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Cover The Successful Law Student: An Insider's Guide to Studying Law

7. Finding and Using Legal Materials and Resources  

This chapter considers the wide range of sources that a law student will need to discover and explore in their legal studies for a range of different purposes. Guidance is given on different legal and other sources and their importance, including the difference between primary and secondary resources and their place in legal learning. Guidance is also provided on navigating the way to the right resources and using them to guide the student to greater understanding. This chapter considers the various resources available in the modern university, both traditional library resources and additional digital resources, and resources in the wider context of how these sources can be accessed and other study tools. This includes consideration of the ‘virtual learning environment’ or VLE.


Cover Learning Legal Rules

2. Finding the Law  

This chapter introduces the main resources and techniques needed for legal research, the development of legal ‘information literacy’, and the appropriate methods to undertake research: the capabilities necessary for learning and working in an information-rich, digital society. It demonstrates how digital technologies are changing the nature of law and legal information from physical to a virtual space, and with it the research process. Digital media have created new challenges, for example for intellectual property law, for data security and protection, and for the criminal law in responding to a wide range of electronic crime. The discussion of specific research tools and techniques covers literary sources; case law; legislation; EU law; and using a number of online resources.