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Prepare for Practice Program  

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Jumpstart your Research with Secondary Sources

Did you know that you may be required to start your research in secondary sources - books, legal encyclopedias, ALRs, and legal journals? Or that these books and other secondary sources are an efficient way to start your research?

Learn about using secondary materials to build a foundation and find citations to jumpstart your statutory, case law, and other research.


Case Law Research

In this session, Emilie will teach you about the court system, the importance of precedent, the parts of a case, regional reporters, and how to find cases.  You will also learn how to use headnotes to find cases.  The importance of updating cases using Shepards's and KeyCite will be discussed. 

Code Research Deciphered: Statutes & More

Codes provide the text of the law and its history. Knowing how to interpret  the wealth of additional information available in an annotated code can provide a student or attorney with a distinct research advantage.  Learn to decipher the secrets of print and digital code research to be a more effective researcher.

Researching Regulations

As a lawyer, you will frequently need to research an agency's regulations to help your client stay out of trouble or change the world (or at least some aspect of it!).  Come and learn about researching federal and Rhode Island/Massachusetts agency regulations using the internet and the U.S. Government Printing Office FDsys.

Litigation Research: Jury Instructions & Court Rules

If being a litigator is in your future or you want to shine in trial advocacy, sign-up to learn about court rules and jury instructions. Nan will show you free websites (federal and state) as well as the go-to print resources.

Keeping Current with the Law

In this session, Emilie will teach you about current awareness resources in a legal context to assist you in keeping up with major legal developments and changes in our profession.  Some current awareness resources which we will review may include: blogs, Bloomberg BNA newsletters, legal newspapers and federal legislative news services. 

Transactional Research: Finding Legal Forms

As a transactional lawyer, your practice involves drafting and preparing forms.  Come learn about the excellent print and electronic resources for legal forms that save you time and make you money.

Alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw: Casemaker & Fastcase

In this class, Raquel will introduce you to free legal research products available via bar associations, state or trial court law libraries, and membership law libraries.  How do they stack up to Lexis and Westlaw?  Should you use them even if Lexis and Westlaw are available?  Raquel will answer these questions and then lead you through hands on exercises using Casemaker and Fastcase, the two most popular products.

In preparation for this class, please register for CasemakerX access.  Fastcase access will be provided through the library.

Find it Free & Fast: Reliable Websites for Legal Research

Google, Bing and other search engines have their time and place for legal research.  However, there are fantastic sites out there that have free and reliable legal materials.  In this class, Raquel will guide you through the best free websites for legal research, including sources for RI, CT, and MA research.


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