MacMillan Law Library Advanced Legal Research Classes

To supplement the skills taught in the first year Legal Writing, Research and Advocacy Program (LWRAP) classes, the MacMillan Law Library offers numerous upper-level Advanced Legal Research electives open to our JD, LLM, and JM students.

These classes are graded, one-credit classes taught on an accelerated seven week schedule.  Therefore, students have the opportunity to take more than one legal research class per semester.  All classes include significant hands-on opportunities to become more familiar with the multitude of research databases available and allow students to build their legal research skill sets.  While assessment methods vary by class, students can expect regular homework assignments and larger scale projects to re-enforce learning objectives.

There are no pre-requisites for these classes but enrollment is limited to maximize the learning process.  All classes are intended to be taught on a regular cycle to allow several opportunities to take a class.

For more information, see the course descriptions below or contact Thomas Sneed, Associate Law Librarian for Research and Electronic Services.

An examination of the legal research methods and sources beyond the basics taught during the first year of law school. Through lectures and practical application with in-class exercises and a final research project, students will become familiar with topics such as advanced research techniques, case, statute & regulatory research, aids for the practitioner and legislative history research.

This course will introduce research methods and resources for bankruptcy law research. Students will become familiar with bankruptcy research through lectures and by practical application through in-class exercises and a final project researching a single large case. Topics will include research in the Bankruptcy Code and Rules, legislative history, bankruptcy caselaw resources, specialized bankruptcy treatises and databases, dockets, and reorganization plans. Tools used in bankruptcy practice will be introduced, including electronic case filing, docket tracking, and case management software.

The purpose of Business and Tax Legal Research is to provide students with an introduction to business and tax related materials and advanced training on the finding and utilization of these materials for legal research purposes. Topics covered will include business forms, business filings and SEC research, and primary and secondary sources for tax issues.

The course will introduce specialized techniques for research with international and foreign legal materials.  Students will become familiar with international and foreign legal research sources through lectures and by practical application through in-class exercises and a final research project.  Topics will include public international law resources, including U.S. and multilateral treaties, international courts, and customary law sources; documents of the United Nations, the European Union, and other inter-governmental organizations; resources on international human rights; an overview of legal materials for common law systems (the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia) and civil law systems (France and Latin America); and a look at issues that arise in international and foreign law research, including availability, translations, and internet resources.

Health law encompasses a wide variety of topics ranging from Medicare to patient care, insurance companies to health care reform, big pharm to worker’s compensation and medical malpractice to bioethics. Additionally, health law is governed by statutes, regulations and case law, and many health laws have produced a vast amount of legislative history materials. The field of health law research is robust and the class would therefore touch on best practices for researching topics including healthcare legislation and regulations, pharmaceutical regulations, personal injury litigation and expert witness testimony, medical malpractice and medical research, and Medicare and Medicaid.

The concept for this class is to focus on 3-4 of the states to which the majority of our students locate to practice, with Georgia, New York, Washington D.C. (and the states surroundings the District) and California being the primary focus.  The methods for researching primary law (cases, statutes and regulations) for each state would be discussed, along with an examination of the secondary sources and governmental resources unique to each jurisdiction.  The class would feature in-class activities, homework assignments re-enforcing the research skills examined in class and a final project comparing jurisdictions.

Technology in Legal Practice will focus on technology in the practice of law beyond traditional legal research. Areas of coverage will include law practice management, e-discovery, competitive intelligence, social media and other current awareness issues. Class discussions and readings will be augmented by guest speakers from the legal community.