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About the Book

The Process of Legal Research

Eighth Edition

Christina L. Kunz, William Mitchell College of Law
Deborah A. Schmedemann, William Mitchell College of Law
Matthew P. Downs, Florida International University
Ann L. Bateson, William Mitchell College of Law
Mehmet Konar-Steenberg, William Mitchell College of Law

2012.  432 pages.  ISBN: 978-1-4548-0552-6.
With Teacher’s Manual, Problems Sets on Companion Website.

About the Book

A time-tested, proven introduction, The Process of Legal Research acquaints students with all of the sources and relevant vocabulary and shows how each source works, how to combine sources into a cohesive research process, and how to resolve legal problems through effective techniques. Extensive illustrations and examples quickly engage students in actual research problems, as the text carefully demonstrates how research and writing are interrelated processes. The authors focus on teaching the best research practices, illustrating how to choose the appropriate source and media for each type of problem. Electronic research is completely integrated into the text.  Students are given solid guidance for every type of situation, learning when and how to choose between paper and electronic research, and how the choice among different media can result in different access means, scope, and currency of materials. The Process of Legal Research offers extensive, well-researched problems sets, ideal for large programs that need plenty of exercise options for their students. Pages with problems sets are perforated for easy use.

The Eighth Edition finds a sharper focus on the basics, asking and answering the questions, “What are the various forms of legal authority?” and “How does each contribute to resolving a client’s legal problem?”A greater emphasis on how to choose the optimal research options for various authorities includes a mix of print and online as well as public and commercial resources. Each chapter includes a table of optimal research options. The Eighth Edition skillfully interweaves smaller employment law problems faced by a firm throughout the text, rather than the single mega-problem of previous editions, and new flow-chart style charts illuminate much of the denser text. Citations are covered in citation boxes, reflecting both the Bluebook and ALWD. In a leaner writing style designed appeal to modern students, the Eighth Edition confronts some of the most current hot topics, such as how people think about research today and what firms find wanting in new lawyers’ research abilities.

Hallmark features of The Process of Legal Research: Authorities and Options:

  • Provides a complete introduction to the process of legal research
    o the sources and vocabulary of legal research
    o how each source works
    o how to combine sources into a research process
    o how to resolve legal problems through effective research techniques
  • Extensive illustrations and examples of actual research problems
  • Teaches the best research practices
    o  how to choose the appropriate source and media for various types of problems
  • Integrates electronic research  
    o discusses when and how to choose between paper and electronic research
    o shows how the choice among media results in different access means, scope, and currency of materials
  • Includes extensive, well-researched problems sets
    o ideal for large programs that need plenty of exercise options students
    o pages with problems sets are perforated for easy use.
  • Demonstrates interrelated processes of research and writing

Thoroughly updated, the revised Eighth Edition presents:

  • A sharper focus on the basics
    o What are the various forms of legal authority?
    o How does each contribute to resolving a client’s legal problem?
  • A greater emphasis on how to choose the optimal research options
    o includes a mix of print and online, public and commercial resources
    o each chapter includes table of optimal research options
  • Interweaving of smaller employment law problems faced by a firm throughout the text
    o replaces  single mega-problem of previous editions
  • New flow-chart style charts 
    o illuminates denser text
  • Citations covered in citation boxes
    o reflects both the Bluebook and ALWD
  • Substantial discussion of current hot topics
    o how people think about research today
    o what firms find wanting in new lawyers’ research abilities
  • Leaner writing style, appeals to today’s students