Knowing When to Stop: Reaching the End of the Research Trail
esearcher’s
Digest
R
10 Tips
Joel Ngugi
Expands Contracts
for Research Success
PLUS!
Librarians:
The Legal
Researcher’s
Best Friends
Save Time! Formbooks & Sample Clauses
Overview
•
•
•
•
Research strategy
Legal research guides
Print & online resources
The end of the rainbow
The Rombauer Method
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Preliminary analysis
Search for statutes
Search for mandatory precedent
Search for persuasive precedent
Refine, double-check
& update
Preliminary Analysis
•
•
•
•
•
Assess what you know
Consult secondary sources
Determine the jurisdiction
Develop a list of keywords & phrases
Focus on the
research goal
Secondary Sources
Sources that
• Analyze
• Describe
• Discuss
• Review
• Summarize
The Three Bears Approach
• Baby Bear
– Nutshells
– Study aids
• Mama Bear
– Hornbooks
– Encyclopedias
• Papa Bear
– Multi-volume treatises
Finding Secondary Sources
• Consult a legal research guide
– Drafting Contracts
• Search the library catalog
– Current editions in Reference Area
– “contracts and hornbook”
• Ask a reference librarian
– Email
– 543-6794
Legal Research Strategy
The Rombauer Method
1. Preliminary analysis
2. Search for statutes
3. Search for mandatory precedent
4. Search for persuasive precedent
5. Refine, double-check
& update
Finding Statutes
•
•
•
•
Citations from secondary sources
Indexes
Tables of contents
Online searches
– Terms & connectors (full-text searching)
– Natural language
Click on link to read statute
Click on + to expand topic
Click on + to expand topic
Click in box(es) to search
selected titles
Finding Statutes . . . Or Not
10
23
22
32
Running Past Precedent
• Citations in secondary
sources & annotated
codes
• LexisNexis & Westlaw
searches
Last Steps
• Refine
– Other search terms, secondary sources
• Double-check
– Same answer found in more than one source
• Update
– Currentness of statutes
– Validity of caselaw
Sources on Contracts
• Drafting Contracts:
Formbooks & Drafting
Resources
• Catalog search:
“contracts and forms”
When to Say When
• Find the answer
• Cost exceeds benefit
• Same answer in
multiple sources
• Time’s up
10 Tips for Research Success
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Start with a research plan
Determine the jurisdiction
Consult secondary sources
Review a research guide
Take notes
10 Tips for Research Success
6. Identify statutes (or rule them out)
7. Use indexes & TOCs
8. Update statutes & cases
9. Know when to stop
10. Consult your friendly reference librarian
Knowing When to Stop: Reaching the End of the Research Trail
esearcher’s
Digest
R
10 Tips
Joel Ngugi
Expands Contracts
for Research Success
PLUS!
Librarians:
The Legal
Researcher’s
Best Friends
Save Time! Formbooks & Sample Clauses
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