Research Guides

Clinic Research Guide


You may contact Jenny Rensler, the clinic library liaison, for library-related questions at jrensler@law.umaryland.edu.

Practice Materials | Journals & Law Reviews | Maryland Legal System | Judicial Materials | Statutory Materials | Administrative Materials | Related Websites


Getting Started

This research guide is created for the Clinical Law Program of the University of Maryland School of Law. The guide is directed to provide the student attorney in Maryland with a starting point for practice-oriented legal research, with special emphasis on the practice areas of housing law, criminal justice, immigration law, family law, and landlord/tenant law. It also provides help in understanding the Maryland legal system.

With any project, unless you are already knowledgeable about the topic area, it's best to start with secondary sources and then to consult primary sources. Secondary sources such as handbooks, guides, and manuals, as well as sample forms and other practice materials, provide an attorney with rules and guidelines for law practice within certain jurisdictions. Articles and books can provide you with an overview of your topic and help you think of search terms you might not have thought of otherwise. They also cite primary authorities such as statutes and cases. You can use the primary sources cited in secondary sources as a jumping off point to find other primary sources in several ways:

  • Shepardize or KeyCite them to see what other sources have cited them (visit the Shepard's Citation Service tutorial or the KeyCite tutorial for more information);
  • Read cases to see what other sources they cite (jump to Judicial Materials);
  • On Westlaw or in West Digests (for example, the Maryland Digest), look up the topics and key numbers in the cases you've already read to find other cases that address the same issues;
  • On Lexis, use "More Like This" to find other sources with wording or citation patterns similar to the document you started with;
  • Read annotations to statutes to find cross references to cases that have analyzed them or regulations that have been issued under their authority (jump to Statutory Materials).

Back To Top

Secondary Sources: Practice Materials

Handbooks, guides, manuals, sample forms and other secondary materials provide an overview of practice areas. The following is a brief list of some secondary practice materials available in the Thurgood Marshall Law Library. For additional practice materials, please check the library's Catalog.

General Practice Books

Books in Selected Practice Areas

Forms

Suggested Catalog Searches

Use the online Catalog to find other law practice secondary sources available in the Thurgood Marshall Law Library. Practice materials are located in the Clinic Library and the Maryland section of the main library (call number KFM on the second floor). For research hints on how to use the catalog, see the Research Guide - Searching the Catalog. Some suggested searches in the Catalog follow:

Lexis

Westlaw

Back To Top

Secondary Sources: Journals

The two main indexes to law journals are LegalTrac and Index to Legal Periodicals & Books (which includes books as well). These indexes include references to many journals not included in Westlaw or Lexis databases and in some cases provide access to the full text electronically. Each of these two online indexes has a parallel print version: the Current Law Index (K33 .C87), and the Index to Legal Periodicals (K9 .N32) are shelved near the print journals on level 1. The Index to Legal Periodicals is particularly helpful if you need to find articles published prior to 1980. For additional help on finding articles, visit Finding Articles in Legal Journals and Law Reviews.

Most print journals are shelved on level 1 of the library, in alphabetical order by journal title. To find out if the library has a particular journal title in electronic format, use the e-journals link on the Library web page or ask a librarian for help.

Journals:

In the areas of housing, criminal justice, immigration, families and landlord/tenant law, there are a number of journals that are likely to contain relevant articles:

Note: Each of the files on Lexis and Westlaw linked below are combined files of journals focusing on these practice areas. It is also possible to search these journals individually.

Lexis:

Westlaw:

Back To Top

Maryland Legal System and Research

For information on the Maryland legal system and Maryland materials at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library, see Chapter 9 Maryland Legal Research of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library Guide to Legal Research.

Back To Top

Primary Sources: Statutory Materials

Statutes relating to practice areas in the Clinic exist at both the federal and state levels. Some useful electronic sources of statutory and legislative materials are linked below.

For more information on state legislative research, including Maryland legislative history, see Chapter 9 of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library Guide to Legal Research.

For more information on federal legislative research, including federal legislative history, see Chapter 5 and Chapter 10 of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library Guide to Legal Research.

Maryland:

Federal:

Lexis

Westlaw:

Back To Top

Primary Sources: Judicial Materials

For general information on finding and updating case law, see Chapter 7 of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library Guide to Legal Research.

Case Law and Court Rules:

Note: Free databases do not include cases dating back as far as the materials in Lexis and Westlaw databases. It is not recommended that you use free case law databases in your research.

Federal and State

Lexis:

Tip: If you find one good case on Lexis, you may be able to find others by identifying the headnote that best describes the issue of interest to you, then clicking "More Like This Headnote," or by Shepardizing the case to find other cases that have cited it for the issue represented by that headnote.

Westlaw:

Tip: If you find one good case on Westlaw, you may be able to find others by identifying the headnote that best describes the issue of interest to you, then clicking "Most Cited Cases" for that headnote. You could also try clicking "KeyCite Notes" to find other cases that have cited your good case for issue represented by that headnote.

Court-Related Resources

Back To Top

Primary Sources: Administrative Materials

For more information on researching Maryland administrative law, see Chapter 9 of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library Guide to Legal Research.

For more information on researching federal administrative law, see Chapter 6 and Chapter 10 of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library Guide to Legal Research.

Federal

Maryland

Lexis:

Westlaw:

Back To Top

Related Websites

Listed below is a selected list of websites of organizations and other entities with collections specializing in clinic practice areas Housing Law, Criminal Justice, Immigration Law, Family Law, and Landlord Tenant Law.


Back To Top

UM | About This Site | Site Map | Contact Us | Hours | Visiting the Library


500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714
Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved.

Hotline Hotline