If a researcher does not find enough or no relevant authorities, they may need to re-examine some of the early stages of the research process. Instead of spending hours researching, Comparing Laws allows you to quickly see how a law has changed over time. The process of applying the law to the facts of your case and advocating for a particular outcome requires more training than a single guide can provide. This guide does not replace the expertise of a lawyer, especially when the results of legal research are presented to a judge in court. A research question is designed, and formulating a hypothesis is the next step. Hypothesis testing is an essential strategy for empirical research. Second, there is an overview of the topic to explore. According to one author, the role of the hypothesis is to guide the researcher by delineating the field of research and keeping him on track. He sharpens his thinking and focuses on the most important facets of the problem.

One way to extend a search is to include synonyms of terms in the initial list. If a critical fact of the legal problem concerns a dormitory, perhaps opinions discussing buildings with similar characteristics are useful for analogies, such as an apartment or duplex. If a case involves a motorcycle, that vehicle may share important characteristics with other types of automobiles. Such synonyms can be useful not only to remind the researcher of the options they should know when using thematic indexes, but also to formulate advanced search queries discussed in Chapter 5. On the other hand, the conceptual approach is a search for meanings of terms and concepts whose validity is obvious. In general, the researcher should explain certain concepts for his study. Finally, the researcher must have a critical, curious and imaginative state of mind. A researcher may choose a topic to know the unknown or to refute certain existing theories. For example, the theory of natural law should be the central point of reference in research on the moral aspect of law or particular legislation.

The researcher may begin to ask questions about the legal problem at this stage of the research. Who are the people or organizations involved in the problem? What does their relationship look like? Is there obviously missing information in the scenario that forms the basis of the problem? The researcher will likely revisit the facts of the client`s legal problem several times during the research process to determine which facts are crucial to solving the problem, but at this initial stage, the researcher must do his best to internalize the basic structure of the story in order to re-examine these facts at a later stage. Documents, manuals and practice guides are commonly referred to as secondary resources. Secondary resources are a good starting point for finding specific legal information. They summarize the current state of the law and tell you which specific cases and laws are important. This is where lawyers often begin their legal research. Jurisdiction: In which court would a lawsuit be filed (or has already been commenced) related to the issue? In a literature review for a thesis or dissertation, the researcher must synthesize previous research to gain a new perspective and critically analyze existing knowledge to build a new argument. If students use this research process to keep their research strategic and organized, they should feel comfortable using any database. And it`s important for students to feel comfortable doing research, as they usually only conduct research in a way that works for them.

For example, the legal research topic may cover any legislative scheme, any jurisprudential debate or any topical legal issue. Familiarize yourself with the details of the legal problem. Always gather the most important facts so you know “who, what, why, when, where and how” of your case. And take the time to write everything down, especially since you`ll likely need to include a statement of fact in any submission or briefing. Even if you don`t think a fact might be relevant now, write it down because it may prove relevant later. These facts are also useful for identifying your legal problem. The easiest way to find out if something is still a good law is to use a legal tool known as a citator, which will show you subsequent cases where your source has been cited, as well as any negative stories, including whether it has been overturned, reversed, questioned, or simply differentiated. TexasLawHelp`s mission is to provide free and reliable legal information to low-income Texans. The information on TexasLawHelp can give you a general idea of the law before you start a more intensive legal research. This information can also help you determine where to start your legal research. One way to limit the initial research passport to primary authorities is to focus on collecting authorities that are constrained on the legal issue. If the researcher is working on a legal issue subject to federal law and filed in the Southern District Court of Texas, he or she should not begin researching cases before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals or investigating the opinions of the Oregon State Court.

Convincing primary authorities should not be prosecuted until the researcher has determined that the binding authorities are not sufficiently addressing the legal problem. However, the researcher would be foolish not to mention the convincing authorities that seem particularly relevant when they encounter them in the search for mandatory authorities; Such a note would save the researcher time if a convincing authority turned out to be a necessary line of inquiry. If the researcher has been informed of the relevant primary authorities in the early stages of the process, he or she can use those authorities to find relevant secondary authorities. Citators are useful tools for this purpose. As the reader may recall from Chapter 5, citators can be used to find a list of all primary and secondary authorities available on a particular research platform, citing the originating authority under investigation. This is a quick way to see a list of treaties, practice papers, and law journal articles on the platform that may relate to the topic. The researcher can refine these results using the search and filtering functions provided by the citator. Legal annotations can also lead a researcher to useful primary and secondary materials. Eight acceptable ways to achieve originality in the research project or thesis: If the researcher identifies relevant constitutional provisions, laws or regulations, they should review the annotations for references to relevant primary and secondary authorities.

There does not need to be a separate chapter on literature search. Suppose the research project is a doctoral thesis or a M.Phil thesis. In this step, the researcher will apply a combination of many of the research techniques described in the previous chapters to thoroughly examine the primary authorities for the relevant materials. Below you will find a proposal for further development of research techniques. Remember that not all legal issues are regulated by all sources of law. Secondary sources will often let the reader know which sources of law apply in an area of law, but an in-depth researcher will conduct their own research on the subject to verify this. Black`s Law Dictionary defines legal research as “finding and bringing together authorities that deal with a legal issue.” But what does this really mean? Essentially, this means that legal research is the process you use to identify and find the laws – including laws, regulations, and court opinions – that apply to the facts of your case. Hierarchy of powers: At this point, the researcher may also want to describe what types of authorities will be a mandatory authority for the problem. A research question usually refers to a problem or problem that has not yet been solved.

A hypothesis must be carefully formulated in order to draw correct and reasonable conclusions at the end of the research. But above all, it must be testable. Questions about the facts of the initial legal problem can be asked to establish the list of keywords: What is the relationship between the parties to the case? Are there things or places that are contentious? Have the legal concepts of art been discussed? Have any legal complaints or objections been identified? The answers to these questions may have been identified during the first two steps of the search process and can now be included in a list of search terms.