Certificate in Research Skills for Practice Registration

The Certificate in Research Skills for Practice is designed to help you develop your research skills.  Each class will be about 1 hour long and will have a brief assignment which you will need to return to your instructor.  The emphasis of the classes is hands-on, practical experience in legal research.  To obtain a certificate you will need to complete at least 6 of the 12 offered classes.

If you have any questions, please contact the Pappas Law Library Reference Librarians at lawref@bu.edu or consult the Frequently Asked Questions.

First Name: Last Name:

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Select RETURNING STUDENT if you are completing a certificate you started in 2011 or 2010, otherwise, choose NEW


Please select the class or classes that you plan to attend. Register and attend at least 6 classes to earn a Certificate in Research Skills for Practice.

Legislative Process and Congressional Documents
Instructor: Steve Donweber • donweber@bu.edu
Most lawyers must do legislative history research at some point in their career.  This research intensive task is a favorite assignment for young attorneys.  Learn about the documents you need to complete a legislative history and where you can find them.

Wednesday, February 8, 1pm

Thursday, February 9, 1pm


Foreign Legal Research
Instructor: TBA
Researching the law of another legal jurisdiction can be frustrating. The goal of this class is to minimize your frustration. You will learn the best strategies, resources and tools for researching foreign laws as you tackle foreign research scenarios in class.

Tuesday, February 14, 1pm

Wednesday, Feburary 15, 1pm


Alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw
Your legal workplace may provide access to LoisLaw, Fastcase, or another lower-cost Lexis and Westlaw alternative.  These databases have different search interfaces and different content, but may be used alone or with Lexis and Westlaw to lower overall research costs.  This class will introduce you to the major alternatives and teach you how to begin using them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2:30pm

Thursday, February 16, 1pm


Massachusetts Legal Research
Instructor: David Bachman • dbachman@bu.edu
When starting a state law research question you will need to rely heavily on the state practice materials available in your jurisdiction.  Learn to find court rules, practice series, state administrative materials, and other tools using Massachusetts as an example.

Wednesday, February 22, 1pm

Thursday, February 23, 1pm


Administrative Regulations without Westlaw and Lexis
Instructor: TBA
Finding a regulation, making sure you have the most up-to-date version of the CFR, and learning about proposed regulations, these are all tasks you need to perform when doing research in a regulatory area.  Learn these tasks in this class.

Wednesday, February 29, 1pm

Thursday, March 1, 1pm


International Legal Research
Instructor: Stefanie Weigmann • sweig@bu.edu
Need to find that UN report mentioned in the NYT? How about the European Court of Human Rights case your professor talked about? International sources are available on the open web, but some of their information is buried too deep for Google to find. Learn what’s out there and how to use it.

Monday, March 5, 1pm

Tuesday, March 6, 1pm


Case Law Research in Print
Instructor: Steve Donweber • donweber@bu.edu
Did you know you can do complex case-law research in print?  Besides being an invaluable skill if you lack Lexis or Westlaw access, proficiency in print caselaw research can help you understand and use headnotes and key numbers better whether researching in print or online.

Wednesday, March 7, 1pm

Thursday, March 8, 1pm


Statutory Research in Print
Many lawyers prefer statutory research in print, and with good reason.  This class will get you comfortable with statutes, pocket parts, updating pamphlets, indexes and tables and give you the confidence to perform this low-cost legal research with ease.

Tuesday, March 20, 2pm

Wednesday, March 21, 1pm

Thursday, March 22, 1pm


Legal Research on the Internet 
Instructor: Stefanie Weigmann • sweig@bu.edu
Some research tasks can be accomplished using free internet resources.  Learn when using the web is a responsible decision for a practicing attorney.

Wednesday, March 28, 1pm

Thursday, March 29, 1pm


Keeping Up with the Law
One of a lawyer’s most challenging tasks is staying current in a practice area.  Find out how to use the same free and subscription services used by lawyers to keep up-to-date in any legal area.

Wednesday, April 4, 1pm

Thursday, April 5, 1pm


Finding the Best Way
Instructor: Steve Donweber donweber@bu.edu
“Find me Citizen’s United.” “Get me that new regulation about bloggers mentioned in the NYT.” “Get me sec. 102 of the INA.” When you are asked to do tasks like these in the workplace what is the best way to start? This class will show you how to find the most efficient way to do common research tasks.

Monday, April 9, 1pm

Tuesday, April 10, 1pm


Finding Treaties
Instructor: TBA
Some assignments, once you analyze them, turn out to involve a treaty.  Find out how to determine if the U.S. is a signatory and where to find the most authoritative text of the treaty.

Wednesday, April 11, 1pm

Thursday, April 12, 1pm