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Categories of Resources
Primary authority is the law and is the heart of your analysis.
Secondary sources and finding tools are the most likely place to start your research. Their role is:
- Identify/refine search terms
- Obtain an overview of your subject
- Locate primary and persuasive authorities
- Refocus your research.
Citators (KeyCite & Shepards) allow you to be sure you are aware of the most current statements of the law and that you know how the primary authority you are relying upon has been subsequently treated.
Legal Research Self Study
Self-study options include legal research textbooks (both print and electronic) and the UNM Law Library's recorded screencast Summer Research Series (UNM Law intranet login required).
UNM Law Library Summer Research Series
A series of screencast lectures about the following legal research topics: secondary sources; practitioner resources; administrative law (state and federal); case law; enacted law (state and federal); citation practice; online searching and website evaluation.
West Academic Online Study Aids This link opens in a new window
Use this database to access the following legal research guides: Legal Research in a Nutshell; Principles of Legal Research; International Legal Research in a Nutshell; Sum and Substance Audio on Legal Research; The Legal Research Survival Manual.
The path you choose depends on the situation:
- How knowledgeable are you about the topic
- What information do you have when you approach the problem.