Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Ann Walsh Long, "A Short & Happy Guide to Advanced Legal Research": Review by Eric Voigt

Here is a guest post by Eric Voigt:

Ann Walsh Long has authored a new legal research book, A Short & Happy Guide to Advanced Legal Research. This book would be a great supplement for pretrial and litigation courses and would be helpful to students enrolled in law school clinics. Unlike other research texts, this book has one primary focus: civil litigation. And students and professors will enjoy the author’s tone and humor—which will keep the reader awake!

The author walks students through the research process for the pretrial stages of civil litigation. The chapters provide research scenarios to demonstrate how to find the necessary resources at each stage of the civil litigation process, including Phase I: Case Assessment and Development; Phase II: Discovery and Investigation; and Phase III: Pretrial Action. 

The book covers these important resources and topics:

  • Fee-based research platforms (e.g., Lexis+ and Westlaw) and low-cost alternatives (e.g., Fastcase and Casemaker).
  • AI legal research tools, such as Fastcase’s Docket Alarm and Casetext’s CARA.
  • Dangers of starting statutory research in a caselaw database.
  • Sample pleadings, discovery materials, and motions and briefs.
  • Practical resources, including Causes of Action, American Jurisprudence Trials, and PACER.

The book is ultra affordable. Print copies sell for only $22. And here is more good news: the ebook is FREE to students if your school subscribes to the West Academic Study Aids. The next time I teach pretrial practice, I will require A Short & Happy Guide to Advanced Legal Research.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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