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Research Help: Basic Steps for Finding Legal Information

Visit us in person or schedule an appointment. Read on for basic research guidance.

Useful Tips

  1. A user may search the online catalog by keyword, subject, title, etc. Access the catalog at There is a computer terminal for public catalog access on the second floor next to the elevator.
  2. Users may consult research guides on a particular topic.
    • Research guides exist to give basic information on a particular area of law. They can range from in-depth information to lists of resources.
    • We have some research guides tailored to our collection. There are a few print guides that quickly cover the most frequent topics, and there are more in-depth guides online at
    • It sounds basic, but you can do a Google search for many other research guides. Look for information from other law school libraries or legal institutions. The Law Library of Congress provides great guides for beginning research in several areas,, and the "Guide to Law Online" on researching law and legal information online,
  3. For basic information on a particular area of law, users should consult resources that will provide an overview. The best secondary sources that provide this type of information are books in the Nutshells series and the Hornbook series. For example, Product Liability in a Nutshell or Principles of Intellectual Property Law: A Concise Hornbook. Both of these are primarily available in the Reading Room.
  4. Stop by the reference desk for assistance, or make an appointment with a reference librarian.