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Bridge the gap research strategies 2014

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  • 1. Research Refresher: Summer Dos and Don’ts Suzanne B. Corriell March 24, 2014
  • 2. Do Your Homework  Before you arrive  Review state court and legislative structure for your jurisdiction  State Legislative Sourcebook  Know what your jurisdiction has available online
  • 3. Do Pack Your Bags  Take materials with you  Take your laptop (VPN)  Take your Bluebook  Style manuals  Black’s Law Dictionary  A thesaurus for search terms  List of nearby law schools and libraries
  • 4. Do Ask Questions  Of the librarian  Online research availability  Library information  Of the assigning attorney  Suggested starting points  Brief bank
  • 5. Do Develop a Plan  Review facts  Identify issues  Determine jurisdiction  Identify search terms
  • 6. Do Stay Organized  Identify resources consulted  Keep some sort of record of the searches you do so you don’t re-do a search  Keep track of time  Keep print-outs in order and maintain a filing system for research  Use online organizers  Research trail; history; WL/LX folders  Google Web History; IE’s “send to OneNote”  netfilesuserssscorrieloutboxBridge the Gap 2014
  • 7. Don’t Start with Case Law!  Begin by looking at…  Dictionaries  Legal encyclopedias  Secondary resources  Treatises  Practice materials & CLEs  Periodicals
  • 8. Do Use Citators  Very important!  Shepard’s/KeyCite/BCite  Check for “good law”  Help locate other cases  Help locate other resources  Read!  Don't rely solely on the signals
  • 9. Lexis and Westlaw  Educational and Pro Bono Use Only  Westlaw  Anything  Lexis (Lexis Advance)  Bloomberg Law
  • 10. Do Use Lexis and Westlaw Effectively  Plan ahead  Know your “pricing plan”  http://guides.law.csuohio.edu/wexis_pricing  Use smallest database (in classic versions)  Start broadly and narrow your search based on the results  If you have access to both, know the preference of the partner with whom you’re working  Call/chat for help
  • 11. Do Use Law Library Resources  For corporate/paid jobs  LexisNexis Academic (VPN)  HeinOnline (VPN)  Bloomberg BNA (VPN)  CCH Intelliconnect (VPN)  Bloomberg Law  Law360  Checkpoint (VPN)  http://law.richmond.edu/library/databases.html  Use the law school’s public terminal
  • 12. Use What You Have  If it’s available in print in your firm library, use the print – it’s FREE!  If you are taking over a project someone else started, get their research notes  Get examples from other associates  Find templates (motions and briefs)
  • 13. Do Know Your Current Events  Yahoo Finance: http://finance.yahoo.com/  Law.com: http://www.law.com  Above the Law: http://www.abovethelaw.com/  Jurist: http://jurist.org/  Virginia Lawyers Weekly: http://valawyersweekly.com and http://valawyersweekly.com/vlwblog  Law360: http://www.law360.com/
  • 14. Do Every Project  50 State Surveys  ALRs, Uniform Laws Annotated, Shepard’s Acts and Cases by Popular Name, Subject Compilations of State Laws, loose-leaf services  http://tarltonguides.law.utexas.edu/content.php?pid=242166&sid=2028342  Legislative histories  Compiled legislative histories  Search: [state] +“legislative history”  http://www.law.indiana.edu/library/services/sta_leg.shtml
  • 15. Do Google It*  Many free resources  Search: [jurisdiction] +“legal research”  Search: [topic] +“legal research”  Look for search tips, advanced search  Topic specific searches  File extensions  Evaluate site (.gov, .edu, .com) * Don’t cite to Wikipedia (but do use it)
  • 16. Do Fix What’s Broken  Broken links on Google?  Deconstruct “bad” URL  Remove /parts/ of URL starting at right  http://law.slu.edu/library/reference/missouri  http://law.slu.edu/library/reference  http://law.slu.edu/library/  Browse for information  Use “cached” page  Use the Wayback Machine: www.archive.org  http://www.virginia.edu/history/faculty/ayers.html
  • 17. Do Use Spell Check (and some common sense)
  • 18. Don’t Pay!  FindLaw (http://findlaw.com/)  Federal resources  THOMAS (http://thomas.loc.gov/)  FDsys (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/)  Justia (http://www.justia.com)  http://www.americanbar.org/groups/departments_
  • 19. Don’t Pay (continued)*  http://www.brbpub.com/default.asp  http://www.municode.com/  http://www.forms.gov  http://www.uscourtforms.com/  http://www.lectlaw.com  http://library.law.emory.edu/electronic- resources/free-legal-web-resources/  * Remember to authenticate your research!
  • 20. Do Use Flat-Rate Resources  Bloomberg BNA  Bloomberg Law (http://www.bloomberglaw.com/start)  CCH Intelliconnect
  • 21. Do Appreciate Librarians  Zimmerman’s Research Guide http://law.lexisnexis.com/infopro/zimmermans/  Cornell Legal Information Institute http://www.law.cornell.edu/  Georgetown Law Library Research Guides http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/
  • 22. Do Appreciate Librarians (Again)  Legislative Source Book http://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/  LLRX http://www.LLRX.com  The Virtual Chase How-To Guides: http://virtualchase.justia.com/legal-research
  • 23. Do Know When To Say When  Stop researching  When you stop finding good new resources  Re-evaluate if you’re finding nothing at all  Report back  Restate the question  Quick answer, then elaborate  Describe research process  Give verifiable citations  Stay on point
  • 24. Don’t Be “That Guy” or “That Girl”  If you aren’t assigned a mentor, find one for yourself  Find someone who you admire and who will give you good advice  Get to know the firm librarians and treat them well  Be nice to your secretary, if you have one, and to all support staff!
  • 25. Do Keep It Simple
  • 26. Do Ask More Questions!  Anyone?  Handouts and slides from this presentation will be made available through a libguide on the library’s website (http://law.richmond.libguides.com/)
  • 27. Don’t Forget Us!  Reference Desk - 289-8685  Paul Birch  289-8222; pbirch@richmond.edu  Timothy Coggins  289-8218; tcoggins@richmond.edu  Suzanne Corriell  289-8217; scorriel@richmond.edu  Alexis Fetzer  289-8727; afetzer@richmond.edu  Joyce Manna Janto  289-8223; jjanto@richmond.edu  Amy O’Connor  289-8221; aoconno2@richmond.edu  Andrew Winston  484-1617; awinsto2@richmond.edu  Gail Zwirner  287-6555; gzwirner@richmond.edu