ARCHIVED: AALL Programs: Basic Legal Research

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Are you an information professional new to the field of law?   Attend this AALL Professional Development workshop that teaches the basic techniques of legal research as well as how to develop a research strategy plan.

Participants will learn to:

  • Respond to a legal reference question with confidence;
  • Understand the difference between effective reference and practicing law and why it matters;
  • Discriminate between weight of primary and secondary sources;
  • Locate a document when given the citation;
  • Update a document to current (be it updating a statute or Shepardizing a case);
  • Recognize the parts of a case;
  • Define official versus unofficial citation;
  • Begin research when given only a subject;
  • Identify various formats (CD-ROM, Internet, paper, on-line) that legal research tools come in;
  • Use secondary sources as a finding tool;
  • Organize research options; and
  • Develop a research strategy plan.

Who Should Attend the Program?

Law librarians, non-law librarians, library paraprofessionals, legal paraprofessionals, and others who need to learn the basic techniques of legal research.


Marsha C. Thomas is a practicing attorney and former reference librarian and head of teaching at the S.J. Quinney Law Library, University of Utah College of Law. With a J.D. from the University of Utah, Thomas currently teaches basic and advanced legal research for law students and subject research instruction. Thomas has also presented a variety of programs to non-legal librarians, as well as Continuing Legal Education programs on Legal Research for the Utah State Bar.

If you are interested in scheduling this program, please fill out and submit a scheduling form.


Registration for programs will begin approximately 3 months prior to scheduled dates. On-line registration forms will be available at that time. Please check again later!

This professional development opportunity is brought to you by the American Association of Law Libraries. For additional information, please contact Mary Jawgiel, AALL Education Manager, at 312-939-4764.

AALL recognizes major support from BNA, Inc. for the Professional Development Program.