Research Skills Courses for Credit

To help you prepare for the realities of law practice, NYLS offers research skills courses designed to build upon the skills learned in the first year. The courses give you an opportunity to enhance your skills and become a more efficient, confident and successful researcher. You may take up to five credits of research skills classes.

Legal Research: Practical Skills (1 credit) reviews and builds on the research skills introduced in the first year. Helps you refine your skills, learn shortcuts, and develop research strategies. When you complete this course you will know how to find statutes, legislative materials, administrative regulations, and related cases. You will know how to use citator services effectively to enhance and update your research. You will also learn about a variety of important secondary sources and attain a comfort level with electronic research using Lexis Advance, Westlaw, Bloomberg BNA, and other databases, as well as reliable free or low-cost legal sources.
There are two types of offering for this course. We offer a general version, which provides a survey of skills across a broad variety of subjects, and in different semesters we also offer subject-oriented versions:

• Legal Research: Practical Skills-Corporate & Business Law
• Legal Research: Practical Skills-Family Law
• Legal Research: Practical Skills – Foreign and International Law (2 credits)
• Legal Research: Practical Skills-Intellectual Property Law
• Legal Research: Practical Skills-Labor and Employment Law
• Legal Research: Practical Skills–Real Estate Law.


Legal Research: Skills for the Digital World (3 credits) reviews and builds on fundamental research skills as described in the Legal Research: Practical Skills courses. This course allows you time to concentrate on more advanced techniques using both electronic and print resources to maximize research effectiveness and efficiency. The course provides detailed instruction in developing appropriate research strategies and in evaluating the various electronic and print sources in order to choose the best source to complete particular projects. Special attention is given to the organization and use of legal information. You will pursue research assignments that may be geared to your individual subject interests. You must also complete take-home assignments that will test and enhance your understanding of research tools, process and strategy considerations, and your ability to perform various research tasks.

In addition, the Mendik Library’s Reference Librarians offer a variety of short research workshops throughout the year.