Using Legal Research Guides - Part Two
In Part I we discussed how you could use a legal research guide to further your research. If you missed it, check out our archive page. We took a look at a few of the guides on our web site. But what if you can’t find the guide you need on our web site? No problem. Most academic law libraries maintain their own legal research guides. Some libraries prepare and post research guides on as many legal research problems as possible. Here are a few of my favorite sites that contain compendiums of above average research guides:
The University of Washington Gallagher Law Library maintains hundreds of legal research guides that can be accessed from the Legal Research Guides page. Guides can be located from browsing a keyword list or by subject area. In addition to the usual guides about legal research, there is a guide about Law on TV, Video and Film, a guide about the movie The Hurricane (the Rubin Carter case), and a guide about Themis, Goddess of Justice (the lady with the scales of justice).
Georgetown Law Library has many excellent research guides that can be accessed through drop down menus on the In-Depth Research page. In addition to the standard guides, there are guides on how to do legal research. These can be found in the Legal Research Techniques drop down menu. These guides include step-by-step tutorials on how to do research with Statutes, Cases and Digests, International Legal Research and other resources.
As you might expect, the Harvard Law Library has many good research guides. These can be accessed at their Research Guide page. Guides run the gamut from the 1L Dictionary to Publishing in Law Reviews and Journals. There are even short video clips on how to use certain library resources at the Research Videos page (they require a RealPlayer download).
Research guides are often the only efficient way to begin research on a topic you know nothing about. Research guides save you time by pointing you to the best possible sources for research. Research guides can tell you not only what’s out there but also how to use it. Let someone else do the heavy lifting for you…use a research guide.