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Summer Clerks Research Guide

Strategies and research tips for working law students

Read and Plan

In judicial clerking, the "Read and Plan" step in the research process takes on additional meaning.

Motions and appeals almost always present multiple issues. Beyond the basic questions, pay attention to: 

  • Jurisdictional issues and defects
  • Procedural vs. substantive issues
  • Logical order to addressing the issues?
  • Standards
    • Appellate: what is the standard of review?
    • Trial: what is the standard for granting the motion?
    • Which party must meet burden?
    • Judge likely has a file of past orders/opinions with key language