Queen's University - Utility Bar

Queen's University Library

Legal Research Manual


This edition of Legal Research Manual builds on many previous editions. While the manual is designed principally for use with the first year legal research classes, upper year law students will also find it a useful reference.

The number of print and electronic tools available for research at law school as well as in practice is considerable. The tool or process that works best for one research issue might not be suitable for the next, and determining which sources to consult and search often depends on the nature of the question. While it is true that electronic legal research tools have made research quicker and sometimes easier, researchers are wise to be skeptical about claims by legal publishers concerning their “star” product. No matter how sophisticated the legal research tool, it never eliminates the need to think through a problem and prepare a research plan carefully. As the technology becomes more sophisticated and the number of research sources increases, the need for thorough analysis, logical organization, clear writing, and good judgment in knowing where to start and where to stop one's research remains.


Law Reports American Legal Materials
Case Law Research Searching Law on the Web
Legal Citation International and Foreign Law
LexisNexis Quicklaw & Westlaw Canada Steps in Legal Research
Secondary Sources Appendices:
Legislation  A: Bibliography
Finding Federal and Ontario Statutes B: Statutes Considered
QCAT Search Guide C: Regulations
Legal Databases Available Through Queen's D: Researching UK Law
Legal Research Checklist

 This manual is only available electronically.  Let us know what you find useful along with what is problematic or confusing, and we’ll take this feedback into consideration in the preparation of the next version.

Last Updated: 31 July 2015

Footer Links

Kingston, Ontario, Canada.