The proposed realist and rhetorical approach to legal research applies to every conceivable legal problem and provides the student a conceptual foundation not only for solving any legal dispute, but for successfully completing any transactions with which he or she will be confronted. Part I of this article will demonstrate why law students should learn to research the relevant audiences in the legal drama and to research the unpublished and often unwritten rules and practices that these audiences follow. Part II will show how. Part III will present a comprehensive legal problem solving model that integrates these new dimensions of legal research with traditional research, and will illustrate how the substantive law teacher, the legal research teacher, and the clinical law teacher can incorporate this model into the classroom and into case simulations and writing and research assignments.
Thomas Michael McDonnell, Playing Beyond the Rules: A Realist and Rhetoric-Based Approach to Researching the Law and Solving Legal Problems, 67 UMKC L. Rev. 285 (1998), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/283/.