Research Review. For Grimes Moot Court January 18, 2005 http://www2.bc.edu/~shearj/grimes. What is legal research?. The search for authority: to predict a likely outcome to advise a client or to advocate for a client. Where to Start. Think Plan Choose.
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For Grimes Moot Court
January 18, 2005
Types of Authority
(Can be binding)
(Can only be persuasive)
e.g. Law Reviews
e.g., Records and Briefs
Indexes lead you to articles about a particular topic.
Full text searching leads you to any use of a term.
Broad Legal Subject Headings
Current Law Index
Available electronically through the web link from law library electronic resources page (on campus only)
Westlaw - LRI
Lexis - LAWREV;LGLIND or Legal Resource Index
Specific general subject headings with subdivisions
contains: law reviews, texts, American Law Reports (ALR), legal encyclopedias (American Jurisprudence 2d and Corpus Juris Secundum), CLE course materials, bar journals, and legal practice-oriented periodicals.
Legal Publications Group File
contains: law reviews, bar journals, ABA journals, legal newspapers, legal newsletters, specialty legal publications, and CLE materials
Weighted according to algorithms
To find “most” relevant based on ranking criteria
Terms and Connectors
Combined with Boolean connectors
To find all exact matches
When you need everything using particular terms
When terms are unique
When you want to include a field search
When you need to know how many cases use these terms
Joining: “and” “&”
Proximity: w/# /#
Ordered Proximity: pre/# +#
Grammatical: /s /p
Exclusions “but not”
When you don’t know much about a subject
When you don’t want just a casual mention
When you are willing to take a close match
When you need an extensive discussion
Westlaw and Lexis
call it --