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Legal Research

This research guide introduces users to the legal research process. If you're new to legal research, it's best to follow this guide step-by-step.

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Celina McDonald
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University of Maryland Libraries
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Legal Research Process

This research guide introduces users to the legal research process. If you're new to legal research, it's best to follow this guide step-by-step. The amount of time you focus on each particular step will depend on your research assignment and your instructor's directions.

Legal research in five steps
  1. Gather and Organize Your Thoughts
  2. Secondary Source Research
  3. Identify Relevant Statutes
  4. Identify Relevant Cases
  5. Update Statutes and Cases

This guide is structured to mimic these five steps. Keep in mind that you're likely to repeat all or some of these steps during the course of your reserach. Once you become more familiar with legal research or the area of the law that you're interested in, you're likely to go through this process much faster or even skip a few steps.

HeinOnline Legal

Full-text access to over 1100 law journals; U.S. treaties; the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations; U.S. Reports; U.S. Code; U.S. Statutes at Large; U.S. Attorney General Opinions; Public Papers of the President and Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents; and hundred of books considered to be legal classics.

NexisUni

Nexis Uni (formerly LexisNexis Academic) provides fulltext to news, business and legal information. Newspapers date back to the 1970's.

The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises, 1800–1926 

The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises, 1800–1926 is the most comprehensive full-text collection of Anglo-American legal treatises available today. Sourced from the world's foremost law libraries, this archive covers nearly every aspect of American and British law and encompasses a broad array of the analytical, theoretical, and practical literature for research in U.S. and British legal history. It features casebooks, local practice manuals, form books, works for lay readers, pamphlets, letters, speeches, and other works from the most influential writers and legal thinkers of the time.

Code of Maryland Online

Online version of the Code of Maryland Regulations.