An important part of learning legal research—or any other skill—is practice. But to make your practice productive, it helps to have some guidance, perhaps someone giving you a quick demonstration. Your Gallagher Public Services team can't be with you when you're conducting online searches at your kitchen table, but we're creating some short videos to answer some common questions and demonstrate some useful research skills.
The Reference Team is available all week. Call, chat, or email us M-Th, 9am-7pm and Friday 9am-4pm. You can also visit us in the Reference Office M-F, noon to 4pm. UW Law students, faculty, and staff can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And people from outside the law school may use our Ask Us! form.
(Photo is a member of the reference team, in her office, ready to respond to your call, chat, or email.)
Most of our videos demonstrate search techniques in more than one online system. We want you to understand that most techniques—such as narrowing a search by requiring terms to be close together—can be used in Westlaw, Lexis, HeinOnline, or Bloomberg Law, as well as in other systems.
Good driver's ed instructors don't want to teach students only how to drive a Subaru or a Ford, but how to be safe and skillful drivers in any car. And we don't want to teach you how to use just one online service but to be efficient, thoughtful, and effective researchers in any system.
That's not to say that you shouldn't learn the details of the system you're using. We encourage you to attend trainings, read help screens, and watch online tutorials from each of the online systems—just as you'd read the owner's manual for the make and model of car you're driving.
Graphic: 1964 Meyers Manx dune buggy, Valley Center, San Diego County. Library of Congress.
The Gallagher Basics video series was created for orientation. The videos cover basics of the legal system, registering for databases, study aids, and more. They are included in this guide, but you can also see them in order by going to the Gallagher Basics guide: