Categories: Law Practice Skills


Shucha, Bonnie
Turner, Kristopher

Course Data

Room 3260
R 9:50am-11:50am

Pass/Fail: Yes

Past Grade Distributions (Fall '22 and onward)
Spring 2023 ZPO

Course Description

In this simulation course, students will gain substantial, hands-on experience conducting legal research, combining traditional methods with AI-enhanced techniques. Students will learn how to approach, conduct, track, and present their research using facts and circumstances drawn from legal practice.

This course will explore how to analyze a legal issue and develop an effective research plan. Students will examine primary law (federal, state, and tribal) and secondary legal sources, critically assessing their credibility, relevance, and inherent biases. Students will also use advanced tools for litigation, transactional, and business & public records law research.

Throughout the course, we will discuss the practical and economic realities of legal research in practice. Students will gain experience with Clio law practice management software and other legal technologies lawyers use to improve efficiency and protect client confidentiality. Guest speakers will provide an in-depth look at legal processes and sources and offer a real-world view of the research experience.

Weekly instruction combines classroom lecture and discussion, hands-on research, and self-evaluation and engagement with sources followed by timely instructor feedback. Two major assignments include an oral presentation of research results and a database certification project.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
• Analyze facts and develop a research plan that maximizes search accuracy and efficiency
• Locate and critically assess sources of legal information, discerning their credibility, relevance, limitations, and inherent biases
• Conduct cost-efficient research using a blend of traditional methods and AI-enhanced techniques
• Convey research findings clearly and effectively both orally and in writing
• Recognize the practical realities and economic impacts of conducting research in legal practice
• Navigate advanced features of MS Word, Adobe Acrobat, and Clio with an understanding of metadata and confidentiality implications

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