Legal Research – How to & Understand the Law

Not anyone can afford Lexis or Westlaw, the two biggest subscriber based on-line legal information. In law school we had access to both, because both companies wanted to earn your loyalty for when you got out and started practicing. Many firms have one or the other, and I reckon that large firms may for you to both. Despite access to at least of these, I find that I often find things faster and easier with free resources. Many states have statutes and such on-line these days. More and more are becoming available all the time.

That’s when the book “Legal Research” comes in. It provides to be able to follow research methods to assist you answer your legal questions. In an effort to has sections for on-line research as well as info about law libraries for people who have access to one.

The book consists of 386 pages divided among ten information packed chapters. The chapters include:
One: Knowing Basics with the Law. Brief descriptions of the things the law is, involving law, state versus federal law, and also the court network. Too basic for an attorney, however for the layperson the book was written for, this can be a good acclimatation.

Two: Finding Legal Products. This chapter explains where legal information is located, primary and secondary sources, websites for legal topics, and legal research websites. It offers Lexis and Westlaw, however other sites that are free of charge. I like the tips and warnings through out the book too. Good caution not every opinion you find is good law. Obvious to one who had it drilled into them during law school, but probably not known numerous laypeople.

Three: Identifying Your Legal Issue. In order to know to be able to go looking, like may be the case civil or criminal, figuring out the area of law you would like to research, what resources will an individual with try not to to find, and deciding on your legal research question. This is important, you want to know what you are really hunting for before you travel searching.

Four: Finding and Using Secondary Experts. This chapter explores sources such as online resources (including a bit about deciding if reliable), self-help legal books, legal encyclopedias, form books, practice manuals, continuing legal education publications, law reviews, and many. Many law firm will have a lot in their kinds of resources, may will find even more at a law library. This chapter provides for a brief an assessment what these sources are.

Five: Finding and Using Constitutions, Statutes, Regulations, and Ordinances. Tend to be some the almost all legislatively or administratively created law. This chapter explains how to find these resources and how to use them. It covers finding and using constitutions, finding federal statutes, finding state statutes, understanding them, finding legal act regulations and also rules and ordinances. Both of these are vital depending on your own own particular hassle. This chapter is a good introduction to this world of “laws” for anyone that are charting unfamiliar territory.

Six: Finding Cases. Quantity our law is not found in statutes, but in the decisions of cases that already have been created the decision. These cases interpreted laws and have grown to be the rule until legislature changes it, or another case overrules it. Roe v. Wade is individuals a famous case of which may be looked to regarding abortion law. This chapter helps the reader learn tips on how to use citations to find cases, find cases on your internet, find cases within the law library.

Seven: Using Case Legislated rules. This chapter actually explains what a case is, that they are published, and how cases affect later quarrels. If you matter relies on case law, this chapter will assist.
Eight: Validating Your Look. I pointed out the tip earlier, so, as chapter goes further aid you guaranteed that you have “good the legal system.” It teaches you tips on how to Shepardize a Case, a task we lawyers use to ensure the cases we are relying on are still good. An individual are trying to make in instances yourself, you need to be sure you are relying on “good law.” These are the types of things lawyers know which laypeople don’t.

Nine: Organizing and Putting Your Legal Research unit. One thing clerks, legal interns, and associates spend a lot of time doing is get to know. Once you find the information, ought to put that find in written form for things that asked in order to find getting this done. This chapter provides the basics for writing a legal memorandum. Quite a bit less thorough as the semester class most 1st year law students take, but good for your non-lawyer. Can be a brief section about going to the court and a legal court process resulting in a couple pages on finding and dealing with an attorney at law.

Ten: Research Hypothetical and Memorandum. Maybe it is because lawyer improve by case studies and examples that this chapter supplies a research problem, how get the facts, and then how to approach realistic to studying. It’s very short, and so it will give the non-lawyer a little example of how to look at the law and accomplish finding the way to go.

The book chapters stop here on page 255. Another 100 plus pages can be a glossary, which a person commonly need whether they have had a legal dictionary. Nolo actually comes with a simple legal dictionary that wont replace “Black’s” but decent resource. As there are a short appendix on topics and an index.

Overall, Amazingly exciting . this book could be very valuable for the one who wants or needs complete legal research but doesn’t know how to start. If you need to do-it-yourself, this guide can lead the chance. It is a very good description for this legal research process for everyone without a law degree.