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1L Research Guide: Welcome


Welcome. Whether you are just starting out or just brushing up on legal research, this guide offers:

  • a general strategy for approaching any legal research question
  • links to online resources for each step in the process
  • tips applicable whether you are working on assignments in your Legal Research & Writing or Written & Oral Advocacy classes, for a clinical/externship placement, or as a summer associate (there are also a 2L/3L Guide and a Tools for Legal Practice guide)

Before you dive in, remember that  -

  • Research is a cyclical, recursive process. The steps laid out in this guide are not a linear path; there are steps that you will repeat and refine as you find more information, broaden your understanding of the issues, and develop your answer.
  • You do not need to master everything in the guide all at once. You will be learning and using the tools and resources throughout your 1L year LRW and WOA courses. This guide sets up a framework and context for how the tasks you perform fit in to an overall research strategy.
  • Reference librarians can help you with your legal research. Look for the "Ask Us" boxes throughout this guide to reach us via chat/instant messaging, to set up an appointment, or to talk with us during Library hours.

Process summary

process summary diagram

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