Recognizing the importance of legal research and the challenges it presents (especially for novices), this book undertakes to give law students and attorneys in North Carolina, as well as other jurisdictions, a set of research tools to add to their toolboxes. Much of the content of this book applies to all legal research, regardless of the jurisdiction, because the strategies for developing a research plan and for engaging in the process of legal research are very similar.
This book, however, focuses on the structures and sources of legal authority in North Carolina. Because questions of North Carolina law may sometimes overlap with questions of federal law, portions of this book do contain some discussion of the federal legal system and sources of federal authority, as well as the legal systems and sources of law of other states. Significantly, those portions are meant only to supplement the book's coverage of legal research in North Carolina, and this book does not purport to exhaustively cover how to conduct federal legal research or conducting legal research in other states.
While information about both print and online resources is included in each chapter, the third edition features some important updates regarding online resources. For some legal sources, the authors cover how to research them online first; for others, they cover how to research them in print first. This is a deliberate choice; for each source, the research methods are described in the order that makes the most sense for that particular source.
This book is part of the Legal Research Series, edited by Tenielle Fordyce-Ruff, Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program, Concordia University School of Law.
If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.