Monday, March 21, 2016

It's just that simple

It's all about getting smarter
Last night I had a young-ish woman come into our law library looking for a motion to vacate a judgment.  Seems she had been in the law library a few days before but was overwhelmed with the sheer majesty of the resources.  I understand her frustration - I used to be like that until I realized the two BIG secrets that 98% of the lawyers out in lawyer-land know and uses for legal research.

BIG SECRET #1: the Table of Contents is in the front of most any book/resource.  BIG SECRET #2: the Index is in the back...and if you can recite the alphabet song, you know how to do legal research.  The kicker is being able to sift through the chaff and focus on the keywords.

For instance, say you are looking about how to incorporate a business.  While the keyword you are looking for is "incorporation," when you first walk through the library front door, you ramble on about how your dog broke its leg and how your neighbor came over and now she feels sorry for you and knows that you're looking to start a business but doesn't think it's the right time because you might get sued if your don't incorporate and doesn't Mrs. Johnson have nice flowers and that Smith boy down the street is getting in trouble again and it sure would be nice if you knew someone who knew something about protecting your business...is that my pie I smell burning?!

Yeah, a whole lot of chaff and while I'm sure you're interested in the smell of burning pie, the only thing I'm (that's "I'm" as in "Me" your local county law Librarian) listening for is "business" and "protect" and "incorporation" because while "I" really like pie, "I'm" guessing that you are not so much interested in pie or the Smith boy or Mrs. Johnson's flowers as you are in protecting your business in a bear economy.

It is for this reason that "I" would tell you to follow me over to:
where we'd open up the Index (last in the series), look under "I" for "incorporation" or "F" for "formation" and have You researching law and legal things like real lawyers do every day.  Gives you a tingling feeling all over, doesn't it?!

The thing is that legal research isn't all that funky/scary.  A couple words of encouragement, knowing what resources to snag, what keywords to focus on, and you'll be off and running with all things legal research.  If you're still not clear on the concept(s), do not hesitate to tug on your friendly neighborhood county law Librarian's ear for a little one-on-one consult because "we're" here to help you!