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Introduction to Essential Lawyering Skills Research Guide: Free Sources

Guide provides information about library resources and research tips for students in the Introduction to Essential Lawyering Skills.


The UC Hastings library provides two guide for finding free resources:

Evaluating Free Information

Focus on the AUTHOR of the source to make sure your item contains citable information. Always keep in mind that online there is less editorial control over content. So you should always prefer the original author of the language, and check the document in which it was originally written. Watch out for sources that may paraphrase the original language.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is the author? Government-published documents or documents written by a professor or expert in the field are most authoritative.
  • Check if a journal is peer-reviewed.

If you find a quotation that you like, but cannot verify the authority of the article or source, use a search engine like Google Scholar and Google Books using the relevant language. It could be that the citation was quoted from an authoritative source which had not been credited. And even if it had been credited, make sure to check the original language.