Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Research Tips for Summer Clerks

Librarians often receive emails, phone calls, and visits from former students who are now clerking in the “real world” and wish they would have given their research course more attention.  Conversations with these students help me adapt my research teaching and add more stories to the mix for future students.  Sometimes I’ll even ask a 2L to come back and talk to my next group of 1Ls about his/her summer clerkship experience and how it relates to legal research. 

A recent article in the Student Lawyer (Observations for Summer Research Success by Shawn G. Nevers) offers some tips:

- Understand the research tools available to you (may be less than what you have available through your law school library);
- When receiving the research assignment, ask questions and clarify the request;
- Check in with the law librarian if you have questions;
- Spend time planning & strategizing your research; and
- Keep a good record of your research and results.

Article available on SSRN at

I would add a plug for checking your law school library website and any research guides that may help point you to free resources you can incorporate into your research strategy.  Research guides prepared by your law librarians can also help you refresh your memory on how to research a particular topic.


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