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Legal Research Tips and Tricks for Paralegals


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Legal Research Tips and Tricks for Paralegals

  1. 1. Paralegal Power Break Skills Development: Legal Research By Paralegal Rainmakers
  2. 2. •Session Overview Objectives and Goals Legal Researching The Scientific Approach Legal Research Checklists Planning and Researching Conclusion Pulling it all Together Item 1 Components of Effective Legal Research Creating a Plan Item 2 Item 5 Item 3 Item 4 Overview of Sources of Law Looking in the right place
  3. 3. Science and the Law? 1. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary scientific is defined as “done in an organized way that agrees with the methods and principles of science.” 2. Avoid approaching legal research as an artistic expression of ideals and norms. 3. Utilizing legal reasoning to guide the legal research path. “ 4. The legal research path in a sense is a story board but must also follow conventional methods to extract truth to support claims. 5. Solid legal research minimizes doubt to its smallest part.
  4. 4. • Define the Issue • Determine the various aspects of the issue • Parties involved • Relief to be sought • Potential claims and defenses • Places and things involved in the problem • Create strong key words • Determine your research path • Do you know the controlling jurisdiction? • Do you have any citations to relevant primary authority? •Effective Legal Research Piecing the puzzle together
  5. 5. Constitutions Statutes Court Opinions Administrative Regulations Relationship between branches of government and the legal rules that they create: 1. Constitution 2. Executive Branch a. Administrative Regulations 3. Legislative Branch b. Statutes 4. Judicial Branch a. Court Opinions b. Case Law •Sources of Law Four Main Sources of Law
  6. 6. DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE PLAN • Obtain Preliminary Information on the Problem • Write Out a Plan • Work Effectively • Keep effective notes. • Stop researching when your research has come full circle. • Find help if you need it • If too much material narrow the problem. • Secondary Source Research • Research with Citators • Statutory Research • Federal Legislative History Research • Federal Administrative Law Research • Subject-Matter Service Research • Electronic Legal Research RESEARCH SOURCES •Legal Research Checklists Planning and Researching
  7. 7. THANK YOU Questions 7 rainmakers@agilitysvcs. com 4225 Executive Square, Suite 600 La Jolla, CA 92037 866 – 255 - 7175 @PRainmakers