University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Fall 2020

Course Description
This course will focus on teaching “real-world” legal research skills to prepare students for the challenges they will face in legal practice. Students will develop effective research skills, and an in-depth knowledge of the research tools. Specifically, this course will expose students to research methods and strategies that are employed in practice to effectively and efficiently research using secondary sources, statutes, cases, regulations, legislative materials, and practice materials, utilizing both current and emerging legal research tools and technology. Additionally, the course will cover legal analytical and competitive (business) intelligence tools, and it will also provide a review legal authority, how it is organized, and how to access it efficiently with particular attention on cost-effective research.

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
08-17-2020 - 11-17-2020   R  4:10 PM-5:50 PM E352

Course Frequency
This course is usually offered every semester

Course Information

Credits: 3
Pass/Fail Option: Yes
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Grades will be based on assignments, class participation, and a research guide on a topic selected by the student.
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Skills Requirement
Special Attributes: None
Course Delivery:
Blended (part residential and part online)
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s): None
Bar Subject(s):
Concentration(s): None
Course Book(s):
Textbook Required:
  • Textbook Name: Legal Research in a Nutshell
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Recommended
    Author: Kent Olson
    Publisher: West Academic
    Edition: 13th ed.
    ISBN: 9781640208049

Additional Materials:
There is an ebook version of the Nutshell, and it is available through West Academic Study Aids. (See Library web site for access: Additional readings will be posted online.  
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: Please read the excerpt from the article, Which Practice-Ready Courses Should You Take?, attached below. Also, review the AALL Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency, available at And, look over the course description, requirements, and schedule on the class web page ( before class.

    The recommended text is Kent C. Olson, Legal Research in a Nutshell (13th ed. 2018). Recommended readings are on the class schedule where appropriate. There is a copy of the Nutshell on Reserve in the Law Library, and it is available as part of the West Academic Study Aids package to which the law library subscribes.

    TWEN/Blackboard/Course Webpage Link:

    Additional Information:
    We will also be using Blackboard for some things. I am sorry for the confusion over the "blended" classification. My intent is to meet on campus most Thursdays. The rest of the class will be made up of recordings and other asynchronous work completed before the class meets on Thursday. This is why the class schedule is divided between things to be completed "Before Class" and things we will be discussing "In Class." Hope that helps for your planning.




Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-6441
Office: D138