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Certification Class: Foreign Legal Research 2010  

Strategies and resources for foreign legal research
Last Updated: May 8, 2013 URL: Print Guide

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In order to receive the Certificate in Research Skills for Practice, you must complete assignments from six of the certification classes you attend. The assignment for the Foreign Legal Research class is due one week from the day you attended the session.


    Foreign Legal Research

    Researching the law of another legal jurisdiction can be frustrating. The goal of this class is to minimize your frustration.

    Choosing a Jurisdiction:

    Not all Laws are in English

    The primary source materials of a foreign jurisdiction will be in the official language of that jurisdiction. So chose a jurisdiction where you speak the language, unless you are content with using secondary source materials. You may be lucky and find English language materials, but bear in mind this will be the exception. You might want to do some test research just to see if the area you are interested in will have English language materials available.

    Getting Background:

    Civil Law, Common Law or Other

    When you are researching another jurisdiction the first step should be to make sure you understand the structure of legal materials in that jurisdiction and something about the specific area of the law in which you are interested.


    One of the best places to start you research is with a research guide.

    • Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Legislation (online BU Only and Law Ref Desk K38 R49 1989) - history and legal publications of other legal jurisdictions.
    • Globalex (NYU Law School) - a good sources for guides to different legal jurisdictions
    • Comparative and Foreign Law (LLRX) - guides for foreign jurisdictions
    • Foreign Law Guide 

    Subject Guide

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    Stefanie Weigmann
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