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Researching Your Note, Cert., or Seminar Paper: Introduction

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:

Steven Alexandre da Costa ( 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

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

Jenna Fegreus ( Massachusetts Legal Research, IP Research and Health Law Research.

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

Online Books

Books on Law School Writing

Subject Guide

Stefanie Weigmann