Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Young Lawyers Conference

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

Professional Development Series

These programs aim to assist you in planning your career from making long term plans to how to adapt and behave in a professional setting. Receive advice from successful young lawyers and seasoned practitoners that will set the building blocks to a fulfilling career. If you are interested in contributing content, contact Chris Fortier at


Legal Research 


You have left law school and the world of unlimited free legal research. Now that your services are being billed to clients, you have to do your best to provide the best service in the most efficient style. Follow two distinguished law librarians as they refresh your research skills and hone them to be client-friendly.



Faculty: Ben Doherty, Esq. and Leslie Ashbrook, Esq., University of Virginia School of Law Library, Charlottesville




0:28 – Themes and Advice from Judges


1:57 – Theme 1: Preserve Credibility by slowing down and getting the big picture


4:02 – Theme 2: Spend less time online searching and more time analyzing your findings


13:40 – Theme 3: Take Advantage of Secondary Sources: Use Books


21:14 - Theme 4a: Use tools, including online databases, for their strengths: Free Databases


27:49 - Theme 4b: Once you have some background, turn to Westlaw and Lexis


38:25 - When to use free or subscription databases for Virginia Legal Research


39:30 - What to Remember


Return to the Professional Development Series.