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Researching Your Note, Cert., or Seminar Paper  

Last Updated: May 9, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Introduction Print Page

Researching Your Note, Cert. or Seminar Paper

The process of researching and writing a note, certification or seminar paper includes some or all of the following steps:

  1. Selecting a topic
  2. Conducting a preemption check
  3. Finding legal and non-legal journal articles on the topic
  4. Finding books on the topic
  5. Finding news articles on the topic
  6. Consulting specialized sources on the topic
  7. Finding primary law on the topic

Each tabbed page of this research guide will address one of these seven steps.  This guide focuses on U.S. legal research.  Although many of the same resources and techniques will be useful for researching international or foreign topics, you will also want to consult the library's guides on Foreign Legal Research and International Legal Research. 

For personalized assistance researching your chosen topic, make an appointment with a legal information librarian. For detailed information about the Upperclass Writing Requirement, see the Registrar's web page.

In addition to using the appointment form link above, you can e-mail a librarian directly if your research question falls within his or her areas of expertise:

David Bachman ( International and Foreign Law; Health Law; Supreme Court; Court Documents; Court Rules

Steve Donweber ( Litigation Resources; Transactional Law Resources; Federal Law; Legislative History

Steven Ellis ( Labor and Employment; Discrimination; Foreign Law; International Law; GLBT Law; Family Law; Civil Rights; Native Peoples' and Federal Indian Law; Constitutional Law; Negotiation; Administrative Law

Ellen Richardson ( Administrative Law; Environmental Law; Government Documents; Health Law; Intersection of Law, Technology, and Privacy; Massachusetts Law; South Carolina Law

Stefanie Weigmann ( International Law; European Union Law; Foreign Law; Legal History; Family Law; Tax Law


Books on Law School Writing

Cover Art
Academic legal writing : law review articles, student notes, seminar papers, and getting on law review - Eugene Volokh ; with foreword by Alex Kozinski
Call Number: Law Reserve KF250 .V65 2010
ISBN: 1599417502

Cover Art
Scholarly writing for law students : seminar papers, law review notes, and law review competition papers - Elizabeth Fajans, Mary R. Falk
Call Number: Law Reserve KF250 .F35 2005
ISBN: 9780314146311

Cover Art
Scholarly writing : ideas, examples, and execution - Jessica L. Clark, Kristen E. Murray
Call Number: Law Reserve KF250 .C528 2010
ISBN: 1594606633

Cover Art
Legal reasoning, research, and writing for international graduate students - Nadia E. Nedzel
Call Number: Law Reserve KF240 .N43 2008
ISBN: 0735569533

Cover Art
Plain English for lawyers - Richard C. Wydick
Call Number: Law Reserve KF250 .W92 2005
ISBN: 1594601518

Cover Art
Guide to legal research and writing from the transnational perspective - Francis A. Gabor
Call Number: Law Annex K85 .G33 2008
ISBN: 1600420400

Subject Guide

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Stefanie Weigmann
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