Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing,
5th Edition

William H. Putman, Jennifer Albright

ISBN-13: 9780357619445
Copyright 2024 | Published
640 pages | List Price: USD $225.95

Become the "go to" paralegal at your firm as you prepare for a career in law with Putman/Albright's popular LEGAL RESEARCH, ANALYSIS, AND WRITING, 5E. This reader-friendly, step-by-step approach shows you how to conduct reliable digital and traditional legal research, analyze the results and write clear memoranda and other legal documents that are well supported. Each chapter begins with an interesting hypothetical scenario and ends by showing you how the chapter’s concepts apply to the scenario. You walk through the legal process as chapters discuss key facts and issue spotting, analysis and counter-analysis, research, secondary sources, citations and writing strong legal briefs and memoranda. Updates show you trusted sources for digital research, while the latest examples, Practice Alerts learning features and optional Cengage Infuse digital resources help you refine skills to stand out as a legal professional in today's tech-driven, competitive job market.


1. Introduction to Legal Principles and Authorities.
2. Introduction to Legal Research and Analysis.
3. Constitutions, Statutes, Administrative Law, and Court Rules—Research and Analysis.
4. Case Law—Research and Briefing.
5. Secondary Authority and Other Research Sources—Encyclopedias, Treatises, American Law Reports, Digests, Shepard's.
6. Secondary Authority—Periodicals, Restatements, Uniform Laws, Dictionaries, Legislative History, and Other Secondary Authorities.
7. Computers and Internet Legal Research.
8. Commercial Internet Research.
9. Legal Analysis—Key Facts.
10. Legal Analysis—Issue Identification (Spotting the Issue).
11. Legal Analysis—Stating the Issue.
12. Case Law Analysis—Is a Case on Point?
13. Counteranalysis.
14. Fundamentals of Writing.
15. The Writing Process for Effective Legal Writing.
16. Office Legal Memorandum: Issues and Facts.
17. Office Legal Memorandum: Analysis to Conclusion.
18. External Memoranda: Court Briefs.
19. Correspondence.
Appendix A: Court Opinions Referred to in the Text.
Appendix B: Appellate Court Brief.

  • William H. Putman

    William Putman is a lawyer and former instructor in the programs for Legal Assistant Studies at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque and Paralegal Studies at Santa Fe Community College. A member of the New Mexico Bar since 1975, he received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

  • Jennifer Albright

    Jennifer Albright was an instructor and the director of the paralegal studies and judicial studies programs at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque. She is currently an adjunct faculty member in legal assistant studies at Phoenix College and a professor of practice at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Professor Albright received her Juris Doctor degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law and her L.L.M. from Arizona State University. She a been a member of the New Mexico Bar since 1999.

  • RESEARCH UPDATES EXPLORE THE LATEST ONLINE AND ELECTRONIC RESOURCES: Revisions to chapters 3 through 8 now integrate discussions about today’s most current, popular online and electronic sources, including Lexis Advance, Nexis Uni, Shepard’s Citations®, Westlaw, KeyCite® and Bloomberg Law. Students also learn how to use non-commercial websites effectively to conduct primary and secondary legal research.

  • INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE AND APPROACH THROUGHOUT THIS EDITION DEMONSTRATE BOTH DIVERSITY AND RESPECT: Revised chapter hypothetical situations, examples and assignments have all been carefully reviewed and updated to ensure greater inclusivity that reflects the reality of both today’s student populations and future clients.

  • LEGAL HYPOTHETICALS CAPTURE READER INTEREST AND SHOWCASE THE IMPORTANCE OF CHAPTER CONCEPTS: Intriguing and direct hypothetical scenarios at the beginning of each chapter raise key legal questions and require students to leverage the chapter’s content to understand the issue’s relevance in the law and the real world. Examples at the end of the chapter demonstrate how to apply key legal concepts that students just learned to the chapter’s hypothetical opening, again reinforcing the relevance of the chapter’s content.

  • PRACTICE ALERTS HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANT CONCEPTS AND ETHICS AT WORK IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM: These Practice Alerts in each chapter draw students’ attention to the importance of specific concepts in today’s legal practice. This feature also highlights the significance of ethical duties when completing legal research and writing.

  • CLEAR READINGS HELP STUDENTS BETTER UNDERSTAND LEGAL JARGON, RESEARCH AND PRACTICES OF LAW: The authors use an approachable, easy-to-read format when discussing every topic to enable even those with limited exposure to the law to grasp legal terms, today’s court system and research and validation approaches. The authors also clearly introduce analysis of findings, writing formats and other concepts that are unique to the practice of law.

  • CHAPTER LEARNING FEATURES, EXAMPLES AND APPLICATIONS REINFORCE COMPREHENSION: Lists of key points within the readings keep readers focused on the important issues. Chapter-ending assignments also help students recall and apply new principles and techniques. As yet another layer of reinforcement, memorable examples appear after every important principle to help readers retain and internalize concepts.

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.

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