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Summer Clerks Research Guide

Strategies and research tips for working law students

Criminal Sources

Practice Tip: Remember jury instructions, sentencing guidelines, and state-specific guides for criminal issues.

Jury Instructions and Sentencing Guidelines

Jury instructions are usually not covered in depth in LWR, but practicing lawyers use them all the time. Jury instructions are a great place to start your research because they lay out the elements to a single cause of action and tell what laws apply in simple language. (Keep in mind that these instructions are not "the law.")

Note: These jury instruction resources were formerly published under the names BAJI (civil) and CALJIC (criminal). While Thomson-West continues to publish and update BAJI and CALJIC, these instructions are no longer approved by state court rules.

Criminal Issue Guides

If you need to go beyond jury instructions, try using a more general guide like Causes of Action or AmJur Proof of Facts.