How to Research Your Note Topic

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AVBucks4239
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How to Research Your Note Topic

Postby AVBucks4239 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:05 am

I picked my topic from a set list given to us by my journal. The topic seemed pretty interesting and deals with an area of law that I'd like to get into (labor and employment).

We have a "Hey look at my research to this point" assignment due this weekend. I've done some research, but there seems to be so much to discuss that I don't know how to filter my research and get something down on paper.

So, does anybody have any suggestions for researching a note topic at the beginning phase of writing? Advice is much appreciated.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: How to Research Your Note Topic

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:54 pm

Find a case on point, and trace the lineage of the decision (Shepardize, Keycite, etc.) - what cases did it cite as support for its holding? What cases did those cases cite? What is the trend over time? Has the case been cited by more recent cases?

Etc. Identify trends and patterns.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: How to Research Your Note Topic

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:00 pm

^
Generally, no, the first thing you should do is to use secondary sources (treatises, previous law review articles, ALRs, etc) to get a general sense of the area of law and also to help you figure out the most important cases and statutes and then you shepardize/keycite the cases and statutes you find via the secondary sources. The reason you do this is because if you use keyword searches, even Boolean searches (which are about 500x better than natural word searches for finding what you really want but for some reason law students are scared of them), you can end up choosing a case that is marginal and wasting your time....much better to look to the secondary sources first. Also, take advantage of the table of contents and index features of treatises/ALRs to further distance yourself from the uselessness of keyword searches. Your school should also have an index of law review articles you can use. Good luck!

idk
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Re: How to Research Your Note Topic

Postby idk » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:30 am

what are Boolean searches?

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notedgarfigaro
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Re: How to Research Your Note Topic

Postby notedgarfigaro » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:36 am

idk wrote:what are Boolean searches?


using Westlaw instead of Westlaw Next- terms and connectors search.

idk
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Re: How to Research Your Note Topic

Postby idk » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:43 am

notedgarfigaro wrote:
idk wrote:what are Boolean searches?


using Westlaw instead of Westlaw Next- terms and connectors search.


thanks. i guess westlaw=before my time

Capitol A
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Re: How to Research Your Note Topic

Postby Capitol A » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:11 am

idk wrote:
notedgarfigaro wrote:
idk wrote:what are Boolean searches?


using Westlaw instead of Westlaw Next- terms and connectors search.


thanks. i guess westlaw=before my time

You don't have to use classic to do boolean searches. At the top of westlaw next there is a link that says "advanced." If you click on that you can use what they are calling "terms and connectors," which is essentially boolean searches.
If you aren't using terms and connectors you are wasting your time.




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