Library Tip: Spring Term Legal Research Instruction

November 2, 2015

Dear Students:


Are you mulling over your Spring 2016 course schedule? Although Legal Research is not a required course here at Yale Law School, we offer several electives for your consideration. Research courses range from 1-3 credits, with one meeting over the whole term and others meeting for half of the term, before spring break. Note that ALR satisfies the skills requirement, while the shorter courses partially satisfy the skills requirement.

Here are the research courses offered Spring 2016. Please contact John Nann if you have any questions.

ADVANCED LEGAL RESEARCH: METHODS AND SOURCES (“ALR”) (21027)  
Credit: 2 or 3 Units (variable course)
Offered:  Spring semester (full semester)
Target Audience: All levels. Students writing a substantial paper, who plan on clerking, or working in law practice.
Course Description: An advanced exploration of the specialized methods and sources of legal research in some of the following areas: secondary legal authority, case law, statutory authority, legislative history, court rules and practice materials, and administrative law. The course will also cover the legal research process, and tracking research as well as other strategies for efficient and effective legal research. Class sessions will integrate the use of online, print, and other sources to solve legal research problems. Laptop computer recommended. Students are required to complete a series of assignments, in addition to the other course requirements. Students who wish to qualify for a third unit will need to write a paper, in addition to the other course requirements. The skills requirement (†) may be satisfied by taking this course.

RESEARCH METHODS IN AMERICAN LAW (21486)
Credit: 1 Unit
Offered: Spring semester (first seven weeks of the semester, before Spring Break)
Target Audience: All levels. Students who haven’t taken a legal research course before and who need a basic understanding of legal research principles.
Course Description: This course, formerly Efficient Techniques in Legal Research, will instruct students in basic legal research skills, including researching federal case law, statutory and administrative law, as well as using secondary sources in the research process. Students will be required to complete a series of short research assignments. The course will meet once weekly for the first half of the term. The skills requirement (†) may be satisfied by taking this course with another 1 unit legal research course. Minimum enrollment of five required.

SPECIALIZED LEGAL RESEARCH IN FOREIGN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW (21487)
Credit: 1 unit
Offered: Spring semester (first seven weeks of the term, before Spring Break)
Target Audience: 2Ls, 3Ls and second semester 1Ls interested in foreign and international law, legal scholarship or practice.
Course Description: Explores methods for finding the major sources of international law, including treaties and customary law; the material from the UN and other inter-governmental organizations; and laws from nations other than the United States. Particular attention is paid to practical research issues and solutions using both print and electronic resources. Research interests of the class and other specialized topics may also be explored. Minimum enrollment of five required. This course will meet weekly for seven weeks in the first half of the term. The skills requirement (†) may be satisfied by taking this course with another 1-unit legal research course.

SPECIALIZED LEGAL RESEARCH IN CORPORATE LAW (21489) 
Credit: 1 Unit
Offered: Spring Semester (first seven weeks of the semester, before Spring Break)
Target Audience: 2Ls, 3Ls and second semester 1Ls interested in corporate law.
Course Description: This course will include both lecture and discussion on methods and sources in corporate law, including securities law and criminal prosecutions of corporate fraud. Secondary sources will be emphasized, but basic finding-skills will also be addressed: case-finding; statutes-finding; locating legislative histories; and locating administrative materials. Online, print, and other resources will be considered throughout. Three guest speakers are scheduled: one who will present non-law business databases, another who will provide an introduction to reading a financial report, and a third guest (an Assistant U.S. Attorney and YLS alumnus) who will address the use of secondary sources in legal research generally, and with special attention to securities law and corporate fraud. This course will meet weekly for seven weeks in the first half of the term. The skills requirement (†) may be satisfied by taking this course with another 1-unit legal research course.

EMPIRICAL LEGAL RESEARCH (21492) 
Credit: 1 Unit
Offered: Spring Semester (first seven weeks of the semester, before Spring Break)
Target Audience: 2Ls, 3Ls and second semester 1Ls interested in corporate law.
Course Description: : The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the field of empirical legal research and to provide the student with practice in basic study design. Topics covered include basic research terminology, hypothesis and research question construction, methodology selection, and basic statistical analysis. The course will emphasize an applied approach to research grounded in real-world issues. Although the focus of this course will be on empirical legal research, students will engage with empirical data throughout the course. This course will meet for the first half of the term. The skills requirement (†) may be satisfied by taking this course with another 1-unit legal research course.


We hope you will take advantage of one or more of these excellent legal research courses in your time at Yale Law School.


Law Library Administration
lawlib.admin@yale.edu

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