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1L Success Portal: Legal Research & Writing

Legal Research and Writing Secondary Sources

Below, you will find a curated selection of the leading Legal Research & Writing study supplements. To view the full range of supplements available through D'Angelo Law Library subscriptions, see below:

West Study Aids (Legal Research & Writing)   |   Lexis Digital Library (Legal Writing)   |   Aspen Learning Library


CALI (Computer Assisted Legal Instruction) has published over 1,000 computer-based, interactive tutorials that cover narrow topics of law. See a reference librarian for your free CALI activation code! 

Legal Writing Lessons  

Legal Research Lessons 

Researching an Appellate Brief

Here are some suggestions for an organized and comprehensive approach to researching for an appellate brief.

  • Thoroughly familiarize yourself with the record below and the orders appealed from.
  • Analyze the questions you will research. Consider:
    • Jurisdiction
    • Governing law
    • Areas of law
    • Applicable court rules
  • Create a research plan.
    • Places to begin:
      • Secondary sources on the areas of law you’ve identified.
      • Law cited in the opinion from which the appeal has been taken.
    • Consider all types of relevant primary law—statutes, case law, court rules.
    • Use the "one good case" method. 
  • Execute your research plan.
    • Keep good notes. 
    • Use Folders in Westlaw and Lexis+ to organize your research.
    • Use Copy with Reference (Westlaw)/Copy with Cite (Lexis+) to keep citations with quotations you may wish to use later.
    • Update your research: use a citator to ensure that the law you will cite is current.
  • Revisit your research plan to ensure that you have covered all the bases.
  • Revisit the record in the lower court and the orders appealed from, since your research may have revealed new questions.

Civil Procedure Resources

Brief Writing Texts and Supplements

Finding Actual Briefs

Finding Court Rules

Outside Resources


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