of Legal Research, 9th Edition by Steven M.
Barkan, Roy M. Mersky, and Donald J. Dunn (Foundation Press, 2009). This book, which
is well known to teachers of legal research, is less a procedural “how to” (though
it does include a chapter on the legal research process) than an explanation of
the history, purpose, and contents of a variety of important legal resources.
the Law Is: An Introduction to Advanced
Legal Research, 3rd Edition by J. D. S.
Armstrong and Christopher A. Knott (West, 2009). Designed for upper-level legal
research courses, this book is a valuable resource for learning practical
details about the research process. Very good at explaining how a specific
resource, such as statutes or cases, fits into a research plan.
Legal Research: Tools and Strategies,
4th Edition by Amy E. Sloan (Wolters Kluwer, 2009). An effective
tool for learning the fundamentals of legal research and providing step-by-step
instructions for how to conduct it. Nicely illustrated with good explanations.
Research in a Nutshell, 10th Edition by Morris
L. Cohen and Kent C. Olson (West, 2010). Continues the tradition of the
Nutshell series by putting a lot of information into a single, easy-to-carry
volume. A great place to go for a short, accessible explanation of a legal
The most popular
study aids for law students are volumes in the Nutshell and Examples &
Explanations series. A number of these are available in the law library and can
be searched on our website at http://library.law.unc.edu. Use the words
“nutshell” or “examples and explanations” in a Keyword or Title search.
North Carolina State Constitution by John V. Orth
(Oxford, 2011). A complete guide to the North Carolina constitution. Includes a
section on its history, commentary on every section of the constitution itself,
and a bibliographical essay.
Carolina Legal Research by Scott Childs (Carolina Academic
Press, 2010). This book is part of a series of state research guides by the
same publisher. It includes chapters on researching secondary sources,
constitutions, statutes, legislative history, judicial opinions, and
administrative rules and decisions.
Carolina Legal Research Guide, 2nd
Edition by Scott Childs and Nick Sexton (Hein, 2009). A 400+-page guide that
provides bibliographic and procedural information for legal research in North
Carolina. This book covers the structure of the state government, secondary
sources, the state legislative process and history, statutory law, caselaw,
practice materials, and other aspects of state law. Features both print and
Writing and Analysis, 3rd Edition by Linda H.
Edwards (Wolters Kluwer, 2011). A process-driven book that starts with the
lawyer’s role, moves on to reading and analyzing the law, then finally to
writing outlines, memos, letters, and briefs. Lots of examples are provided of
many aspects of the writing process.
Dictionary of Legal Usage, 3rd Edition by Bryan
A. Garner (Oxford University Press, 2011). Black’s
Dictionary, which Garner edits, defines words. This volume, almost as large
as Black’s itself, is a style and
usage guide for thousands of legal terms. Examples to illustrate usage are taken from cases and other legal
Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student
Notes, Seminar Papers, and Getting on Law Review,
4th Edition by Eugene Volokh (Foundation Press, 2010). A very good
resource for law students interested in writing and publishing. Starts with a
chapter on finding something to write about, then offers advice on writing
introductions, background sections, and conclusions. Includes chapters on how
to finish various drafts, how to conduct research, and how to edit a law
Writing in a Nutshell, 4th Edition by Lynn Bahrych
(West, 2009). Another standalone volume in the Nutshell series. Covers the
basics of legal composition from the structure of sentences and paragraphs to
how a piece of writing should be organized.
and Effective Legal Writing, 4th Edition by Veda R.
Charrow, Myra K. Erhardt, and Robert P. Charrow (Wolters Kluwer, 2007). A large
volume whose contents range from how to read legal materials to the
fundamentals of legal writing. Includes lessons on how to approach a writing
assignment, how to understanding its context, and tips on how to organize your
work. Features a number of writing guidelines, such as how to compose short
sentences, keep a parallel structure, and avoid the typical writing problems. A
final section explains how to create memos and an appellate brief. Many
Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style,
2nd Edition by Bryan A. Garner (West, 2006). An excellent and
comprehensive resource for information about mechanics, grammar, and usage.
Full of easy to grasp rules on punctuation, capitalization, spelling, citations,
and footnotes. Includes a section on preparing specific legal documents such as
briefs and memos.
English for Lawyers, 5th Edition by Richard C.
Wydick (Carolina Academic Press, 2005). A concise and exceedingly useful
resource for learning how to write comprehensibly. Includes chapters on
omitting surplus words, using the active voice, crafting short sentences, practicing
effective word choice and arrangement, and avoiding stylistic pitfalls.
Legal Instruction) lessons are a way to refresh or test your memory about
various aspects of the law. You can view
them any time, but they are used most often before exams. To sign in online, go
and follow the instructions for registering as a student.
Some professors have
made their past exams available online. Go to http://library.law.unc.edu/exams/
and follow the link to your My Carolina Law page. There you will be able to
search exams by faculty member and/or exam title.
Law School Study Aids
The most popular study aids for law students are volumes in the Nutshell and Examples & Explanations series. A number of these are available in the law library and can be searched on our website at http://library.law.unc.edu. Use the words "nutshell" or "examples and explanations" in a Keyword or Title search to find them.