Review: The Legal Research
Process
Where do you start?
What do you look for?
When do you stop?
Issue
Spotting:
Break
down the
client file
What
issues to
research
What
sources
will answer
your
questions?
Where
to
resea...
Step 1: What do you need to
research?
• What issues in your
client’s case do you
need to research?
• Think also of
jurisdi...
Step 2: Make a Plan
What types of
sources do you
need to
research?
• Primary
• Secondary
Where should
you look for
these s...
Step 3: Research
Secondar
y Sources
Analyze and
explain the law;
you may want
to start here for
explanation and
for citati...
Researching Statutes
Annotated
Codes
• Text of the law
• History
• Annotations to
related cases,
secondary
sources
Unannot...
Researching Cases
Full-Text Searching
Headnotes to a
Case
Key Numbers/
Digests
Citators
Annotations in
Annotated Codes,
Se...
Step 4: When to Stop?
Currency
Is your
law up to
date?
Citator
Is your
law still
good
law?
Iteration
Are the
same
cases
re...
Issue
Spotting:
Break
down the
client file
What
issues to
research
What
sources
will answer
your
questions?
Where
to
resea...
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Visualizing the Basic Legal Research Process - PPT

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Visualizing the Basic Legal Research Process - PPT

  1. 1. Review: The Legal Research Process Where do you start? What do you look for? When do you stop?
  2. 2. Issue Spotting: Break down the client file What issues to research What sources will answer your questions? Where to researc h Statutes Regulation s Cases Secondary What sources to researc h Currency Up-to-Date Recurring When to stop
  3. 3. Step 1: What do you need to research? • What issues in your client’s case do you need to research? • Think also of jurisdiction Issue Spotting
  4. 4. Step 2: Make a Plan What types of sources do you need to research? • Primary • Secondary Where should you look for these sources? • Print/Electronic • Free/Low-Cost/ Subscription What features of these sources and databases will benefit your research? • Citators • Annotated/ Unannotated Codes • Headnotes/Key Numbers
  5. 5. Step 3: Research Secondar y Sources Analyze and explain the law; you may want to start here for explanation and for citations to leading primary sources Primary Sources Provide the text of the law itself; you may find yourself going to secondary sources for understanding of primary sources
  6. 6. Researching Statutes Annotated Codes • Text of the law • History • Annotations to related cases, secondary sources Unannotated Codes • Text of the law • History When possible, look for an annotated code when researching statutes.
  7. 7. Researching Cases Full-Text Searching Headnotes to a Case Key Numbers/ Digests Citators Annotations in Annotated Codes, Secondary Sources How to Find Cases
  8. 8. Step 4: When to Stop? Currency Is your law up to date? Citator Is your law still good law? Iteration Are the same cases recurring in every search?
  9. 9. Issue Spotting: Break down the client file What issues to research What sources will answer your questions? Where to researc h Statutes Regulation s Cases Secondary What sources to researc h Currency Up-to-Date Recurring When to stop Questions?

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