I. Research Plan
II. Secondary Sources
III. Legal Primary Sources
IV. Interdisciplinary Research
V. Review, Check, and Repeat
VI. Finishing Your Research
Secondary sources help answer common questions, give context, and provide historical information about the law. Reviewing the citations of secondary sources is also a great way to find more information, including primary sources.
Common secondary sources for legal research include:
Tips for finding secondary sources:
If your topic relates to statutory law, reading and understanding the statutory provisions is a helpful step to take before researching case law. Looking at the statute provides the exact language of law and the context in which it is written. Annotated versions of statutory codes are often available which can provide information about how to interpret the law, historical notes, and citations to relevant case law.
Useful guides for conducting statutory research:
If you need to conduct research outside of legal topics, various resources are available to assist with that:
If you're unsure about the exact subject, try searching in a general, multidisciplinary database. You can choose one from this list of selected article databases available at Stanford through Searchworks.
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