Easy Way to Bone Up on Legal Research Skills
November 08, 2006 at 4:50 PM
Looking for an easy and entertaining way to refresh your legal research skills? Then check out Bob Berring’s Legal Research podcasts.
Bob Berring, the Walter Perry Johnson Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law - Boalt Hall, has long been know as the most entertaining authority on Legal Research. His Commando Legal Research videos, have been required viewing for many summer interns for years. Now Bob has created a DVD set, Berring on Legal Research DVD that is supplemented by a series of podcasts.
Already available are:
9/1/2006 - Topics, Key Numbers and Searching for Cases By Subject
How can you use the Topic and Key Number system to search for cases by subject? Can it still help you in an online world? This and the mysteries of ALR, Key Search, Search Advisor and even a bit of Boolean theory are all discussed.
9/8/2006 - Legislative Histories
Where can you find legislative histories? Why would you want to do so? Are free websites the answer? We discuss the beauties of the Congressional Information Service on LEXIS and the wonders of graphical statutory history on WESTLAW. Context remains the king.
9/14/2006 - Legal Periodicals and How to Find Them
Prof. Berring loves legal periodicals and he wants to help you find the ones that can help you. His intrepid assistant, Ms. Corman, discovers the good and bad points of using indexes and of using Boolean search techniques in full text data bases. The magic of SSRN and BePress are discussed.
9/19/2006 - Local Laws
How to find local laws, some tips on searching, praise for public library websites, and Ms. Corman’s visit to Professor Berring’s hometown’s website.
9/25/2006 - The U.S. Code
In the DVDs we promised you some history of the U.S. Code. We discuss that as well as the tricks of searching for federal statutes. Ms. Corman, a confirmed webizen, advocates using books.
9/28/2006 - Judicial Opinions and the History of Precedent
What is the doctrine of precedent and what is its origin? Do judges make law? Why is the first year of law school so strange? We may not be able to fully explain the oddities of these pressing inquiries, but we sure have a great time trying.