Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2007

Publication Title

Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing


online tutorials, classroom instruction, librarians, learning styles


In the fall of 2005, two librarians, a legal research and writing program director, and an instructional technologist at Wayne State University received a grant to create online tutorials introducing novices to the basics of legal research. Tutorials were planned on subjects that the library and the legal research and writing program had traditionally covered jointly via library workshops, coordinated with classroom instruction for first-year law students. Since the mission of the law library is to support campus-wide activity and to assist members of the general public with legal research needs, the content of the tutorials was designed to serve multiple audiences.With a year to finish the tutorials in time for the next incoming class, the group began work toward the completion of seven tutorials on a shoestring budget of $4,000.

Since the completion of the tutorials, librarians have asked us directly or made general calls for information looking for ideas about tools, costs, and the process of beginning similar projects. Our response to this question has not been to chronicle our journey but, rather, to share a few lessons we learned from the process.