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Class Information for the Legal Research Skills Certificate

| Fall 2013 Classes | Spring 2014 Classes

Classes for the Certificate in Legal Research Skills are offered in both the Fall and Spring Semesters. In order to obtain a Certificate, you must complete eight classes during the academic year. Classes are one hour in length. Most classes are scheduled to occur during the lunch hour break from noon – 1pm.

Spring 2014

The descriptions for the Spring semester class offerings are listed below. More information will be available soon.

Core U.S. Law

Federal Legislative History
Date: Tuesday, January 28, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Mark Popielarski
Level: Intermediate
Federal legislative history research is a favorite assignment for new attorneys.  Come to this session to learn how to identify, evaluate, and use the documents you need for performing effective and exhaustive research.

Colorado Legislative History
Date: Tuesday, February 4, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Katharine Hales & Peter Kersten
Level: Intermediate
State legislative history research can be very different than its federal counterpart. Knowing how to perform both effectively is a must for new attorneys. Come learn the process of Colorado legislative history in this session and how and where to locate the documents you need.

International & Comparative Law Classes

Treaty Research
Date: Tuesday, February 11, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Intermediate
Treaties are primary laws that impact many cases.  This class will show you how to research treaties including finding travaux préparatoires and party information.

UN and EU Research
Date: Tuesday, February 18, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Intermediate
The UN and the EU are two of the major intergovernmental organizations engaged in shaping international law. This session will introduce you to both organizations and techniques for researching UN and EU topics.

International Environmental Law Research
Date: Tuesday, February 25, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Intermediate
International Environmental Law is a complex body of law made up of global, international, and national sources of law. This class will introduce you to the resources and techniques for research in this area.

International Human Rights Law Research
Date: Tuesday, March 11, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Intermediate
Researchers in the field of international human rights must navigate a complex array of treaties, reports, case law and other documents. This session will provide you with the tools and strategies for researching human rights issues.

Foreign Legal Research
Date: Tuesday, March 25, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Intermediate
Researching the law of another legal jurisdiction can be frustrating. This class will minimize your frustration by showing you the best strategies, resources and tools for researching foreign laws.

Subject Specific

Introduction to Labor & Employment Law Research
Date: Wednesday, February 19, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Mark Popielarski
Level: Intermediate
The complex interrelationship between various government organizations poses some special challenges for the labor and employment researcher. Students will be introduced to the major topic areas and their related statutes, important federal and state agencies and the materials they produce, and how to develop and implement a research strategy tailored to this field.

Domestic Environmental Law Research
Date: Wednesday, February 26, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Peter Kersten
Level: Intermediate
Environmental law is primarily based on statutes and regulations. Entering into the world of environmental regulations requires a good understanding of the law involved as well as the interplay between federal, state, and local laws. This session will provide students a solid background in the resources important to the environmental attorney and focus primarily on relevant practice materials that support the environmental attorney’s practice.

Securities Law Research
Date: Tuesday, March 4, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Mark Popielarski
Level: Intermediate
The heavily regulated nature of the securities industry implicates some unique considerations in designing and implementing a legal research strategy. This workshop introduces students to SEC regulatory material, identifies and discusses other relevant federal and state agencies, and explains the relevance of Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) such as FINRA. The SEC’s publicly-traded company research platform, EDGAR, will receive significant treatment in the company research workshop.

Researching Public, Private, and Nonprofit Companies
Date: Wednesday, March 5, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Mark Popielarski
Level: Intermediate
Whether it’s negotiating a contract, preparing for litigation, or advising clients on a host of business-related issues, effectively conducting company research can play an important role in legal practice. Come and learn about resources, research strategies, and helpful tips to effectively perform company research.

Natural Resources Law
Date: Wednesday, March 12, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Peter Kersten
Level: Intermediate
Natural resources law is a major practice area for many Colorado attorneys. This session will introduce you to important secondary sources for jumping into areas of research such as oil & gas, mining, and water, along with other resources for getting into the primary law and keeping you up-to-date in this important area of law.

Transactional Law Research
Date: Wednesday, March 26, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Mark Popielarski
Level: Intermediate
Students interested in becoming transactional attorneys will learn about the resources and strategies used in order to effectively practice law. Students will explore transactional-specific practice materials including forms, subject resources, and other tools for expediting and streamlining the transactional process.

Practice

State Practice Materials
Date: Tuesday, April 1, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Peter Kersten
Level: Intermediate
This session will help get you ready for that summer position, or help you prepare to practice. We’ve looked at the Colorado Practice Series before but now we will move beyond that into some higher level practice materials and manuals attorneys use in their work.

Keeping Current with the Law
Date: Tuesday, April 8, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Mark Popielarski
Level: Intermediate
An essential and challenging part of legal practice is keeping up-to-date with emerging/breaking developments. This session will introduce current awareness tools used by practitioners including BNA, bar publications, legal and nonlegal news sources, and other useful tools.

Court Documents/E-Filing
Date: Tuesday, April 15, noon – 1pm.
Room: 170
Instructor: Peter Kersten
Level: Intermediate
Need to find that docket or a brief from recent litigation? Need to use Colorado’s new e-filing system? This session will help you do both. We will go over locating dockets and court documents along with using Colorado’s new e-filing system properly.

Previous Fall Classes

The classes were offered in Fall 2013 semester are listed below.

Researching with Secondary Sources
Instructor: Mark Popielarski
Level: Beginner
The first step in the research process is to consult secondary sources. These help you learn the legal issues, applicable law, and identify primary law.  This class will introduce a variety of secondary source types and how to use them effectively as you get started on your research.

Statutory Research I
Where: Library Research Center (located on Level 2 of the library)
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Beginner
Learn the research process taken by attorneys when faced with statutory issues.  This class will introduce the benefits of using annotated codes and how to use print statutes, pocket parts, updating pamphlets, indexes and tables. You will leave this class with a comprehensive understanding of statutes and how to perform low-cost research.

Statutory Research II
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Beginner
Now that you have an understanding of the organization and structure of statutes from Statutory Research I, this class will explore the challenges of researching statutes online. This class will focus on learning tools for researching statutes on the major legal research databases.

Case Law Research I
Where: Library Research Center (located on Level 2 of the library)
Instructor: Peter Kersten
Level: Beginner
Case law research is an integral part of legal research but when getting started it is important to first learn about the hierarchy and structure of the legal system, how a given subject fits into this hierarchy, as well as how cases are laid out for the researcher.  This class will introduce how to use digests and headnotes in print, which will help students conceptualize legal issues in a comprehensive, efficient way.
 
Case Law Research II
Instructor: Peter Kersten
Level: Beginner
Building off of Case Law Research 1, the next step is to learn how to research case law online.  This class will focus on learning how to find cases, how to find related cases, and how to create efficient searches on Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg.  These classes will provide a foundation for getting into the wonderful world of case law research.

Updating Your Legal Research
Instructor: Mark Popielarski
Level: Beginner
Your research is not complete until you ensure your authorities are current law.  This class will show you how to use citators (Lexis’ Shepard’s, Westlaw’s KeyCite, and Bloomberg Law’s B-Cite) to check for currentness, interpret the different symbols used, and how these tools are used as an integral part of the research process. 

Administrative Law Research I 
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Beginner
Administrative laws impact all areas of legal practice. In this first of two classes, you will learn the primary sources for regulations as well as how to update and track agency decisions.

Administrative Law Research II
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Intermediate
Building off the first class, this class will focus on your tasks for performing research in a regulatory area. You will learn how to use government and agency websites to research and track agency decisions.  

Best Practices for Tackling Research Questions
Instructor: Mark Popielarski
Level: Intermediate
If your senior partner came in and asked you to research a difficult legal issue quickly, and you have little or no knowledge of the topic, what do you do? When approaching an assignment, knowing the best tools to do the task quickly and efficiently is key. This class will teach how to approach different research tasks and choose your strategy.  

Colorado Practice Research
Instructor: Peter Kersten
Level: Intermediate
When confronting state-specific issues, you will rely heavily on state practice materials from your jurisdiction.  This class will introduce the key practice resources attorneys use frequently.  This session uses Colorado as an example, however, the methods and types of resources specific to Colorado can be found in similar forms in other states.