Skip to main content

Legal Research Manual


Queen's University Library Law


This edition of Legal Research Manual builds on many previous editions. While the manual is designed principally for use by first year law students, upper year law students will also find it a useful reference.

The number of print and electronic tools available for research at law school as well as in practice is considerable. The tool or process that works best for one research issue might not be suitable for the next, and determining which sources to consult and search often depends on the nature of the question. While it is true that electronic legal research tools have made research quicker and sometimes easier, researchers are wise to be skeptical about claims by legal publishers concerning their “star” product. No matter how sophisticated the legal research tool, it never eliminates the need to think through a problem and prepare a research plan carefully. As the technology becomes more sophisticated and the number of research sources increases, the need for thorough analysis, logical organization, clear writing, and good judgment in knowing where to start and where to stop one's research remains.