Legal Research

Topics: Law, Legal research, Common law Pages: 13 (4166 words) Published: May 11, 2013



Legal research is the crux and the very foundation of all legal works. It commences with an analysis of the facts of a case, after which issues are framed and then background information and other relevant materials are collected with regard to each issue. The next step involves organizing the collected materials and assessing it following which one arrives at conclusions. While researching due importance is to be given to the primary sources than secondary sources. The primary sources of law are authoritative basis of law created by law-making bodies like parliaments, courts and administrative authorities. Parliamentary bills, legislation, statutory rules, regulations and case laws form the primary sources of law. Secondary sources are not as reliable as primary sources and include books, textbooks, literature, encyclopedia, dictionaries and glossaries in the field of law. Legal research plays a very important role in recommending solutions to existing problems of the society or in solving the already solved problems in better way. It also helps to discover or invent new legal ideas and technologies for legal professionals. As we know, that legal research can either make or break a case. Therefore, legal professionals must carry out on their parts some level of legal research before filing a lawsuit and giving verdict to it. Failing to pursue research, a case may fail to present its strength and verdicts may be made in favor of wrong person. Legal research helps analyze legal professionals about the case effectively and award justices to the genuine victims. In order to carry out legal research, by the legal professionals, it shall be required to follow the legal research method as mentioned above efficiently and effectively by all legal professionals. In the end legal research method helps to impart just and genuine verdict in favor of true victims. It enables the legal system to function effectively. To effectively function the judiciary of a country, legal professionals including legal research have a crucial and very important role to play. Legal research is "the process of identifying and retrieving information necessary to support legal decision-making. In its broadest sense, legal research includes each step of a course of action that begins with an analysis of the facts of a problem and concludes with the application and communication of the results of the investigation. The processes of legal research vary according to the country and the legal system involved. However, legal research generally involves tasks such as: 1) finding primary sources of law, or primary authority, in a given jurisdiction (cases, statutes, regulations, etc.); 2) searching secondary authority (for example, law reviews, legal dictionaries, legal treatises, and legal encyclopedias such as American Jurisprudence and Corpus Juris Secundum), for background information about a legal topic; and 3) searching non-legal sources for investigative or supporting information. Legal research is performed by anyone with a need for legal information, including lawyers, law librarians, and paralegals. Sources of legal information range from printed books, to free legal research websites (like Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute,, Martindale Hubbell,, and CanLII) and information portals to fee database vendors such as Wolters Kluwer, Chancery Law Chronicles,[2] LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law. Law libraries around the world provide research services to help their patrons find the legal information they need in law schools, law firms and other research environments. Many law libraries and institutions provide free access to legal information on the web, either individually or via collective action, such as with the Free Access to Law Movement.

Legal research is what supports the legal decision making. It is in other...
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