Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



At present, the curriculum at almost all law schools includes a first-year course teaching the fundamentals of the legal method.The practical value of these courses, however, has been questioned. One criticism of the current course structure is the overemphasis placed on the basics of legal research and legal writing to the detriment of legal bibliography.More pertinent to this review is another practice of these classes-the use of certain national-in-scope legal research texts that cannot treat fully the many special characteristics of published legal materials in the various states. To know that states have similar publishing practices for codes, session laws, and case reports is not enough. In the history, type, number, and frequency of each state's published legal materials there are significant variations that cannot be covered adequately by the standard texts or taught fully in most courses. Therefore, only a limited, general approach to finding relevant materials can be conveyed.