Texas Legal Research 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. Since students often use online research tools from the beginning of their studies, the second chapter is devoted to online searching techniques and principles, including the tradeoffs and pitfalls of online searching and tips on how to choose between online and print resources. Research using print and online resources is explained for each type of legal resource throughout the book.
Chapters are devoted to the resources and techniques of constitutional research, case law research, and statutory research. Chapters on legislative history research and administrative agency research explore these more advanced topics in detail. The historical and governmental roots of Texas legal resources are traced for each type of primary law. Secondary sources are discussed following the chapters on primary law, although this chapter may readily be assigned early in a course. 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 Citation Manual.
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 where needed 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.
The Revised Printing of Texas Legal Research includes updates regarding the Texas codification project, revised Texas Supreme Court rules regarding unpublished opinions, changed citation rules under the 18th edition of The Greenbook: Texas Rules of Form, and updated information about online legal information sources. All citations to online and print sources have been brought up to date.
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.
“The book is clearly organized around the research process and could be adapted into a course syllabus easily. Whatever one’s preference for structuring the class, the chapters are clearly delineated and could be presented in a different order without trouble. In fact, the Table of Contents reads like a checklist of any diligent, thorough researcher. The text is presented in an easy and plain style; easily accessible to the uninitiated researcher. The matter-of-fact guidance gets straight to the heart of the most common and important research issues.” — G. Patrick Flanagan, AALL Spectrum blog