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Capstone/WIE: Finding & Researching Your Paper Topic: Strategies

Types of Research

1. Start with Background Research

  • Books
  • Articles

2. Then move on to Focused Research

  • Consultations
  • Specialized Materials in Your Area of Law
  • Primary Legal Materials
  • Update Cases, Regulations, Admin Decisions, Legislation
  • Non-legal Materials 

Make an appointment with a librarian for a research consultation. 

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

Search Online

Search [type of law] law research guide

ex. health law research guide
ex. health law research guide (adding 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). 

Books at Boley & Beyond

Use the combined catalog of the Lewis & Clark Boley and Watzek libraries to find books, DVDs, electronic resources and other materials by keyword, title, author and subject.

If the item you’re looking for isn’t available at Boley or Watzek, click on “Summit Libraries” to get the item from another Northwest library. 

If the item you want is at the Watzek Library, you can check it out in person or click “Find & Request,” then select "Request L&C Item" to have it delivered to the Boley Library Desk.

Let Boley Help

If the item you're looking for isn't available at Boley or another Northwest library, fill out our online Interlibrary Loan Request form. We’ll borrow the book or item from another library, and send you an email when it has arrived.

If you prefer, you can also go to WorldCat, find your item, then click the “Request item” link.

Search Article Databases

Need to search for articles beyond Westlaw and Lexis? Check our specialized legal article databases, as well as our links to SSRN's Legal Scholarship Network and other working paper depositories. 

Best bets for locating articles:

Other databases for locating articles: 

Research Help

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

Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-5pm

Reference Hours