credit

  • Learn to identify and locate the laws and research documents of each governmental branch.
  • Gain proficiency in planning research, using secondary sources, and navigating online resources.
  • Available only to MLS students and students in the LLM program who do not possess a JD from a United States law school.