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 help you find the best secondary sources. You can find the right secondary source for the area of law you need to cover. 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. A research guide can also help point you to the relevant case or statutory law in a particular area.
2. A guide canalso help you with the actual mechanics of research, that is, 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 link in the center of the main page. Our guides are updated on a regular basis. For a sampling take a look at 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? Most academic law libraries maintain their own legal research guides and there are some great commercial sources. Look for tomorrow's post to find out how to locate research guides from other law libraries.