Research guides can be a truly effective way to start working on almost any research problem. You can quickly find out how to do research in a particular legal subject area by using a legal research guide. Law librarians prepare guides to help students, faculty, and legal professionals to find the law as easily as possible.
A research guide can help you in several ways. Here are two:
1. As mentioned in yesterday's post, a guide can tell you which print or online secondary and primary sources are most often used in researching a particular area of the law. If you are looking for a treatise on civil procedure, a guide may direct you to Moore’s or Wright & Miller. If you are looking for Canadian primary law, a guide may direct you to the relevant federal or provincial reporter.
2. A guide can help you with the actual mechanics of research, i.e., not just where to look but how to use the resources. A good example is our research guide on Connectiicut Legislative History that takes you step by step through the process of finding relevant materials.
This library has several research guides that can be accessed through the library’s website by clicking on the Library Guides or Library Tips links in the center of the main page. Our guides are prepared by our reference librarians and are updated on a regular basis. For a sampling you can check out the guide on doing Federal Legislative History, the Insurance Law Collection guide or the one on Indian Law.
But what if you can’t find the guide you need on our website? No problem. Most academic law libraries maintain their own legal research guides. Tune in next time to find out how to locate research guides from other law libraries.