Best Legal Research Courses

Find the best online Legal Research Courses for you. The courses are sorted based on popularity and user ratings. We do not allow paid placements in any of our rankings. We also have a separate page listing only the Free Legal Research Courses.

Legal Research 101: Primary Authorities

Learn how to research and use primary authority using print resources

Created by Bret Christensen - Law Librarian

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Students: 266, Price: $94.99

Students: 266, Price:  Paid

Have you ever taken a tour of a cave and had the park ranger turn off the lights?  I have and I can tell you that I could actually feel the darkness all around me.  I could not even see my hand right in front of my face.  Left to myself, I would have fallen down some dark chasm had I tried to find my own way in that dark, dank cave.

I suspect it is that way when people start something new - everything around them is pitch black and terrifying.  You don't know what to do first or you are afraid of doing anything for fear of looking foolish.  The thought of moving forward can, actually, fill you with dread.  What you need is a guiding hand to sustain you for the first little while until you either see the light or have a firm(er) foundation under your feet.

Law and legal research is kind-of like that.  Few things terrify people more than having to walk into a law library and start their own legal research project.  I know because as a Law Librarian I have worked with countless numbers of people (lawyers and non-lawyer people who are involved in their own lawsuits).  Most do not know where to go or how to start a legal research project.  One of the reasons they don't know how to start is that  they don't have someone they know who can offer a guiding hand to help you know what to look for.  Do you want the law (primary authority) or do you want to know about the law (secondary authority)?  Do you start with a book or just hop on a computer and start plunking away hoping you'll find something helpful?

The purpose of this class is to offer that proverbial guiding hand and help students become familiar with what primary authorities are and how to find them using print resources.    

Wait, what?!?  Why start learn how to use "print" resources?!  Well, it's important to start with print materials simply because print resources are the basis for online resources (i.e. computerized research).  When you understand how print resources are organized in print (and how to find/use them), you are better able to understand how computers are using them online and  you'll know what to look for because you know how the computer is thinking.

Concepts covered in this first class include:

  • How to find state and federal statutes,

  • How to read a case citation,

  • How to find case law using headnote topics and key numbers under the American Digest System, and

  • How to find state and federal regulations

Finally, you will learn (and this one is particularly important) the steps to Shepardize any state or federal statute, case law, or regulation.

Confused?  Well, that's how a lot of people feel about the nature of law and legal things when they first start.  As you go through this program (and those that follow), you will gain greater understanding of how law and legal things work and are inter-related...and the more you practice, the better you will get. 

I Promise.

LAW STUDENT: How to Brief a Law School Court Case Opinion

CASE BRIEFING/LAW STUDENT/PARALEGAL LEGAL CASE BRIEF WRITING - How to Brief and write a Law School Case; Legal Research

Created by Dana T. Blackmore, B.S., J.D., LL.M. - Lawyer and Law Professor

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Students: 194, Price: $39.99

Students: 194, Price:  Paid

If the question is: to brief or not to brief each case assigned by your professor, I'm sorry to tell you that my answer is a resounding (YES)! To develop the analysis skills required to be successful in law school, the bar examination and beyond, you must read and brief each case assigned to you by your law school professors. But the good news is: if you complete "T-Zone 1" through "T-Zone 4" of "Professor Blackmore's T-Chart Analysis" process, you will have all of the IRAC components, you will be ready for class, the bar examination and the practice of law!

Enroll in this course to learn more about Professor Blackmore's Law School Case Briefing "T-Zone Chart Analysis" Process!

Taught by business attorney and contracts and transactions professor of law, this book will show you everything you need to know, this course will teach law students or anyone interested in law how to brief a court case opinion and how to develop critical reading; problem solving skills; and to strengthen analysis skills necessary for successful preparation for the attorney bar examination.

Court Case Used in this Course: Ray v. William G. Eurice & Bros., Inc., 201 Md. 115, 93 A.2d 272 (1952) .

Now, doesn’t this all sound very exciting?

Well, let’s get started!

  • BONUS: FULL CLASSROOM EDITION has 6 language translation captions: Chinese, French, Hindi, Japanes, Portugese, Spanish

Legal Research 101: Online Resources

Making the most of your time online

Created by Bret Christensen - Law Librarian

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Students: 27, Price: $89.99

Students: 27, Price:  Paid

For the beginning legal researcher (and even for many seasoned litigants), legal research can be pretty scary.  Having someone walk you through  "how to use" online resources can help remove some of the scary-ness.

This course teaches students what is and how to use some of the more popular online legal databases like Westlaw, Lexis, and HeinOnline.  Students will be exposed to both Natural Language and Boolean (aka Terms and Connectors) search techniques using both basic and advanced search options.

Legal Research 101: Secondary Authority

Providing context in a confusing world

Created by Bret Christensen - Law Librarian

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Students: 24, Price: $39.99

Students: 24, Price:  Paid

Finding the "law" (i.e. cases, statutes, constitutions, regulations) related to your case is one thing.  I mean, anyone can find free statutes online on any state website.  Google Scholar is full of case law from most every jurisdiction in the United States.  The problem that people run into is knowing how to use the law they've found and knowing in what context the law might be applied in their case. 

This is where secondary authorities come in.  Secondary Authorities, are those resources that help people understand the law and how it might be applied.  Secondary Authorities are "secondary" because they are not weighted as heavily as primary authorities (i.e. they are not the law and should not be cited in legal documents).  The reason people even use secondary authorities is to help provide context for the law (i.e. cases, codes, regulations) they've found.  They tell you how the law can be used in your case just by moving the facts around. 

In this program, students will be exposed to a variety of secondary authorities.  Students will also learn how to navigate these secondary authorities, and why they might be useful to you and in what context they might be useful. Designed as a beginning course, it is also helpful for the seasoned litigant as a refresher course to help jiggle latent brain cells offering suggestions on other resources that can be useful.

Legal Research 101: Free Legal Websites

Finding and Using Free (and, actually, useful) Legal Websites

Created by Bret Christensen - Law Librarian

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Students: 19, Price: $89.99

Students: 19, Price:  Paid

There are few things that frustrate people more when starting a legal research project than hunting and pecking around the internet hoping to find legal websites that are helpful, useful and FREE.  Believe me, I feel your pain.  As a Law Librarian, I have spent countless hours, days, weeks, months scouring the Internet looking for legal websites that are helpful and useful and FREE to use. 

HELPFUL: because the websites featured in this class are geared toward providing both primary (and sometimes secondary) authorities to help people find and understand the law (state and/or federal).

USEFUL: because, let's face it - there are millions of websites out in Internet Land that promise they contain information pertinent to your case (and then turn out to be nothing but a bunch of ads and empty promises).  I know the websites I offer to students in this class are useful because I have used them time and again (and continue to use them) as they have proven to be helpful and useful to me and to those whom I have served in both the legal and non-legal communities.

FREE: because not everyone has the cold, hard cash to plunk down to hire an attorney.  It's helpful, then, to find websites that are actually FREE.  We're not talking about websites that ask for your name, address, email, phone number, birthday, etc (well, there is one of those), I'm talking about FREE as in you have free, unfettered access to the information found on these websites and you can download, print, or stare at to your heart's content forever and ever (or until they disappear - whichever comes first).

Topics covered in this class include FREE legal websites relating state and federal codes and regulations, FREE legal websites about local superior courts, FREE legal websites to help you locate an attorney in whatever area of practice you need help with, and FREE legal websites to help you locate primary and secondary authorities as well as general legal and business forms. 

Yes, this class is that good (heck, it's great, if I don't say so myself).

Yes, you will learn a lot about where to find helpful, useful, and FREE legal websites. 

No, you won't be wasting your time if you subscribe to this class.

Yes, it was a fun class to create.

Legal Research 101: California Legislative Intent Searching

Using (mostly free) online resources

Created by Bret Christensen - Law Librarian

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Students: 1, Price: $89.99

Students: 1, Price:  Paid

What is Legislative Intent?  Why bother searching for it?

Picture it:  you are embroiled in a lawsuit.  The opposing lawyer drafts a motion that makes you look bad (I mean, really bad) and it's all based on a single statute.  What if you could show that the way the opposing lawyer used the statute was not the way the legislature intended it to be used? What if the way the opposing lawyer interpreted the statute was way off and was, in fact, meant to confuse the trier of fact (i.e. the judge). 

That would certainly change things, right?

The purpose of conducting (or, more to the point, how to conduct) a legislative intent search is to learn why the legislature did what it did.  More specifically, A legislative intent search helps to show the "why" of what the state legislature did.

Thing is, there are tons documents that show the "why" of legislation.  The problem is that most people don't know where to start looking for those documents.

It is for this reason that I created this class.  In fact, I've been teaching how to conduct an online California Legislative Intent Search (using mostly free online resources) for about 2 decades.  I've helped hundreds of people learn how to find California legislative materials to help them defend themselves in court from: judges and lawyers to law clerks and pro se litigants (i.e. people representing themselves) - all have benefited from the information contained in this course.

Of course, don't take my word for it - take a look for yourself.

Now, you may be saying: But I don't live in California?  Why would I want to view a class about how to conduct a legislative intent search for California materials?  The answer is simple - to help you know what materials are available in your state and what (and, often, where) you might start looking in your own jurisdiction(s).

So, waste not a moment and start your adventure in the exciting world of Legislative Intent Searching.