Developing Essential Legal Research Skills


When it comes to legal matters, disputes, and courtroom battles, building a case and an objective argument is a priority that you should have on your list. And you can only come up with a good case when it is backed with data and concrete proof. In this regard, you know that you have research that is of good quality.

That is a must, but many lawyers and paralegals can be quite careless and may even overlook some essential details. If you are a budding legal professional, you know that developing legal research skills is a must. While you may have taken research subjects while pursuing your degree at a top college or university, it is worth noting that you can always sharpen your existing skills.

Here are some of the things to keep in mind:

See to it that you understand the legal issue

Your efforts to look into different reading materials and digests for hours will be futile when you don’t understand the issue. When you do not fully understand the case, its nature, and possible outcome, there is an excellent chance that you will miss the point. You will miss the argument that will help build your case. So before you dive in to the research proper, analyze the case first. You can study it with your fellow legal professional.

Collate a list of websites

Your firm indeed has a library of resources online, and it is probably using third-party sources for case citations and studies. With this in mind, you should collate all the possible websites that may have something do with the case you are working on. Bookmark them to access them as soon as possible. It is also worth your time to check out other legal resources, such as newspapers, court reports, and local court websites. Doing this will ensure that you have a wide range of sources where you can get your needed information.

Seek help

There may come a time when working on your own will get increasingly difficult. You may even believe that you have encountered a wall or a dead-end. If this is the case, you should start asking for help. Consider asking your fellow paralegal, lawyer, or legal secretary. The legal librarian in your local library may even provide you with a list of sources for your case. The state or county legal library may also be an excellent place to look into.

Check other cases


It is a common practice to find similar cases and check the arguments used. When you have found a particular helpful case, you can use this to find other useful cases. That should be easy, as some usually cite different legal situations in the document. Online, some words and lines in the materials are often hyperlinked. You have to follow the trail.

You can do it!

Legal research can be exhausting, but you need to be as detailed and comprehensive as much as possible. That is because a strong case only happens when the data is enough and credible.

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