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Legal Research Basics: Getting Started

Getting Started with Legal Research

Develop a legal research strategy and add these tips and tools to your legal research checklist. It is often helpful to begin your research in an unfamiliar area of law with a secondary source like a research guide. Below you'll find a list of our favorite legal research guides as well as tips on how to find others.

Law Library Research Guides

Other helpful online sources include Zimmerman's Research Guide and LLRX.com

Search Online

Search [type of law] law research guide

ex. health law research guide
ex. health law research guide site:.edu (adding site:.edu to Google limits the search to .edu sites only)

Search [type of law] law pathfinder

ex. health law pathfinder

Search [type of law] "annotated bibliography"

ex. health law "annotated bibliography"

Search the Catalog

Search the catalog for subject headings "legal research" or "law bibliography" or do a keyword search for [legal topic] legal research (ex. animal rights legal research). 

Specialized Legal Research Books

There are many specialized legal research books in the library. Search for them under the subject Legal Research - United States (or other jurisdiction).

Below is a sample of the type of specialized legal research books available in the library or online through a library database. 

Research Help

Contact a research librarian for help with an assignment, project, or resource. 

Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-5pm
503-768-6688
lawlib@lclark.edu

Reference Hours