Legal Research Component of LRWAC

Legal Research Component of the 1L
Legal Research, Writing, Analysis & Communication Course

Legal research is an essential lawyering skill and Villanova law students begin developing their research skills the first week of classes. The research component of the Legal Research, Writing, Analysis & Communication fall and spring courses is taught by expert law librarians who have many years of law practice and research experience.  Villanova students learn about the various sources of law in the U.S. legal system and how to search, identify, analyze, and use a wide array of legal sources.  A strong emphasis is placed on effective search strategies and the importance of evaluating and validating information sources. Weekly research assignments and in-class exercises provide many opportunities for hands-on learning. The Villanova Law legal research 1L curriculum is designed to prepare students for their legal writing assignments and to provide a solid foundation for their summer legal employment and second year coursework as well participation on journals and Moot Court.


Advanced Legal Research Course

The Advanced Legal Research course is an elective offered to second and third year students. This course expands upon the research strategies and resources first presented in the required Legal Research,Writing,  Analysis & Communication classes. 

Students explore standard and specialized legal and non-legal information resources, including selected legal practice-oriented materials such as

  • legal forms
  • subject-specific legal treatises and practice guides
  • court rules
  • and bar publications. 

Students also sharpen and refine their ability to develop efficient and effective research strategies in preparation to meet the widely varied information needs of modern legal practice.  Legal research topics covered include, among others, administrative law, environmental law, international law, admiralty law, and legislative histories.  Topics and resources for non-legal research, in such fields as business and medicine, are also presented.

Legal Research Instruction in Clinics
and Other Upper-Level Courses

The legal research instructors regularly provide subject-specific research sessions in second and third year courses. Recent topics include:

  • administrative law
  • intellectual property
  • bioethics
  • researching the financial crisis
  • international law
  • international environmental law
  • international arbitration
  • fact investigations
  • tax
  • immigration
  • and family law