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Law School Legal Research Tips

Here are a few legal research tips for law students that law school may not teach you.

If you don’t know where to find a particular authority or source (e.g. the Wallstreet Journal, a particular treatise, a particular body of law, a Restatement, etc.) on WestLaw or Lexis, follow these instructions:

  1. Use this resources to find the name of the Lexis or Westlaw database for a particular authority/source: Zimmerman’s Research Guide
  2. For Lexis: Once you have the Lexis database (aka “library”) name, you can use the “Power Search” at the bottom of this page to do a very quick search: Lexis Search Shortcuts. (Note that you must have already logged into Lexis before doing the Power Search.) (Maybe there is a way to do this inside Lexis, but I haven’t found it.)
  3. For WestLaw: Once you have found the WestLaw database, type the database code in WestLaw and search it there.

If you use the Firefox web browser (which I recommend over Internet Explorer), there are some time-saving resources available:

If you have other tips, leave a Comment here.

UPDATE: See also Legal Research and Writing Tips for Law School and How to Improve Legal Writing in Law School.

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