This tab will discuss how you can start mapping out your strategy, breaking down the resources you need, and consulting each of those types of resource in the most constructive and efficient way possible to suit your needs.
Mapping out your strategy:
In order to effectively lay out your approach to researching your seminar paper, it is a good idea to start by gaining a thorough understanding of your problem and the relevant background law.
Breaking down the types of resources you need:
To determine what resources you will likely need, consider the following:
Jurisdiction: Federal, state, tribal, international? Are there multiple relevant jurisdictions, and if so, how do they relate?
Secondary, persuasive authority: What suits your issue--academic or practical perspectives? Legislative history? Pending regulations and statutes?
Primary authority: Do you need to identify and explain cases, regulations, administrative opinions, statutes, and/or statistics?
Availability of resources: If you need resource from outside the library, try to plan on obtaining those early-on.
One great starting point for your research efforts would be to consult the UNM School of Law library's Natural Resources and Environmental Law guide linked on the left side of this guide.
No matter what database you use to search for periodicals, using indexes and full-test searches will help you yield the most relevant results possible.
Indexes: Some sources of indexes include...
Full Text searching:
There are many options available for UNMSOL students to find scholarly news sources and subject-specific, non-legal databases.
As a refresher, a treatise is generally a written work that formally and comprehensively deals with a particular subject. A legal treatise is a category of scholarly publication that contains all of the law relating to particular area, and can include legal encyclopedias.
When you are consulting other free online resources, it can often be difficult to determine how truthful, trustworthy, or academically acceptable a resource is. To help you identify better sources, consider the C.A.R.P. test:
How recent is the information? When was the website last updated? Is it current enough for your topic?
Who is the author? Who is the publisher or sponsor? What can you find out about them?
Is the content primarily an opinion? Are there citations for data and/or quotes used in the article or website?
Purpose/Point of View:
Is the source mostly fact or mostly opinion? Does it appear to be biased, does the author seem to be trying to sell you something?
Statistical data databases:
University of New Mexico has a variety of databases through which you can find statistical data. Go to the University Libraries website, click "databases" and then click the "by type" dropdown menu to choose "Statistical data."
Specific databases to try out:
Social science and public policy: