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Basic Legal Research  

This guide will provide basic legal information that can be found in the NMSU Library and elsewhere on the internet.
Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014 URL: http://nmsu.libguides.com/legal Print Guide RSS Updates

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How to Get Started

Legal research can be confusing and time-consuming.  Whether you are researching law topics for class or for real-life legal issues, the first thing to do is figure out what type of law are you looking for.  Is it federal or state law?  A statute passed by Congress or a case decided by the Supreme Court?  If you don't know the answers to these questions, what then?  The law library at Cornell University offers a wonderful guide to getting started with legal research.  This guide will help you to find resources here at NMSU, but please remember that the only legal advice you should follow is your lawyer’s.

Or, Start with Law Review Articles

Law Review articles can provide all of the information needed for an in-depth analysis of legal issues, including discussion and references to other cases, statutes or reviews on your topic.

Follow these instructions to find Law Review articles in Lexis Nexis:

Use the Enter Search Terms field to search for law review articles related to a particular topic. For example, take the following steps to find information that discusses pollution exclusion clauses and their respective triggering events:

  1. Click the radio button in front of "Terms and Connectors."
  2. Enter pollut! w/10 exclu! w/5 insur! or clause w/25 trigger! in the "Search Terms" field.
    Note: Use the w/N connector to show close proximity between words.
  3. Depending on your interests, and keeping in mind that any given article may appear in more than one source, select "US & Canadian Law Reviews, Combined" or "Insurance Law Review Articles, Combined" or "Environmental Law Review Articles, Combined" from the Select Sources drop-down list.
    Note: Not all sources are available under all LexisNexis® subscriptions. Please contact your LexisNexis Account Representative if you have questions about your subscription.
  4. Click the Search button.
  • Lexis-Nexis
    Choose the News search tab and enter editorial as one of your search terms.
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