How to Search Law Libraries and Read Legal Citations
Define Your Scope
Go to the law library with a plan! Before you blindly search documents make sure you know the basic facts about your issue, and ask the “who, what, where, when, and why.”
Ask the Librarian
If you’ve never been in a law library before, ask the librarian where you should start your research. If you have your basic facts, a librarian can help you narrow your search.
Focus on Synonyms
If you know your legal topic but can’t seem to find any new information, jot down as many synonyms you can think of. For instance “infant” may be listed under “minors,” “parents,” or “children.”
Try “One Good Case”
A lot of law students use the “one good case” method to research. Once they identify “one good case” that focus on their legal issue, they use that case’s citations to find more key resources.