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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

LAW 627: Introduction to Legal Research: Home

The course guide for LAW 627

Sections & Course Pages

This LibGuide is a resource for all LAW 627 students. This guide is the best resource for answering questions about studying legal research.

For specific course information and additional resources posted by your professor, use the links below to access the individual course page assigned to your section. [You will be prompted to login to the College of Law intranet.]

Section1: Prof. Healey

Section 2: Prof. Simmons

Section 3: Prof. Healey

Section 4: Prof. Davidson

Section 5: Prof. Dewey


Welcome to the LAW 627 LibGuide. This semester you will be introduced to and practice the skills needed to search for relevant legal authority, both in print and electronic forms. These skills and conventions include how to find, choose, and cite to appropriate authority; how to evaluate legal resources; the ethical use of information in the law; and the legal research process.

This guide will serve as the main resource for class preparation and exam review in your Legal Research course. Specific course information can be accessed through the College of Law course page for your professor. Links to individual faculty course pages for LAW 627 are located in the left-hand column of this page.

In addition to the information outlined within the LibGuide itself, you will find a variety of external links and resources. You may find other texts, websites, and resources will be helpful supplements to this guide and your coursework.

Importance of Legal Research

Legal research plays a primary and important role in a lawyer's job.

In fact, legal research provides the necessary grounding for almost all legal work. Effective legal research will directly affect the outcome of your client's legal problem. A lawyer cannot advance the strongest argument if they cannot find the strongest legal support for that argument. Lawyers have an ethical obligation to their clients to be thorough and efficient legal researchers. Efficiency in legal research can be defined as (1) the best possible result, (2) in the least possible time, (3) at the lowest possible cost. Efficiency is achieved through knowledge of research techniques and practice over time.

Ineffective or incompetent legal research can not only hurt your client, but can lead to discipline, civil liability, or even disbarment for you. For an example of how this could happen, read Deters v. Davis, 2011 WL 2417055 (E.D. Ky. June 13, 2011).

Legal Research Books & Study Aids

If you want to read more or simply prefer a good old fashioned book, check out our library catalog.

The Law Library

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Subjects: Law

Legal Citation

Legal citation is the practice of crediting and referring to authoritative documents and sources. In this course, and in many legal contexts,the citation format will follow guidelines set in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed.).