Texas Legal Research, Second Edition, is a practical, process-oriented guide to the skills and resources necessary to research Texas law. The book is designed for teaching first-year students, either as a stand-alone text or in conjunction with a research text focusing on federal law. The book is also suitable for use in advanced legal research courses. Others who will find the book useful include practitioners, paralegals, college students, laypersons, and anyone needing a concise handbook on how to find and use Texas legal materials.
The book begins by explaining the nature and types of legal authority. The process of legal research and control of legal research projects are described in the first chapter, with an emphasis on the integral nature of legal research and legal analysis. These concepts are revisited and reinforced throughout the book. The second chapter explains basic principles underlying legal research, factors to consider in choosing whether to search online or in print, and techniques to add power and precision to legal research. Since students often use online research tools from the beginning of their studies, the second chapter also introduces online searching techniques and principles. Research using print and online resources is explained for each type of legal resource throughout the book.
The order of coverage of types of legal authority has been substantially changed in the second edition, in order to track the author’s recommended research process. Secondary materials are now addressed in chapter 3, followed by chapters devoted to the resources and techniques of constitutional research, statutory research, legislative history research, administrative agency law research, and case law research. The second edition adds an entirely new chapter on Texas local government law research. The historical and governmental roots of Texas legal resources are traced for each type of primary law. Updating techniques are explained in context for each type of legal material and a chapter is devoted to the use of online citators. An appendix explains the basics of legal citation, the use of the Greenbook and the Bluebook, special rules of Texas citation, and the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation. The second edition contains a new appendix discussing techniques for searching directly in the online case databases included in Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law.
Most chapters contain tables with step-by-step guides to research in particular types of legal resources, as well as summaries of other critical information. Screenshots and images of research materials are included to illustrate the lessons of the text. For each type of resource, research in federal law is addressed following the discussion of research in Texas law.
This book is part of the Legal Research Series, edited by Suzanne E. Rowe, Director of Legal Research and Writing, University of Oregon School of Law.