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Certificate in Basic Legal Research

The Certificate in Basic Legal Research provides students with a firm understanding of research strategies and resources used when researching U.S. law. Students who complete the certificate will be able to efficiently research both Federal and State primary laws. Classes for the Certificate in Basic Legal Research are offered in the Fall Semester.

Requirements for the Certificate in Basic Legal Research

To earn the Certificate in Basic Legal Research, a student must:

1. Attend eight of the classes listed below;

2. Complete the post-class assignment for the eight (8) courses attended; and

3. Submit the post-class assignment by the specified deadline.

Fall 2014 Classes

Classes are one hour in length. Most classes are scheduled to occur during the lunch hour break from noon – 1pm. Multiple sessions of the classes are provided. Students only need to take one of the sessions per class. All classes are held in the Library Research Center in Room 230F located on the second floor of the library.

Tools for Researching
Session 1: Tuesday, Sept. 9 at noon
Session 2: Wednesday, Sept. 10 at noon
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Beginner
Keeping track of resources not to mention creating bluebook citation can be a challenge. Come learn how to use several apps that help you organize your research and will even create Bluebook citations for you.

Basic Bluebooking
Session 1: Tuesday, Sept. 16 at noon
Session 2: Wednesday, Sept. 17 at noon
Instructor: Karina Condra
Level: Beginner
Bluebooking is one of the most challenging tasks law students have to preform. Come learn how to efficiently navigate and use the Bluebook.

Researching with Secondary Sources
Session 1: Monday, Sept. 22 at noon
Session 2: Tuesday, Sept. 23 at noon
Session 3: Wednesday, Sept. 24 at noon
Session 4: Thursday, Sept. 25 at noon
Session 5: Friday, Sept. 26 at noon
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
Session 1: Monday, Sept. 29 at noon
Session 2: Tuesday, Sept. 30 at noon
Session 3: Wednesday, Oct. 1 at noon
Session 4: Thursday, Oct. 2 at noon
Session 5: Friday, Oct. 3 at noon
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
Session 1: Monday, Oct. 6 at noon
Session 2: Tuesday, Oct. 7 at noon
Session 3: Wednesday, Oct. 8 at noon
Session 4: Thursday, Oct. 9 at noon
Session 5: Friday, Oct. 10 at noon
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
Session 1: Monday, Oct. 13 at noon
Session 2: Tuesday, Oct. 14 at noon
Session 3: Wednesday, Oct. 15 at noon
Session 4: Thursday, Oct. 16 at noon
Session 5: Friday, Oct. 17 at noon
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 to conceptualize legal issues in a comprehensive, efficient way.
 
Case Law Research II
Session 1: Monday, Oct. 20 at noon
Session 2: Tuesday, Oct. 21 at noon
Session 3: Wednesday, Oct. 22 at noon
Session 4: Thursday, Oct. 23 at noon
Session 5: Friday, Oct. 24 at noon
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 the major legal research databases. These classes will provide a foundation for getting into the wonderful world of case law research.

Updating Your Legal Research
Session 1: Monday, Oct. 27 at noon
Session 2: Tuesday, Oct. 28 at noon
Session 3: Wednesday, Oct. 29 at noon
Session 4: Thursday, Oct. 30 at noon
Session 5: Friday, Oct. 31 at noon
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. 

Colorado Practice Research
Session 1: Tuesday, Nov. 4 at noon
Session 2: Wednesday, Nov. 5 at noon
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.

Effective Research Strategies
Session 1: Tuesday, Nov. 11 at noon
Session 2: Wednesday, Nov. 12 at noon
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.