Legal research involves searching for some authority so that it can be connected and used with a different set of fact or issue. The amount of authoritative documents is quite large and the legal research professional will have to develop the skill to analyze the situation after a proper understanding of the different search techniques of legal research. A legal research has to develop awareness for the primary sources of law include different opinions of the judiciary known as cases and legal enactments also known as a statute.
What are the sources available for doing legal research? Well because of the great explosion in the IT sector legal research is no more like before. Earlier there were only limited sources that were looked into to by the legal research professional and lawyers but today there are huge volumes of document available and it becomes necessary for the law professionals to search them all. As the data available is quite large it is for the person to decide for himself how much time has to be spent on doing legal research.
Premium electronic primary sources are offered by the Lexis and also by the Westlaw systems. The Internet is also a good source for limitless materials that can not be found any where else. However many online site’s authoritativeness has to be questioned. More over the cost of searching huge quantity of documents has almost become prohibitive for many clients. Searching from print sources is also still a possibility. It would be ideal to do legal research using a combination of both paper print and electronic sources.
Secondary research sources will help speed up the process of locating, and understanding the primary source materials. Some of the secondary sources for legal research include,
- Law reviews
- Legal encyclopedia
- Bar journals
- Legal news papers
- A.L.R (American Law Reports)
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