This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Asper Fellowship Research Guide" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Asper Fellowship Research Guide   Tags: course page  

This research guide is created for the Asper Fellowship Program of the University of Maryland School of Law. The guide is directed to provide fellows in the workforce with a starting point for legal research, with an emphasis on legislative research.
Last Updated: Oct 5, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Law Library Research Department

Profile Image
Law Library Research Department
Logo - FacebookLogo - Twitter
Contact Info
User Services Desk
Thurgood Marshall Law Library
Send Email

Chat with a Librarian

Available Mon-Fri  NOON - 6PM
to UM Law Community Only

If you do not receive an immediate response, please contact the User Services Desk.



This guide is directed to provide the student attorney in Maryland with a starting point for practice-oriented legal research, with special emphasis on the area of appellate advocacy.


Getting Started

With any project, unless you are already knowledgeable about the topic area, it's best to start with secondary sources and then to consult primary sources. Secondary sources such as handbooks, guides, and manuals, as well as sample forms and other practice materials, provide an attorney with rules and guidelines for law practice within certain jurisdictions. Articles and books can provide you with an overview of your topic and help you think of search terms you might not have thought of otherwise. They also cite primary authorities such as statutes and cases. You can use the primary sources cited in secondary sources as a jumping off point to find other primary sources in several ways:

  • Shepardize or KeyCite them to see what other sources have cited them (visit the Shepard's Citation Service tutorial or the KeyCite tutorial for more information);
  • Read cases to see what other sources they cite;
  • On Westlaw or in West Digests (for example, the Maryland Digest), look up the topics and key numbers in the cases you've already read to find other cases that address the same issues;
  • On Lexis, use "More Like This" to find other sources with wording or citation patterns similar to the document you started with;
  • Read annotations to statutes to find cross references to cases that have analyzed them or regulations that have been issued under their authority.

Send Us Your Comments

Was this information helpful?

How useful is this page?
(1 = Not Useful, 5 = Very Useful!)

Additional comments:

Your Email:


Loading  Loading...