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About the Book

Researching the Law

Front Cover - Researching the Law

Second Edition


Amy E. Sloan
University of Baltimore School of Law 

2017. 176 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-8649-5. 

Need the First Edition instead? Click here. 

In anticipation of changes to the major online providers, the Teacher's Manual for Researching the Law, 2d ed., will be posted in summer 2017. It will be available and up to date for the 2017-18 academic year.

About the Book

Researching the Law: Finding What You Need When You Need It, Second Edition, guides students through a decidedly contemporary approach to legal research. Widely respected author Amy E. Sloan presents legal research as a process of efficiently filtering a vast quantity of available information. Simply put, students learn how to locate and identify the most pertinent and authoritative information available with the greatest possible expedience. Sloan's clear, concise explanations of essential research sources are presented in a context that speaks to the way lawyers do research today, with a flexible approach that works in a rapidly changing research environment. Part I explains how to define a research question; pre-filter content before beginning a search; conduct research; and establish post-search criteria for filtering results. Part II describes essential features of individual sources of authority and search strategies unique to each source. Part III contains research flowcharts to help students plan research strategy for different types of research projects.

Hallmark features of Researching the Law: Finding What You Need When You Need It:

  • Complete coverage of fundamental principles
  • Teaches students how to:
o Define a research question
o Pre-filter content before beginning a search
o Search for information using a variety of techniques
o Create and use post-search filtering criteria to target the most relevant information
o Learn the essential features of important legal authorities, as well as the research strategies unique to each one
o Use flowcharts to plan research strategy

  • Concise and practical, to appeal to today’s students.
  • Approaches legal research as a filtering process to identify the most pertinent and authoritative information from vast search results
  • Can also be used to complement other texts and classroom materials
  • Diverse coverage of online sources, not solely emphasizing Lexis and Westlaw
  • Not simply a shorter version of Basic Legal Research; looks at research as a process of filtering the available information, rather than as a process that requires first choosing the right source of authority to solve a legal problem
Thoroughly updated, the Second Edition presents:

  • Coverage of the latest versions of Westlaw and Lexis
  • Comprehensive coverage of Bloomberg Law throughout
  • Discussion of emerging approaches to case research, including visual mapping technologies and crowd-sourced content
  • Updated coverage of federal resources, including www.govinfo.gov 

Preface / Sample Chapters