The 10 Best Resources For Professionals
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The Importance of Legal Research
Legal research is described as the identification and retrieval of information that will be used in supporting decision making where legality is concern. You can get the services of lawyers, law librarians, paralegals or anyone who wants legal information to perform the process of legal research. These legal information are obtainable for free from printed books and online legal research websites, and information portals that you can pay from database vendors.
Generally, legal research covers finding primary authority cases, finding secondary authority about a certain specific legal topic, and finding non-legal sources for supporting information. Conducting legal research does not have to have hard and fast rule to follow, and this is because there are different approaches in doing a legal research. On the other hand, researches have general guidelines that they follow when conducting research.
First guideline is to start with a preliminary analysis of facts and then start framing your questions from there. You will then continue your research by consulting your secondary sources, evaluating the research, locating of primary authority, re-evaluating of the research, stopping the research, and following the rules of black letter law.
As you make the preliminary analysis, facts and details of the people, place, and acts involved should be identified, aside from your familiarization with related jargon. During research, it is important that you have proper understanding of all issues gathered. Other guide for you is to be able to identify the different theories of legal matters, the procedures and be able to specify what you are looking for. With regards to your secondary sources, it is good to refer to law reviews, treatises and encyclopedias.
As to the identification of the right legal theories, you have to see if these have to be modified, or if new theories are found that would require you to conduct more research. There is also the core legal theory that one must review and see if being developed at the present.
Sources of primary authorities could be found using online and offline secondary sources, such as court opinions, statutes, regulatory law, different digests, law publications, and study aids. A repetition of your legal research and update and re-evaluation is necessary until you produce a satisfactory result of information. When doing legal research, you are to be in the know of the basic black letter rules. The black letter law are those basic standard elements for certain field of law that is free from doubt or dispute and is generally well known.