Starting Your Research
Once you have a topic, one of the most obvious places to start researching is by pulling law review articles that have already been written on the subject. When you find an article on your topic, be sure to scour its footnotes to find other relevant sources. Do not forget, however, to look at materials other than articles for information. You need to read the cases on point as well. Other sources can be helpful. For example, if you are researching legislation, the US Code Annotated may have important notes about cases that have interpreted legislation. Restatements may also flag circuit splits or other areas where the law is muddled.
"A really great note shows the work. It shows that the writer has taken a dive into the material, and has shown the kind of analytic skills and creativity that demonstrate that the person really had something interesting to say in the Note."
—Professor Troy McKenzie
Both Lexis and Westlaw provide electronic and in-person training to help with research. Also, the research librarians in the NYU Law Library can be an important source of information. Check out the links below:
- For Lexis tutorials, start from http://www.lexisnexis.com/lawschool/. Then choose the “Learning LexisNexis” tab and click on “Tutorials.”
- Social Science Research Network, www.ssrn.com: Especially useful for searching scholarship that has not been published yet.
- JSTOR, www.jstor.org
- Google, www.google.com and Google Scholar, scholar.google.com