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About the Book

The Process of Legal Research: Practices and Resources

Front Cover - The Process of Legal Research: Practices and Resources

Ninth Edition


Deborah A. Schmedemann 
Mitchell Hamline School of Law 

Ann L. Bateson 
University of St. Thomas School of Law 

Mehmet Konar-Steenberg 
Mitchell Hamline School of Law 

2016. 368 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-6333-5. With Teacher's Manual.

About the Book

A long-time best-selling comprehensive text for basic legal research, The Process of Legal Research: Practices and Resources melds a rich discussion of legal authorities with a presentation of strategic processes for researching in the vast array of resources now available to the legal researcher. It covers sources from dictionaries to international and tribal law. It presents and repeatedly demonstrates ten practices that distinguish skilled researchers. It zeroes in on current, credible, cost-efficient options for each type of legal authority.  It is written to engage various learners through streamlined text, graphics, in-text scenarios that draw on first-year topics, sample documents, and self-assessment questions.  The chapters conclude with a research scenario paired with questions for guided practice and also a theoretical question to prompt class discussion.

Hallmark features of The Process of Legal Research: Practices and Resources:
• A complete discussion of primary authorities, secondary sources, and finding tools—including their interrelationships—from dictionaries to international and tribal law
• A discerning discussion of the leading resources in which they are published—from free and basic to expensive and extensive—with identification of best approaches to researching each type of authority based on research contexts
• A concentrated presentation of ten research practices of skilled legal researchers, that tie research into client representation and legal analysis
• Actual research demonstrations (most based on first-year topics) woven throughout the text, with both concise narratives and extensive sample documents, to support class discussion
• Three types of assessments following each chapter that:
(1) check knowledge acquisition (with answers provided)
(2) provide an opportunity for guided research practice in a rich yet workable project that continues throughout most of the book, and 
(3) prompt reflection on legal research as an ethical professional practice 
• Accessible presentation, including streamlined text and graphics

Thoroughly updated, the Ninth Edition presents:
• New chapter discussing ten practices of skilled researchers, including choosing resources with care, piggy-backing on other’s work, and managing your information file—which echo through remaining chapters
• “Test Your Knowledge” questions (with answers provided) to test student acquisition of key concepts
• “Put It into Practice” feature, which guides the reader through a research project from start to finish 
• Reflection of dramatic shifts in resources, e.g., presentation of print digests and reporters as background material; more focus on free web sources such as Office of Law Revision Counsel United States Code Online, Google Scholar for cases research, Congress.gov; more coverage of low-cost commercial resources
• Coverage of resources for each type of authority based on likelihood of use in practice, i.e., high-efficiency, low-cost access to credible material tailored to specific research context (as reflected in, e.g., ABA’s 2014 Legal Technology Survey Report, Internet Legal Research on a Budget, and recent studies of attorney research practices)
• Overall streamlining of text
• Re-structured secondary sources chapter