Legal Research in the Lawyering Program

Cornell Law School's Lawyering program introduces first year students to skills essential for practicing attorneys - legal research, writing, and analysis. The research services librarians co-teach with the Lawyering faculty to provide students with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of these vital skills.

In the Fall semester, students learn about primary sources of law, i.e. statutes and case law, and secondary sources, such as legal encyclopedias and treatises. Hands-on training and tailored research exercises prepare students for their first law school effort at legal research in the Open Memo.

During the Spring semester, research attorneys continue to reinforce search techniques discussed in the Fall semester, and introduce students to other major research areas. Topics covered include legal journals and law reviews, federal regulations and administrative law, and finding quality legal information on the internet.

Upon completion of the Lawyering Program, students will have a strong basis in legal research, writing, and analysis. Upper-class advanced legal research courses are recommended to reinforce and expand research skills beyond the basics.