Legal Research in the Context of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

 Jennifer Sughrue

Southeastern Louisiana University

 Lisa G. Driscoll

University of North Carolina Charlotte


Legal research methodology is not included in the cluster of research and design courses offered to undergraduate and graduate students in education by traditional departments of research and foundations, so it becomes the responsibility of education law faculty to instruct students in legal methodology. This narrow corridor of opportunity for learning how to conduct legal research is sometimes and unnecessarily off-putting to students because they fear this line of inquiry is too obscure. Our purpose is to describe how beginning researchers in education law may approach legal research.  The article will assert the critical role legal research plays in education policy and practice and will unmask the supposed mystery that averts many graduate students from conducting legal research.

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