This text provides an efficient, practice-sensitive introduction to American legal research methods and analysis. It includes instruction on finding legal sources, analyzing them, and determining the answers to legal issues in a sophisticated and efficient manner. It covers electronic and print sources, comparing and contrasting the benefits of each. The second edition has been thoroughly updated and revised so as to incorporate references to Bloomberg Law, FDsys.gov, and current examples of web-based sources for state and federal authorities.

For more information and additional teaching materials, visit the companion site.


Imprint: Foundation Press
Series: Coursebook
Publication Date: 04/24/2015

Michael D. Murray, University of Kentucky College of Law

Christy H. DeSanctis, George Washington University Law School

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Overall, the goal of the second edition was to continue the basic design, structure, and pedagogical approach of the popular first edition, but to update and expand coverage of research tools and web-based resources to keep the book current and relevant. We needed to revise every chapter to reflect the change from Westlaw to WestlawNext, Lexis to Lexis Advance, and to add Bloomberg to the text. We vetted and replaced all of the outdated web addresses for internet-based research.

  • The book continues the approach to teach electronic research tools at the same time and in the same chapters as print resources. We explain and recommend proper uses of both print and electronic resources, comparing and contrasting the pro’s and con’s of each.
  • Each chapter was vetted to change the references, explanation, and all of the graphics so as to reflect the change from Westlaw to WestlawNext, Lexis to Lexis Advance, and to add Bloomberg to the text.
  • We revised and updated all of the graphics in each chapter to show current examples of state and federal research tools and web-based resources. For example, the book now discusses federal research through FDsys.gov instead of gpoaccess.gov. All state-based sites received similar attention and updating.
  • There are even more graphics to explain each step in the research process from problem to issue, to formation of research terms and searches, to analysis and further research strategies. All graphics display current print and web-based resources.
  • We continue to discuss research plans and strategies for time-pressured and cost-effective searching that will satisfy ethical and professional responsibilities to get the right answers and produce sound legal work product.
  • The book should remain as concise and affordable as the last edition.

Learn more about this series.