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Statutory Interpretation

Ended Jun 28, 2019

Full course description

About the Course

Statutes can have different interpretations that can change a case's outcome. How do courts clarify this ambiguity? This course will give you context for statutory language and the common (and sometimes conflicting) guidelines that aid in interpretation.

This minicourse will teach you about statutory interpretation and some of the intricacies of the legislative process. It also offers a review of statutory and regulatory research, which are essential when dealing with questions of statutory interpretation.

What You Gain

Once you successfully complete this minicourse, you will be able to:

  • Understand the complexities of the legislative process and its effect on statutory language.
  • Differentiate between theories of statutory interpretation.
  • Explain, recognize, and apply different canons of interpretation.
  • Locate relevant statutes and ensure that they are up-to-date.
  • Recognize the basic structural elements of statutes.
  • Locate and analyze case law interpreting and applying a statute.
  • Understand the relationship between statutes and regulations.

Meet the Instructor

Professor Susan deMaine is the Assistant Director for Information Services at the Ruth Lilly Law Library, Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She teaches the required Legal Research class for all first-year law students, and the elective Advanced Legal Research. She has published and presented on a range of topics including improving online instruction, information governance, and access to legal information.

Professor deMaine is active in professional service at both the university and national levels with a focus on librarian leadership and scholarship. In 2016, she received the American Association of Law Libraries Emerging Leader award.


Legal Analysis, Research, and Communication; Legal Research
Length: 2 hrs.
Credit: 0
Audience: Public
Program: No
Type: Online only