University of New Hampshire

School of Law

Graduate Legal Research & Information Literacy

This required one credit course introduces graduate students to the basic research tools and strategies a beginning intellectual property or commerce and technology professional needs to work in their practice area and engage in lifelong learning to keep their education current. The course attempts to track concepts in the Graduate Programs Contracts course often in the context of licensing agreements. The course focuses on: primary and secondary legal authority with lesser coverage on fact research, current awareness and practice tools and strategies; mandatory and persuasive authority; accessing, evaluating and updating secondary legal sources, court decisions, statutes and administrative rulemaking; developing a coherent research strategy including cost effective research; and appropriate choice of electronic formats. Students will be exposed to LEXIS, Westlaw and free web sites. At the end of the first semester students should be able to take a legal issue and determine the extent of legal information needed; access the needed legal information effectively and efficiently; evaluate legal information and its sources critically; incorporate the selected legal information into their understanding of the issue; understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of legal information; access and use information ethically and legally. Classes involve a mix of lecture, discussion and the opportunity to work directly with relevant print and electronic resources through assigned problems. In additional to a graded research midterm and final, students must successfully complete weekly research assignments.

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