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:
- Use this resources to find the name of the Lexis or Westlaw database for a particular authority/source: Zimmerman’s Research Guide
- 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.)
- 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:
- Get the Cornell LII search engine for your searchbox here: All Cornel Search Plugins
- Get the “LexisNexis Lawschool” search engine for your Firefox searchbox in the list of educational search engines here, Firefox searchbox Plugins for Education, or just search for “Lexis” here, Firefox Searchbox Plugins Search
- If you have a lot of search engines in your Firfox searchbox, you may want to organize your Firefox searchbox with subfolders here: Malte’s Organize Searchbox Plugin for Firefox
If you have other tips, leave a Comment here.