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Georgia Legal Research

This guide covers the basics of doing legal research for Georgia laws and cases

Assignments & Research Worksheets

Legal Research Assignment

Goal:  The goal of this assignment is to apply what we learned in class about basic criminal law research to a hypothetical criminal law situation.  The assignment will allow students to practice finding similarities and differences between cases already decided by the courts and the facts in the hypothetical.  To best represent their clients, lawyers and paralegals need to be able to argue how unfavorable cases are different than their client’s situation, and how favorable cases are similar.

Legal issue:  Did Renee meet the “without authority” element of the Georgia burglary statute?

Due Date:  October 29, 2018

Weight of assignment: 100 points

Type of activity: Individual--once we leave the library class on research, collaboration with your classmates is not permitted.  You can email Ms. Luciani with questions.  She will check email once a day to respond to general questions about the assignment, but not about a student’s specific answers.

Legal Research Assignment Hypothetical

Facts of case: Renee worked as a server at We Love Steak, a restaurant in Lawrenceville, Georgia, for 2 years. All of the servers wear uniforms at We Love Steak. The female servers wear red checked long-sleeved shirts, overalls, boots and cowboy-shaped nametags. We Love Steaks offers a breakroom for its servers. The breakroom is located in a hallway, behind a curtain and past the customer bathrooms. There is a sign on the breakroom door that reads: “Employees Only.” The door has a numerical passcode that changes every Saturday at midnight. There are lockers inside the breakroom in which the servers can store their personal items. The servers can bring their own locks to secure the lockers, but most people don’t bother. Renee quit her job after her lunch shift on Saturday by sending an email to her boss. On Sunday, during the busy brunch shift, Renee walked into the We Love Steak wearing shorts, sneakers and a Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirt. She asked Wayne, the host, for the breakroom code. When he asked her why, she said she needed to check her work schedule for the next week. Wayne gave Renee the code and did not see her again that day. Renee used the code to enter the breakroom. Once inside, she removed all the cash and credit cards she could find from the wallets stored in the lockers. She hid the money and cards in her bag, waited until Wayne turned his back to the front door, and walked out of the restaurant.

Issue: Did Renee’s actions satisfy the enters “without authority” element of burglary in Georgia?


Legal Research Worksheet

Client & Case Number:
Date Received:
Assigned By:
Date Due:
Time & Cost Restraints:
End Product:                  ( ) Opinion Letter         ( ) Memo           ( ) Brief               ( ) Other


Background Facts: What are the legally significant facts?

Issue Statement:  The issue statement should be a concise statement of the legal issue. What are the legal concepts, rules of law, and the significant facts?


Jurisdiction (State, Federal, etc.):


Key Terms: Terms that are most related to your issue. Exclude terms that are so common that they would return results not related to the issue.  Consider synonyms and antonyms for your terms.  Also consider broader or narrower related terms.

Source Selection: At this point, you should decide what sources to consult.  Secondary sources are a great place to start if you are unfamiliar with a particular are of law or if you do not have any citations to primary sources.  Alternatively, primary sources may be a good place to start if you already have a citation. Shepardizing, KeyCiting, or BCiting a case, as well as consulting an annotated code can provide you with additional sources. 


Secondary Sources: Treatises, Legal Encyclopedias, ALR, Restatements, and Law Reviews & Journals


Search Terms:

Terms: ______________ and, or, w/p, w/s, w/___ ______________ and, or, w/p, w/s, w/___ ______________

             ______________ and, or, w/p, w/s, w/___ ______________ and, or, w/p, w/s, w/___ ______________

             ______________ and, or, w/p, w/s, w/___ ______________ and, or, w/p, w/s, w/___ ______________            



Relevant Cases, Statutes, Regulations, and Topics & Key Numbers:


Prepared by Austin Martin Williams, Updated 10/18/2018
Consulted guides from NYLS Mendik Library and USF Dorraine Zief Law Library to create this guide.