The guide sets forth the following steps that students should follow in their research:
- Start your research for any new legal issue with a broad secondary source, like a legal encyclopedia, treatise, law review article, or American Law Reports (ALR).
- If your issue is – or could be – covered by a state or federal statute, then use the annotated code for the controlling jurisdiction.
- After you find the relevant statutory provision, determine the statute’s effective date and whether it has been amended.
- For each statute, review the annotations in the code for cases in the controlling jurisdiction.
- Use the West Digest System to search for cases addressing your issue in the controlling jurisdiction.
- Use Lexis or Westlaw to find additional cases in the controlling jurisdiction.
- If your research of law in the controlling jurisdiction does not fully address your issue, then you may look for primary persuasive authority from other jurisdictions.
- Update each authority with Shepard’s or KeyCite.
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