We went over the logistics for the legal research course. How to turn in assignments, which problems to do, etc.


Your job as an attorney is to find an answer to the client’s legal problem. You may not initially know the answer without doing extensive research. Legal research is the process of finding those answers. This course is designed to strengthen your research abilities.

Common Law

Common law is when a court decision is considered as precedent. Stare Decisis means “as it stands.” In other words, it means that you are following the case as it was ruled. Therefore, previous cases are seen as the current precedent or rule.

Primary and Secondary Authority

We talked about this in previous lectures.


Mandatory (binding) primary authority is a source of law the court has to follow. Examples of mandatory authority are statutes, constitution, and State jurisdictional court rulings.

Persuasive primary authority is a source of law the court may take into consideration but do not need to follow.


Secondary authority are sources written by a legal scholar such as law reviews, treatise, encyclopedias, etc.


We will use the ALWD guide to legal citations, the format typically goes like:

Case Citations

Names, volume, reporter, page, court, year.

Hart v. Geysel, 294 P. 570 (Wash. 1930)

Statutory Citations


State, Statute


Title, year

Legal Research Group

Here’s a step by step on how my legal research assignments are going to happen.

  1. Make sure I have my sloan and Teply number (i.e. 77c)
  2. Go on TWEN and download the template from the assignment tab
  3. Fill out the template when answering questions by using the outline and books.


I’m sure these notes are a little confusing. I was a little confused while taking them. However, I think the biggest takeaway is that we will do a lot of legal research practice questions. Often we will focus on problems from 2 course materials (Sloan and Teply). Finally, we will use our resources to complete those problems.


The content contained in this article may contain inaccuracies and is not intended to reflect the opinions, views, beliefs, or practices of any academic professor or publication. Instead, this content is a reflection on the author’s understanding of the law and legal practices.

If you would like to listen to this article instead, play below.