Friday, May 15, 2015

Class Highlight: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy with Judy Russell

If you are lucky enough to get into Judy Russell’s Advanced Legal Concepts class at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, then you are lucky indeed. Judy is a passionate blogger, lecturer, and a leading voice in the genealogical community. Her class uniquely blends her dual expertise of genealogy and the law.

A crucial and sometimes overlooked tenant of genealogy is to understand why and how a record was created, and the Advanced Legal Concepts class deeply explores that theme. In addition to legal history, the skills to apply the law to genealogical problems will be taught. Classes with focus on specific legal disciplines like criminal, civil, and naturalization, as well as the resources housed in court houses and major university law libraries.

Because the class covers the court and legal system so thoroughly, a familiarity with common court and probate records and basic legal terminology is recommended.

Juliana Szucs attended Judy’s class this year and remarked:
“There have been so many times while researching someone in my family when I’ve wondered, “Why did they do that?” Sometimes the answers to why our ancestors behaved, or why they appear in certain records, hinge on the state, local, and federal laws that governed them. The Genealogical Law Library has helped me build my skills in better understanding the types of laws that impacted my ancestors, and importantly, where to find out what those laws were. Taught masterfully by first-rate instructors (led by the venerable Judy Russell), this class presented a fascinating look at the law as it relates to genealogy with case studies and examples from the U.S. and abroad.”

Have questions about Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy, and if it’s the right class for you? Email us at 

See Judy Russell in action at her blog, The Legal Genealogist.

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