Legal Research

Legal Research

Course Description

Prerequisite: Only open to 2L students. This course MUST completed be in one of the following semesters: the summer immediately following the completion of a student's first year curriculum, or the fall or spring semesters of a student's second year.

Outcomes: This two credit hour course builds on the legal research foundation acquired in first year writing classes. There is an emphasis on New Mexico and specialized practice resources. Students who take this course will deepen their understanding of legal publishing systems and where law comes from; court structures and stare decisis; the relationship between statutes, regulations, cases and agencies; where primary law is officially recorded; research strategies; how to conduct cost effective research using both online and print formats; concepts of Boolean searching; how to locate Federal and New Mexico constitutions, statutes, regulations, case law and court rules; how statutes, regulations and case law digests are organized and hierarchically structured; how court rules are organized and adopted; how to use statutory annotations to locate related regulations and case law; how to find a public law; how to locate legislative histories and related documents; bill tracking; how to locate administrative law including agency decisions, materials and resources, agency appeal processes, Attorney General opinions; how to conduct topical research in areas such as such as international law, environmental and natural resources, and Indian law, using treaties, specialized reporters and digests, treatises, loose leaf services, and law reviews; how to locate New Mexico court records and briefs, ordinances, agency opinions, decisions, and materials, and ethics opinions; how to locate and use current awareness sources; how to use non-legal resources; how to locate and use ALRs, treatises and law reviews; how to locate forms, checklists, jury instructions; how to update and citate statutes, regulations, and case law; how to locate a parallel citation; and how to apply the correct citation form for legal materials under the New Mexico Rules of Citation (N. M. Sup. Ct. R. 23-112).

Methodologies: Lecture and hands on practice opportunities (in and out of class)
Assessment: Graded assignments; final examination or final project