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Sources of American Law: An Introduction to Legal Research - 4th Edition

Author: Beau Steenken, Tina M. Brooks
Subject: Law
Source: Open Textbook Library
Publisher: CALI's eLangdell® Press
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At its most basic definition the practice of law comprises conducting research to find relevant rules of law and then applying those rules to the specific set of circumstances faced by a client. However/ in American law/ the legal rules to be applied derive from myriad sources/ complicating the process and making legal research different from other sorts of research. This text introduces first-year law students to the new kind of research required to study and to practice law. It seeks to demystify the art of legal research by following a “Source and Process” approach. First/ the text introduces students to the major sources of American law and describes the forms the various authorities traditionally took in print. After establishing this base/ the text proceeds to instruct students on the methods they will most likely use in practice/ namely electronic research techniques and the consultation of secondary sources. Sources of Law incorporates screencasts currently hosted on YouTube that actively demonstrate the processes described in the static text. Finally/ the text illustrates how the different pieces come together in the legal research process. Sources of Law focuses on realistic goals for 1Ls to learn in a relatively small amount of instruction time/ and so focuses mainly on the basics. It does introduce some advanced material so that 1Ls can recognize pieces of information they may encounter in research/ but it does not fully cover researching materials outside the scope of the traditional 1L course. As such/ it is best-suited for introductory legal research courses for 1Ls.

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