Research Instruction

Spring Semester 2024 | Scheduled Courses

Please reach out to Julie Graves Krishnaswami with questions.

Advanced Legal Research: Methods and Sources (21027)

2 or 3 units. This course is an advanced exploration of the specialized methods and sources of legal research in the following areas: secondary legal authority, case law, statutory authority, legislative history, court rules and practice materials, and administrative law. The course also covers the legal research process, organizing and managing research, and other efficient and effective legal research strategies. Throughout the course, students will learn how to evaluate new and emerging legal research and law practice technologies and discuss historical, social, economic, and critical perspectives on legal information. Class sessions will use simulations of legal research problems. A laptop computer is required for each class session. Students are required to complete a series of assignments and presentations, in addition to 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. Taught by Julie Graves Krishnaswami.

Introduction to Legal Research Methods and Sources (21486)

1 unit, credit/fail. This course equips first-year J.D. students with the foundational legal research knowledge and skills they will need in internships, summer associateships, seminars, journals, clinics, and research assistantships. Topics include legal authority; secondary and primary sources; search strategies; finding and validating cases and statutes; legislative history materials; regulatory research basics; AI- and LLM-based legal research and law practice technologies; and historical, social, economic, and critical perspectives on legal information. This course covers the legal research skills that will be tested on the NextGen Bar Exam beginning in July 2026. Enrollment limited to 1L, LL.M., and M.S.L. students. Taught by Nicholas Mignanelli and Steven Mitchell.

Research Methods in Foreign and International Law (21487)

2 units, credit/fail. 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 ten weeks in the first half of the term. Taught by Lucie Olejnikova and Evelyn Ma.

Research Methods in United States Legal History (21080)

2 units. This seminar will examine the methods and major materials used in American historical legal research, whether for scholarly pursuits or professional advocacy. It will cover early judicial, statutory, and constitutional sources; court records; government documents; biographical materials and personal papers of lawyers and judges; other manuscript collections; and early sources of U.S. international law and civil law. Paper required. Enrollment minimum of five students. Taught by John B. Nann.

Technology in the Practice of Law (28579)

1 unit, credit/fail. This course will explore and investigate the evolution, use, and impact of current and emerging technologies in law practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a game changer, fast tracking the integration of technology tools in the practice of law, and completely transforming the traditional law practice environment. While the focus will be on large practice groups, there will also be some discussion on smaller to midsized law firms. Tools for client management, electronic discovery, knowledge management, data analytics, and competitive intelligence will be analyzed. In addition, the growing adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, virtual and augmented reality devices will be explored. Ethical issues relating to proper use of technology, data management, and disparities in technology access will be discussed. This course will meet in the first half of the term. Taught by Femi Cadmus.