Legal Research Methods

The faculty at 1791 Delegates draw upon the field of legal studies to prepare lessons based on rigorous legal research and legal analysis. Dr. Nathan C. Walker, while completing his doctorate in First Amendment law at Columbia University, articulated a five-step process for conducting legal research that informs our promotion of legal literacy as a fundamental civic competency. This five-step process served as the intellectual scaffolding of our legal studies curriculum, a method he uses to teach non-lawyers how to conduct legal research:

Step 1. Synthesized Judicial Tests by Cause of Action

Step 2. Collected Primary and Secondary Source Documents

Step 3. Articulate Legal Research Questions

Step 4. Set the Factual Parameters of the Legal Case/Question

Step 5. Conduct the Legal Analysis

Reference: Nathan C. Walker, The First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers’ Religious Garb. New York: Routledge,  2019.