Federal Legal Research
Teacher's Manual available
266 pp $32.00
This book complements the state-focused Legal Research Series. Federal Legal Research offers concise explanations of primary authorities in the federal system, along with chapters on secondary sources, updating, legislative history, and legal ethics and court rules. The book covers current platforms in Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg; free online sources; and print sources. Federal Legal Research takes a process-oriented approach to research. Its in-depth discussions of strategies and techniques for conducting American legal research make it effective in classes that integrate research, writing, and analysis as well as in courses with a bibliographic approach.
The goal of the Legal Research Series (LRS) is to provide law students with the essential elements of legal research in each state. LRS books, which also have been used in lawyer training and paralegal programs, explain concisely both the sources of state law research and the process for conducting state legal research effectively. These books examine how to use each resource in a comprehensive research strategy and also incorporate legal analysis as part of the research process. Each book begins with an overview of the research process and then explains how to use electronic and print sources to research cases, statutes, legislative history, constitutions, administrative law, court rules, and secondary sources. To see individual titles in this series, go to caplaw.com/lrs.
"Federal Legal Research provides a succinct, yet thorough, overview of the legal research process. Moreover, it breaks down the various sources of law and systematically describes how to go about finding them both in print and electronically. In addition, the text offers sufficient practice pointers throughout to make it a useful reference for legal researchers of all levels.... One of the book's strongest features is the liberal, though not overdone, inclusion of tables and figures to provide explanatory references and screenshots from the research databases and pictures of print documents... As a legal research instructor, I found another highlight of this text to be its treatment of citators and the procedure for updating legal authority. Albeit brief, chapter 10 is devoted to vitators and gives a worthy explanation of their dual purpose and the particular symbols used by KeyCite, Shepard's, and BCite. This chapter is particularly skilled at explaining the critical step of updating in the research process, which often appears deceptively simple, yet is frequently challenging for novice researchers to master... Overall the text is logically arranged and an ideal fusion of detail and brevity. I highly recommend it for all libraries whose patrons seek assistance researching legal materials, including law libraries, public libraries, and academic libraries supporting law, legal studies, or paralegal programs. Given its process orientation along with its bibliographic overview of the sources of law, Federal Legal Research would serve as an extremely valuable teaching tool for legal research instructors and an appropriate textbook selection for legal research courses."
—Lisa A. Goodman, Law Library Journal, Volume 108:2