Academic Success Resources for Students: Research

Ask a Librarian

Legal research is one of the basic building blocks for your success in law school and in your legal career. You will use legal research skills on a daily basis in practice, so get as much assistance with them as you can while you are in law school.

We encourage you to consult with the reference librarians when you are planning and carrying out legal research. Librarians can often point you to resources that you did not know existed. Librarians are experts on legal resources and how to navigate and search those resources. Most of the Hastings Law librarians have law degrees and masters degrees in library and information science.

You can find a librarian at the Reference Desk during business hours, or you can e-mail You can also submit online reference questions

Online Resources for First-Year Legal Resarch

Legal Research in a Nutshell by Kent C. Olson

The popular Nutshell series takes on fundamental legal research in its trademark concise but thorough style. This small book discusses print materials, online legal research, legislative history, administrative law, and specialized resources.

The Legal Research Survival Manual with Video Modules by Robert C. Berring and Michael Levy

Designed for the beginning researcher, this book provides the tools and basic introductory explanations that will help you make sense of what you are learnng in class.

Examples & Explanations for Legal Research by Terrill Pollman, et al.

Read clear explanations of basic legal research concepts, illustrated with concrete examples.

Handy All-Purpose Search Form

An online form to help you construct good Boolean searches in any online database.

Print Resources for First-Year Legal Research

Deconstructing Legal Analysis: A 1L Primer by Peter T. Wendel

Learn to: think like a lawyer; analyze and brief cases; write about issues using IRAC and ARRAC; organize exam essays; answer multiple-choice questions; and more.

Finding the Law by Robert C. Berring and Elizabeth A. Edinger

Nail down the basics of legal research and learn to read case law with this comprehensive explanation of print and digital resources.