The ability to identify, evaluate and properly use legal texts is at the core of a lawyer's work.  Legal Research is the study of the texts that comprise the foundation on which lawyers study precedents, identify issues, analyze outcomes and formulate positions.  Mastery of this skill is essential to your success as a legal practitioner and/or scholar. 

Wei Luo, J.D., M.L.I.S. 

General Information | Course Policies and Procedures | Readings
Methods of Instruction | Grading | Syllabus, PowerPoints & Assignments    | Link to Introduction to US Law

Contact Information - General: 
  • Tel: (314) 935-8045 
  • Fax: (314) 935-8149 
  • E-mail: 
  • Anheuser Busch Hall, Room 257A     
  • Carole Luther is the Administrative Assistant for Information Resources and will be your contact person in the event you cannot reach your instructor directly, Room 455. 
  • Regular Office Hours: 8:30 AM to 11:55 AM 
Return to Top

Course Policies 
and Procedures
  • Consistent attendance and timely completion of the assigned readings are essential to your success in this class. As a result, attendance will be taken at each class meeting. Although I will be teaching two sections, you are required to attend the class meeting at the time scheduled for your section UNLESS you have specific authorization from me to attend an alternate section at another time. If a class meeting date falls on a religious holiday you wish to observe, please contact me prior to the week of that class. An appropriate alternative section on another date will be chosen in those instances. 
  • A quiz may be given.
  • Weekly research assignments will be due at the beginning of each class meeting.  Successful completion of all assignments is required. Failure to successfully complete an assignment will result in the assignment being returned for further work, or, alternatively, a new research situation being assigned. Credit for an assignment will not be issued until it has been completed to the satisfaction of the instructor.  See the section on Grading for more information. 
Return to Top

Readings Required Book
  • Morris L. Cohen and Kent C. Olson, Legal Research, 10th Edition. West Group, 2010. 
This book is available at the Washington University bookstore in the Mallinkrodt Student Center. Multiple  copies of these books will also be available on reserve (two-hour checkout period) at the Circulation Desk in the Law School Library. 

Please read the chapters assigned and the PowerPoint file before each class.

Return to Top

Methods of Instruction
  • Lecture 
  • In-class discussion 
  • Research assignments - Weekly
  • Computer lab training
Return to Top

Grading Grades will be based on the following factors: 
  • Successful and timely completion of weekly research assignments (100%).
    • Satisfactory completion of assignments 
      • No points will be awarded unless ALL assignments have been satisfactorily completed.
    • Due dates will be strictly enforced. 
      • Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Of course, any earlier submission of assignments are encouraged and welcome so I can discuss them at the beginning of the next class. If you would like to turn in your assignments earlier, please give them to me in my office. Because unauthorized late submissions are unacceptable in the legal profession and unfair to other students, penalties will be assessed for late assignments.  Penalties may include a point reduction in your grade.  Time extensions will only be granted in the case of extreme and unforeseeable emergencies, and any request for an extension must be made before the due date time for the assignment.
All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date published on the schedule.  Any assignments turned in after the beginning of class are late. Plagiarism is not tolerated. The Washington University School of Law Honor Code applies to this class and will be enforced.  Please be aware that the deliberate removal or secretion of Library materials is a violation of this Code.  Offenses against the Honor Code will be referred to the Honor Council for prosecution. 
Return to Top

Syllabus This is the schedule of readings and other assignments.