Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
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Introduction to Legal Research Methods

Course Abbreviation: 
Credit Only: N Anon Gr: N

This course is divided into two parts. First, it introduces legal research skills: the basic skills necessary for identifying, locating, and effectively utilizing legal resources. This will include understanding distinctions among legal resources: primary sources of case law and federal/state statutes; sources of secondary legal authority; and research reference tools, to including online legal research tools, commonly used in the practice of law. The course will also introduce citation rules, including an overview of the basic Bluebook citation method. The course will explore the process of legal analysis to better understand sources of legal authority, legal issues, assess credibility and accuracy of primary and secondary sources, and tools for legal analysis and legal reasoning through the application of multiple sources of law. This introductory course will emphasize how legal research can play a critical role legal problem solving and effective legal writing.

This course is for students in the Master of Legal Studies (MLS) and Certificate in Legal Studies (CLS) programs only.