Basics of Legal Research, Part 1

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Per the text, computers are playing an increasingly important role in the practice of law. Successful paralegals must be comfortable with using electronic databases and research tools.

Write a two to three (2-3) page paper in which you:

1. Discuss a paralegal’s ethical obligation to conduct competent electronic research. Provide two (2) examples of the potential consequences of inept electronic research practices.

  1. Determine whether or not traditional reference materials (e.g., State and Federal Reporters, West’s Encyclopedia, etc.) can be as current as electronic resources. Provide two (2) advantages and two (2) disadvantages to using traditional resource materials.
  2. Appropriately incorporate at least (2) quality sources. A quality source can be either popular, such as a news article, or scholarly, such as peer reviewed works. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as quality resources. Visit the Strayer University Library at http://research.strayer.edu to conduct research.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Develop effective research strategies, and conduct effective and efficient research using conventional sources, the Internet, and computer-assisted legal research.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in legal research and writing.
  • Write clearly and concisely about legal research and writing using proper writing mechanics.

Click here to view the grading rubric for this assignment.

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