Legal Research Strategy

Preliminary analysis, organization, secondary sources, primary sources, updating research, identifying an end point, getting help, about this guide.

This guide will walk a beginning researcher though the legal research process step-by-step. These materials are created with the 1L Legal Research & Writing course in mind. However, these resources will also assist upper-level students engaged in any legal research project.

How to Strategize

Legal research must be comprehensive and precise.  One contrary source that you miss may invalidate other sources you plan to rely on.  Sticking to a strategy will save you time, ensure completeness, and improve your work product. 

Follow These Steps

Running Time: 3 minutes, 13 seconds.

Make sure that you don't miss any steps by using our:

  • Legal Research Strategy Checklist

If you get stuck at any time during the process, check this out:

  • Ten Tips for Moving Beyond the Brick Wall in the Legal Research Process, by Marsha L. Baum

Understanding the Legal Questions

A legal question often originates as a problem or story about a series of events. In law school, these stories are called fact patterns. In practice, facts may arise from a manager or an interview with a potential client. Start by doing the following:

Read > Analyze > Assess > Note > Generate

  • Read anything you have been given
  • Analyze the facts and frame the legal issues
  • Assess what you know and need to learn
  • Note the jurisdiction and any primary law you have been given
  • Generate potential search terms


Legal rules will vary depending on where geographically your legal question will be answered. You must determine the jurisdiction in which your claim will be heard. These resources can help you learn more about jurisdiction and how it is determined:

  • Legal Treatises on Jurisdiction
  • LII Wex Entry on Jurisdiction

This map indicates which states are in each federal appellate circuit:

A Map of the United States with Each Appellate Court Jurisdiction

Getting Started

Once you have begun your research, you will need to keep track of your work. Logging your research will help you to avoid missing sources and explain your research strategy. You will likely be asked to explain your research process when in practice. Researchers can keep paper logs, folders on Westlaw or Lexis, or online citation management platforms.

Organizational Methods

Tracking with paper or excel.

Many researchers create their own tracking charts.  Be sure to include:

  • Search Date
  • Topics/Keywords/Search Strategy
  • Citation to Relevant Source Found
  • Save Locations
  • Follow Up Needed

Consider using the following research log as a starting place: 

  • Sample Research Log

Tracking with Folders

Westlaw and Lexis offer options to create folders, then save and organize your materials there.

  • Lexis Advance Folders
  • Westlaw Edge Folders

Tracking with Citation Management Software

For long term projects, platforms such as Zotero, EndNote, Mendeley, or Refworks might be useful. These are good tools to keep your research well organized. Note, however, that none of these platforms substitute for doing your own proper Bluebook citations. Learn more about citation management software on our other research guides:

  • Guide to Zotero for Harvard Law Students by Harvard Law School Library Research Services Last Updated Sep 12, 2023 211 views this year

Types of Sources

There are three different types of sources: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary.  When doing legal research you will be using mostly primary and secondary sources.  We will explore these different types of sources in the sections below.

Graph Showing Types of Legal Research Resources.  Tertiary Sources: Hollis, Law Library Website.  Secondary Sources:  Headnotes & Annotations, American Law Reports, Treatises, Law Reviews & Journals, Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, Restatements.  Primary Sources: Constitutions, Treatises, Statutes, Regulations, Case Decisions, Ordinances, Jury Instructions.

Secondary sources often explain legal principles more thoroughly than a single case or statute. Starting with them can help you save time.

Secondary sources are particularly useful for:

  • Learning the basics of a particular area of law
  • Understanding key terms of art in an area
  • Identifying essential cases and statutes

Consider the following when deciding which type of secondary source is right for you:

  • Scope/Breadth
  • Depth of Treatment
  • Currentness/Reliability

Chart Illustrating Depth and Breadth of Secondary Sources by Type.  Legal Dictionaries (Shallow and Broad), Legal Encyclopedias (Shallow and Broad), Restatements (Moderately Deep and Broad), Treatises (Moderately Deep and Moderately Narrow), American Law Reports (Extremely Deep and Extremely Narrow), Law Journal Articles (Extremely Deep and Extremely Narrow)

For a deep dive into secondary sources visit:

  • Secondary Sources: ALRs, Encyclopedias, Law Reviews, Restatements, & Treatises by Catherine Biondo Last Updated Sep 12, 2023 3687 views this year

Legal Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Legal dictionaries.

Legal dictionaries are similar to other dictionaries that you have likely used before.

  • Black's Law Dictionary
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

Legal Encyclopedias

Legal encyclopedias contain brief, broad summaries of legal topics, providing introductions and explaining terms of art. They also provide citations to primary law and relevant major law review articles.  

Graph illustrating that Legal Encyclopedias have broad coverage of subject matter and content with shallow treatment of the topics.

Here are the two major national encyclopedias:

  • American Jurisprudence (AmJur) This resource is also available in Westlaw & Lexis .
  • Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS)

Treatises are books on legal topics.  These books are a good place to begin your research.  They provide explanation, analysis, and citations to the most relevant primary sources. Treatises range from single subject overviews to deep treatments of broad subject areas.

Graph illustrating that Treatises are moderate in scope and relatively deep.

It is important to check the date when the treatise was published. Many are either not updated, or are updated through the release of newer editions.

To find a relevant treatise explore:

  • Legal Treatises by Subject by Catherine Biondo Last Updated Sep 12, 2023 2593 views this year

American Law Reports (ALR)

American Law Reports (ALR) contains in-depth articles on narrow topics of the law. ALR articles, are often called annotations. They provide background, analysis, and citations to relevant cases, statutes, articles, and other annotations. ALR annotations are invaluable tools to quickly find primary law on narrow legal questions.

Graph illustrating that American Law Reports are narrow in scope but treat concepts deeply.

This resource is available in both Westlaw and Lexis:

  • American Law Reports on Westlaw (includes index)
  • American Law Reports on Lexis

Law Reviews & Journals

Law reviews are scholarly publications, usually edited by law students in conjunction with faculty members. They contain both lengthy articles and shorter essays by professors and lawyers. They also contain comments, notes, or developments in the law written by law students. Articles often focus on new or emerging areas of law and may offer critical commentary. Some law reviews are dedicated to a particular topic while others are general. Occasionally, law reviews will include issues devoted to proceedings of panels and symposia.

Graph illustrating that Law Review and Journal articles are extremely narrow in scope but exceptionally deep.

Law review and journal articles are extremely narrow and deep with extensive references. 

To find law review articles visit:

  • Law Journal Library on HeinOnline
  • Law Reviews & Journals on LexisNexis
  • Law Reviews & Journals on Westlaw


Restatements are highly regarded distillations of common law, prepared by the American Law Institute (ALI). ALI is a prestigious organization comprised of judges, professors, and lawyers. They distill the "black letter law" from cases to indicate trends in common law. Resulting in a “restatement” of existing common law into a series of principles or rules. Occasionally, they make recommendations on what a rule of law should be.

Restatements are not primary law. However, they are considered persuasive authority by many courts.

Graph illustrating that Restatements are broad in scope and treat topics with moderate depth.

Restatements are organized into chapters, titles, and sections.  Sections contain the following:

  • a concisely stated rule of law,
  • comments to clarify the rule,
  • hypothetical examples,
  • explanation of purpose, and
  • exceptions to the rule  

To access restatements visit:

  • American Law Institute Library on HeinOnline
  • Restatements & Principles of the Law on LexisNexis
  • Restatements & Principles of Law on Westlaw

Primary Authority

Primary authority is "authority that issues directly from a law-making body."   Authority , Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).   Sources of primary authority include:

  • Constitutions
  • Statutes 


Access to primary legal sources is available through:

  • Bloomberg Law
  • Free & Low Cost Alternatives

Statutes (also called legislation) are "laws enacted by legislative bodies", such as Congress and state legislatures.  Statute , Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).

We typically start primary law research here. If there is a controlling statute, cases you look for later will interpret that law. There are two types of statutes, annotated and unannotated.

Annotated codes are a great place to start your research. They combine statutory language with citations to cases, regulations, secondary sources, and other relevant statutes. This can quickly connect you to the most relevant cases related to a particular law. Unannotated Codes provide only the text of the statute without editorial additions. Unannotated codes, however, are more often considered official and used for citation purposes.

For a deep dive on federal and state statutes, visit:

  • Statutes: US and State Codes by Mindy Kent Last Updated Mar 26, 2024 2094 views this year
  • 50 State Surveys

Want to learn more about the history or legislative intent of a law?  Learn how to get started here:

  • Legislative History Get an introduction to legislative histories in less than 5 minutes.
  • Federal Legislative History Research Guide

Regulations are rules made by executive departments and agencies. Not every legal question will require you to search regulations. However, many areas of law are affected by regulations. So make sure not to skip this step if they are relevant to your question.

To learn more about working with regulations, visit:

  • Administrative Law Research by AJ Blechner Last Updated Sep 12, 2023 431 views this year

Case Basics

In many areas, finding relevant caselaw will comprise a significant part of your research. This Is particularly true in legal areas that rely heavily on common law principles.

Running Time: 3 minutes, 10 seconds.

Unpublished Cases

Up to  86% of federal case opinions are unpublished. You must determine whether your jurisdiction will consider these unpublished cases as persuasive authority. The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure have an overarching rule, Rule 32.1  Each circuit also has local rules regarding citations to unpublished opinions. You must understand both the Federal Rule and the rule in your jurisdiction.

  • Federal and Local Rules of Appellate Procedure 32.1 (Dec. 2021).
  • Type of Opinion or Order Filed in Cases Terminated on the Merits, by Circuit (Sept. 2021).

Each state also has its own local rules which can often be accessed through:

  • State Bar Associations
  • State Courts Websites

First Circuit

  • First Circuit Court Rule 32.1.0

Second Circuit

  • Second Circuit Court Rule 32.1.1

Third Circuit

  • Third Circuit Court Rule 5.7

Fourth Circuit

  • Fourth Circuit Court Rule 32.1

Fifth Circuit

  • Fifth Circuit Court Rule 47.5

Sixth Circuit

  • Sixth Circuit Court Rule 32.1

Seventh Circuit

  • Seventh Circuit Court Rule 32.1

Eighth Circuit

  • Eighth Circuit Court Rule 32.1A

Ninth Circuit

  • Ninth Circuit Court Rule 36-3

Tenth Circuit

  • Tenth Circuit Court Rule 32.1

Eleventh Circuit

  • Eleventh Circuit Court Rule 32.1

D.C. Circuit

  • D.C. Circuit Court Rule 32.1

Federal Circuit

  • Federal Circuit Court Rule 32.1

Finding Cases

Image of a Headnote in a Print Reporter

Headnotes show the key legal points in a case. Legal databases use these headnotes to guide researchers to other cases on the same topic. They also use them to organize concepts explored in cases by subject. Publishers, like Westlaw and Lexis, create headnotes, so they are not consistent across databases.

Headnotes are organized by subject into an outline that allows you to search by subject. This outline is known as a "digest of cases." By browsing or searching the digest you can retrieve all headnotes covering a particular topic. This can help you identify particularly important cases on the relevant subject.

Running Time: 4 minutes, 43 seconds.

Each major legal database has its own digest:

  • Topic Navigator (Lexis)
  • Key Digest System (Westlaw)

Start by identifying a relevant topic in a digest.  Then you can limit those results to your jurisdiction for more relevant results.  Sometimes, you can keyword search within only the results on your topic in your jurisdiction.  This is a particularly powerful research method.

One Good Case Method

After following the steps above, you will have identified some relevant cases on your topic. You can use good cases you find to locate other cases addressing the same topic. These other cases often apply similar rules to a range of diverse fact patterns.

  • in Lexis click "More Like This Headnote"
  • in Westlaw click "Cases that Cite This Headnote"

to focus on the terms of art or key words in a particular headnote. You can use this feature to find more cases with similar language and concepts.  ​

Ways to Use Citators

A citator is "a catalogued list of cases, statutes, and other legal sources showing the subsequent history and current precedential value of those sources.  Citators allow researchers to verify the authority of a precedent and to find additional sources relating to a given subject." Citator , Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).

Each major legal database has its own citator.  The two most popular are Keycite on Westlaw and Shepard's on Lexis.

  • Keycite Information Page
  • Shepard's Information Page

Making Sure Your Case is Still Good Law

This video answers common questions about citators:

For step-by-step instructions on how to use Keycite and Shepard's see the following:

  • Shepard's Video Tutorial
  • Shepard's Handout
  • Shepard's Editorial Phrase Dictionary
  • KeyCite Video Tutorial
  • KeyCite Handout
  • KeyCite Editorial Phrase Dictionary

Using Citators For

Citators serve three purposes: (1) case validation, (2) better understanding, and (3) additional research.

Case Validation

Is my case or statute good law?

  • Parallel citations
  • Prior and subsequent history
  • Negative treatment suggesting you should no longer cite to holding.

Better Understanding

Has the law in this area changed?

  • Later cases on the same point of law
  • Positive treatment, explaining or expanding the law.
  • Negative Treatment, narrowing or distinguishing the law.

Track Research

Who is citing and writing about my case or statute?

  • Secondary sources that discuss your case or statute.
  • Cases in other jurisdictions that discuss your case or statute.

Knowing When to Start Writing

For more guidance on when to stop your research see:

  • Terminating Research, by Christina L. Kunz

Automated Services

Automated services can check your work and ensure that you are not missing important resources. You can learn more about several automated brief check services.  However, these services are not a replacement for conducting your own diligent research .

  • Automated Brief Check Instructional Video

Contact Us!

  Ask Us!  Submit a question or search our knowledge base.

Chat with us!  Chat   with a librarian (HLS only)

Email: [email protected]

 Contact Historical & Special Collections at [email protected]

  Meet with Us   Schedule an online consult with a Librarian

Hours  Library Hours

Classes  View  Training Calendar  or  Request an Insta-Class

 Text  Ask a Librarian, 617-702-2728

 Call  Reference & Research Services, 617-495-4516

This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License .

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included and it is shared in the same manner. 

  • Last Updated: Sep 21, 2023 2:56 PM
  • URL:

Harvard University Digital Accessibility Policy

Business development

  • Billing management software
  • Court management software
  • Legal calendaring solutions

Practice management & growth

  • Project & knowledge management
  • Workflow automation software

Corporate & business organization

  • Business practice & procedure

Legal forms

  • Legal form-building software

Legal data & document management

  • Data management
  • Data-driven insights
  • Document management
  • Document storage & retrieval

Drafting software, service & guidance

  • Contract services
  • Drafting software
  • Electronic evidence

Financial management

  • Outside counsel spend

Law firm marketing

  • Attracting & retaining clients
  • Custom legal marketing services

Legal research & guidance

  • Anywhere access to reference books
  • Due diligence
  • Legal research technology

Trial readiness, process & case guidance

  • Case management software
  • Matter management

Recommended Products

Conduct legal research efficiently and confidently using trusted content, proprietary editorial enhancements, and advanced technology.

Fast track case onboarding and practice with confidence. Tap into a team of experts who create and maintain timely, reliable, and accurate resources so you can jumpstart your work.

A business management tool for legal professionals that automates workflow. Simplify project management, increase profits, and improve client satisfaction.

  • All products

Tax & Accounting

Audit & accounting.

  • Accounting & financial management
  • Audit workflow
  • Engagement compilation & review
  • Guidance & standards
  • Internal audit & controls
  • Quality control

Data & document management

  • Certificate management
  • Data management & mining
  • Document storage & organization

Estate planning

  • Estate planning & taxation
  • Wealth management

Financial planning & analysis

  • Financial reporting

Payroll, compensation, pension & benefits

  • Payroll & workforce management services
  • Healthcare plans
  • Billing management
  • Client management
  • Cost management
  • Practice management
  • Workflow management

Professional development & education

  • Product training & education
  • Professional development

Tax planning & preparation

  • Financial close
  • Income tax compliance
  • Tax automation
  • Tax compliance
  • Tax planning
  • Tax preparation
  • Sales & use tax
  • Transfer pricing
  • Fixed asset depreciation

Tax research & guidance

  • Federal tax
  • State & local tax
  • International tax
  • Tax laws & regulations
  • Partnership taxation
  • Research powered by AI
  • Specialized industry taxation
  • Credits & incentives
  • Uncertain tax positions

A powerful tax and accounting research tool. Get more accurate and efficient results with the power of AI, cognitive computing, and machine learning.

Provides a full line of federal, state, and local programs. Save time with tax planning, preparation, and compliance.

Automate workpaper preparation and eliminate data entry

Trade & Supply

Customs & duties management.

  • Customs law compliance & administration

Global trade compliance & management

  • Global export compliance & management
  • Global trade analysis
  • Denied party screening

Product & service classification

  • Harmonized Tariff System classification

Supply chain & procurement technology

  • Foreign-trade zone (FTZ) management
  • Supply chain compliance

Software that keeps supply chain data in one central location. Optimize operations, connect with external partners, create reports and keep inventory accurate.

Automate sales and use tax, GST, and VAT compliance. Consolidate multiple country-specific spreadsheets into a single, customizable solution and improve tax filing and return accuracy.

Risk & Fraud

Risk & compliance management.

  • Regulatory compliance management

Fraud prevention, detection & investigations

  • Fraud prevention technology

Risk management & investigations

  • Investigation technology
  • Document retrieval & due diligence services

Search volumes of data with intuitive navigation and simple filtering parameters. Prevent, detect, and investigate crime.

Identify patterns of potentially fraudulent behavior with actionable analytics and protect resources and program integrity.

Analyze data to detect, prevent, and mitigate fraud. Focus investigation resources on the highest risks and protect programs by reducing improper payments.

News & Media

Who we serve.

  • Broadcasters
  • Governments
  • Marketers & Advertisers
  • Professionals
  • Sports Media
  • Corporate Communications
  • Health & Pharma
  • Machine Learning & AI

Content Types

  • All Content Types
  • Human Interest
  • Business & Finance
  • Entertainment & Lifestyle
  • Reuters Community
  • Reuters Plus - Content Studio
  • Advertising Solutions
  • Sponsorship
  • Verification Services
  • Action Images
  • Reuters Connect
  • World News Express
  • Reuters Pictures Platform
  • API & Feeds
  • Platform

Media Solutions

  • User Generated Content
  • Reuters Ready
  • Ready-to-Publish
  • Case studies
  • Reuters Partners
  • Standards & values
  • Leadership team
  • Reuters Best
  • Webinars & online events

Around the globe, with unmatched speed and scale, Reuters Connect gives you the power to serve your audiences in a whole new way.

Reuters Plus, the commercial content studio at the heart of Reuters, builds campaign content that helps you to connect with your audiences in meaningful and hyper-targeted ways. provides readers with a rich, immersive multimedia experience when accessing the latest fast-moving global news and in-depth reporting.

  • Reuters Media Center
  • Jurisdiction
  • Practice area
  • View all legal
  • Organization
  • View all tax

Featured Products

  • Blacks Law Dictionary
  • Thomson Reuters ProView
  • Recently updated products
  • New products

Shop our latest titles

ProView Quickfinder favorite libraries

  • Visit legal store
  • Visit tax store

APIs by industry

  • Risk & Fraud APIs
  • Tax & Accounting APIs
  • Trade & Supply APIs

Use case library

  • Legal API use cases
  • Risk & Fraud API use cases
  • Tax & Accounting API use cases
  • Trade & Supply API use cases

Related sites

United states support.

  • Account help & support
  • Communities
  • Product help & support
  • Product training

International support

  • Legal UK, Ireland & Europe support

New releases

  • Westlaw Precision
  • 1040 Quickfinder Handbook

Join a TR community

  • ONESOURCE community login
  • Checkpoint community login
  • CS community login
  • TR Community

Free trials & demos

  • Westlaw Edge
  • Practical Law
  • Checkpoint Edge
  • Onvio Firm Management

research paper legal

How to do legal research in 3 steps

Knowing where to start a difficult legal research project can be a challenge. But if you already understand the basics of legal research, the process can be significantly easier — not to mention quicker.

Solid research skills are crucial to crafting a winning argument. So, whether you are a law school student or a seasoned attorney with years of experience, knowing how to perform legal research is important — including where to start and the steps to follow.

What is legal research, and where do I start? 

Black's Law Dictionary defines legal research as “[t]he finding and assembling of authorities that bear on a question of law." But what does that actually mean? It means that legal research is the process you use to identify and find the laws — including statutes, regulations, and court opinions — that apply to the facts of your case.

In most instances, the purpose of legal research is to find support for a specific legal issue or decision. For example, attorneys must conduct legal research if they need court opinions — that is, case law — to back up a legal argument they are making in a motion or brief filed with the court.

Alternatively, lawyers may need legal research to provide clients with accurate legal guidance . In the case of law students, they often use legal research to complete memos and briefs for class. But these are just a few situations in which legal research is necessary.

Why is legal research hard?

Each step — from defining research questions to synthesizing findings — demands critical thinking and rigorous analysis.

1. Identifying the legal issue is not so straightforward. Legal research involves interpreting many legal precedents and theories to justify your questions. Finding the right issue takes time and patience.

2. There's too much to research. Attorneys now face a great deal of case law and statutory material. The sheer volume forces the researcher to be efficient by following a methodology based on a solid foundation of legal knowledge and principles.

3. The law is a fluid doctrine. It changes with time, and staying updated with the latest legal codes, precedents, and statutes means the most resourceful lawyer needs to assess the relevance and importance of new decisions.

Legal research can pose quite a challenge, but professionals can improve it at every stage of the process . 

Step 1: Key questions to ask yourself when starting legal research

Before you begin looking for laws and court opinions, you first need to define the scope of your legal research project. There are several key questions you can use to help do this.

What are the facts?

Always gather the essential facts so you know the “who, what, why, when, where, and how” of your case. Take the time to write everything down, especially since you will likely need to include a statement of facts in an eventual filing or brief anyway. Even if you don't think a fact may be relevant now, write it down because it may be relevant later. These facts will also be helpful when identifying your legal issue.

What is the actual legal issue?

You will never know what to research if you don't know what your legal issue is. Does your client need help collecting money from an insurance company following a car accident involving a negligent driver? How about a criminal case involving excluding evidence found during an alleged illegal stop?

No matter the legal research project, you must identify the relevant legal problem and the outcome or relief sought. This information will guide your research so you can stay focused and on topic.

What is the relevant jurisdiction?

Don't cast your net too wide regarding legal research; you should focus on the relevant jurisdiction. For example, does your case deal with federal or state law? If it is state law, which state? You may find a case in California state court that is precisely on point, but it won't be beneficial if your legal project involves New York law.

Where to start legal research: The library, online, or even AI?

In years past, future attorneys were trained in law school to perform research in the library. But now, you can find almost everything from the library — and more — online. While you can certainly still use the library if you want, you will probably be costing yourself valuable time if you do.

When it comes to online research, some people start with free legal research options , including search engines like Google or Bing. But to ensure your legal research is comprehensive, you will want to use an online research service designed specifically for the law, such as Westlaw . Not only do online solutions like Westlaw have all the legal sources you need, but they also include artificial intelligence research features that help make quick work of your research

Step 2: How to find relevant case law and other primary sources of law

Now that you have gathered the facts and know your legal issue, the next step is knowing what to look for. After all, you will need the law to support your legal argument, whether providing guidance to a client or writing an internal memo, brief, or some other legal document.

But what type of law do you need? The answer: primary sources of law. Some of the more important types of primary law include:

  • Case law, which are court opinions or decisions issued by federal or state courts
  • Statutes, including legislation passed by both the U.S. Congress and state lawmakers
  • Regulations, including those issued by either federal or state agencies
  • Constitutions, both federal and state

Searching for primary sources of law

So, if it's primary law you want, it makes sense to begin searching there first, right? Not so fast. While you will need primary sources of law to support your case, in many instances, it is much easier — and a more efficient use of your time — to begin your search with secondary sources such as practice guides, treatises, and legal articles.

Why? Because secondary sources provide a thorough overview of legal topics, meaning you don't have to start your research from scratch. After secondary sources, you can move on to primary sources of law.

For example, while no two legal research projects are the same, the order in which you will want to search different types of sources may look something like this:

  • Secondary sources . If you are researching a new legal principle or an unfamiliar area of the law, the best place to start is secondary sources, including law journals, practice guides , legal encyclopedias, and treatises. They are a good jumping-off point for legal research since they've already done the work for you. As an added bonus, they can save you additional time since they often identify and cite important statutes and seminal cases.
  • Case law . If you have already found some case law in secondary sources, great, you have something to work with. But if not, don't fret. You can still search for relevant case law in a variety of ways, including running a search in a case law research tool.

Once you find a helpful case, you can use it to find others. For example, in Westlaw, most cases contain headnotes that summarize each of the case's important legal issues. These headnotes are also assigned a Key Number based on the topic associated with that legal issue. So, once you find a good case, you can use the headnotes and Key Numbers within it to quickly find more relevant case law.

  • Statutes and regulations . In many instances, secondary sources and case law list the statutes and regulations relevant to your legal issue. But if you haven't found anything yet, you can still search for statutes and regs online like you do with cases.

Once you know which statute or reg is pertinent to your case, pull up the annotated version on Westlaw. Why the annotated version? Because the annotations will include vital information, such as a list of important cases that cite your statute or reg. Sometimes, these cases are even organized by topic — just one more way to find the case law you need to support your legal argument.

Keep in mind, though, that legal research isn't always a linear process. You may start out going from source to source as outlined above and then find yourself needing to go back to secondary sources once you have a better grasp of the legal issue. In other instances, you may even find the answer you are looking for in a source not listed above, like a sample brief filed with the court by another attorney. Ultimately, you need to go where the information takes you.

Step 3: Make sure you are using ‘good’ law

One of the most important steps with every legal research project is to verify that you are using “good" law — meaning a court hasn't invalidated it or struck it down in some way. After all, it probably won't look good to a judge if you cite a case that has been overruled or use a statute deemed unconstitutional. It doesn't necessarily mean you can never cite these sources; you just need to take a closer look before you do.

The simplest way to find out if something is still good law is to use a legal tool known as a citator, which will show you subsequent cases that have cited your source as well as any negative history, including if it has been overruled, reversed, questioned, or merely differentiated.

For instance, if a case, statute, or regulation has any negative history — and therefore may no longer be good law — KeyCite, the citator on Westlaw, will warn you. Specifically, KeyCite will show a flag or icon at the top of the document, along with a little blurb about the negative history. This alert system allows you to quickly know if there may be anything you need to worry about.

Some examples of these flags and icons include:

  • A red flag on a case warns you it is no longer good for at least one point of law, meaning it may have been overruled or reversed on appeal.
  • A yellow flag on a case warns that it has some negative history but is not expressly overruled or reversed, meaning another court may have criticized it or pointed out the holding was limited to a specific fact pattern.
  • A blue-striped flag on a case warns you that it has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court or the U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • The KeyCite Overruling Risk icon on a case warns you that the case may be implicitly undermined because it relies on another case that has been overruled.

Another bonus of using a citator like KeyCite is that it also provides a list of other cases that merely cite your source — it can lead to additional sources you previously didn't know about.

Perseverance is vital when it comes to legal research

Given that legal research is a complex process, it will likely come as no surprise that this guide cannot provide everything you need to know.

There is a reason why there are entire law school courses and countless books focused solely on legal research methodology. In fact, many attorneys will spend their entire careers honing their research skills — and even then, they may not have perfected the process.

So, if you are just beginning, don't get discouraged if you find legal research difficult — almost everyone does at first. With enough time, patience, and dedication, you can master the art of legal research.

Thomson Reuters originally published this article on November 10, 2020.

Related insights

research paper legal

Westlaw tip of the week: Checking cases with KeyCite

research paper legal

Why legislative history matters when crafting a winning argument

research paper legal

Case law research tools: The most useful free and paid offerings

research paper legal

Request a trial and experience the fastest way to find what you need

  • Platform Overview All-in-one legal research and workflow software
  • Legal Research Unmetered access to primary and secondary sources
  • Workflow Tools AI-powered tools for smarter workflows
  • News & Analysis Paywall-free premium Bloomberg news and coverage
  • Practical Guidance Ready-to-use guidance for any legal task
  • Contract Solutions New: Streamlined contract workflow platform
  • Introducing Contract Solutions Experience contract simplicity
  • Watch product demo
  • Law Firms Find everything you need to serve your clients
  • In-House Counsel Expand expertise, reduce cost, and save time
  • Government Get unlimited access to state and federal coverage
  • Law Schools Succeed in school and prepare for practice
  • Customer Cost Savings and Benefits See why GCs and CLOs choose Bloomberg Law
  • Getting Started Experience one platform, one price, and continuous innovation
  • Our Initiatives Empower the next generation of lawyers
  • Careers Explore alternative law careers and join our team
  • Press Releases See our latest news and product updates
  • DEI Framework Raising the bar for law firms
  • Request Pricing
  • Legal Solutions

How to Conduct Legal Research

September 21, 2021

Conducting legal research can challenge even the most skilled law practitioners.

As laws evolve across jurisdictions, it can be a difficult to keep pace with every legal development. Equally daunting is the ability to track and glean insights into stakeholder strategies and legal responses. Without quick and easy access to the right tools, the legal research upon which case strategy hinges may face cost, personnel, and litigation outcome challenges.

Bloomberg Law’s artificial intelligence-driven tools drastically reduce the time to perform legal research. Whether you seek quick answers to legal research definitions, or general guidance on the legal research process, Bloomberg Law’s Core Litigation Skills Toolkit has you covered.

What is legal research?

Legal research is the process of uncovering and understanding all of the legal precedents, laws, regulations, and other legal authorities that apply in a case and inform an attorney’s course of action.

Legal research often involves case law research, which is the practice of identifying and interpreting the most relevant cases concerning the topic at issue. Legal research can also involve a deep dive into a judge’s past rulings or opposing counsel’s record of success.

Research is not a process that has a finite start and end, but remains ongoing throughout every phase of a legal matter. It is a cornerstone of a litigator’s skills.

[Learn how our integrated, time-saving litigation research tools allow litigators to streamline their work and get answers quickly.]

Where do I begin my legal research?

Beginning your legal research will look different for each assignment. At the outset, ensure that you understand your goal by asking questions and taking careful notes. Ask about background case information, logistical issues such as filing deadlines, the client/matter number, and billing instructions.

It’s also important to consider how your legal research will be used. Is the research to be used for a pending motion? If you are helping with a motion for summary judgment, for example, your goal is to find cases that are in the same procedural posture as yours and come out favorably for your side (i.e., if your client is the one filing the motion, try to find cases where a motion for summary judgment was granted, not denied). Keep in mind the burden of proof for different kinds of motions.

Finally, but no less important, assess the key facts of the case. Who are the relevant parties? Where is the jurisdiction? Who is the judge? Note all case details that come to mind.

What if I’m new to the practice area or specific legal issue?

While conducting legal research, it is easy to go down rabbit holes. Resist the urge to start by reviewing individual cases, which may prove irrelevant. Start instead with secondary sources, which often provide a prevailing statement of the law for a specific topic. These sources will save time and orient you to the area of the law and key issues.

Litigation Practical Guidance provides the essentials including step-by-step guidance, expert legal analysis, and a preview of next steps. Source citations are included in all Practical Guidance, and you can filter Points of Law, Smart Code®, and court opinions searches to get the jurisdiction-specific cases or statutes you need.

Points of Law Bloomberg Law feature on a desktop computer screen

Searching across Points of Law will help to get your bearings on an issue before diving into reading the cases in full. Points of Law uses machine learning to identify key legal principles expressed in court opinions, which are easily searchable by keyword and jurisdiction. This tool helps you quickly find other cases that have expressed the same Point of Law, and directs you to related Points of Law that might be relevant to your research. It is automatically updated with the most recent opinions, saving you time and helping you quickly drill down to the relevant cases.

How do I respond to the opposing side’s brief?

Whether a brief is yours or that of the opposing party, Bloomberg Law’s Brief Analyzer is an essential component in the legal research process. It reduces the time spent analyzing a brief, identifying relevant authorities, and preparing a solid response.

To start, navigate to Brief Analyzer available from the Bloomberg Law homepage, within the Litigation Intelligence Center , or from Docket Key search results for briefs.

Bloomberg Law Brief Analyzer tool on litigation intelligence center

Simply upload the opposing side’s brief into the tool, and Brief Analyzer will generate a report of the cited authorities and arguments contained in the brief.

Bloomberg Law legal brief analyzer tool

You can easily view a comparison with the brief and analysis side by side. It will also point you directly to relevant cases, Points of Law, and Practical Guidance to jump start your research.

Bloomberg Law Brief Analyzer citations and analysis feature

[ How to Write a Legal Brief – Learn how to shorten the legal research cycle and give your legal brief a competitive advantage.]

How to optimize your search.

Crafting searches is a critical skill when it comes to legal research. Although many legal research platforms, including Bloomberg Law, offer natural language searching, terms and connectors (also called Boolean) searching is still a vital legal research skill and should be used when searching across court opinions, dockets, Points of Law, and other primary and secondary sources.

When you conduct a natural language search, the search engine applies algorithms to rank your results. Why a certain case is ranked as it is may not be obvious. This makes it harder to interpret whether the search is giving you everything you need. It is also harder to efficiently and effectively manipulate your search terms to zero in on the results you want. Using Boolean searching gives you better control over your search and greater confidence in your results.

The good news? Bloomberg Law does not charge by the search for court opinion searches. If your initial search was much too broad or much too narrow, you do not have to worry about immediately running a new and improved search.

Follow these tips when beginning a search to ensure that you do not miss relevant materials:

  • Make sure you do not have typos in your search string.
  • Search the appropriate source or section of the research platform. It is possible to search only within a practice area, jurisdiction, secondary resource, or other grouping of materials.
  • Make sure you know which terms and connectors are utilized by the platform you are working on and what they mean – there is no uniform standard set of terms of connectors utilized by all platforms.
  • Include in your search all possible terms the court might use, or alternate ways the court may address an issue. It is best to group the alternatives together within a parenthetical, connected by OR between each term.
  • Consider including single and multiple character wildcards when relevant. Using a single character wildcard (an asterisk) and/or a multiple character wildcard (an exclamation point) helps you capture all word variations – even those you might not have envisioned.
  • Try using a tool that helps you find additional relevant case law. When you find relevant authority, use BCITE on Bloomberg Law to find all other cases and/or sources that cite back to that case. When in BCITE, click on the Citing Documents tab, and search by keyword to narrow the results. Alternatively, you can use the court’s language or ruling to search Points of Law and find other cases that addressed the same issue or reached the same ruling.

[Bloomberg Law subscribers can access a complete checklist of search term best practices . Not a subscriber? Request a Demo .]

How can legal research help with drafting or strategy?

Before drafting a motion or brief, search for examples of what firm lawyers filed with the court in similar cases. You can likely find recent examples in your firm’s internal document system or search Bloomberg Law’s dockets. If possible, look for things filed before the same judge so you can get a quick check on rules/procedures to be followed (and by the same partner when possible so you can get an idea of their style preferences).

Careful docket search provides a wealth of information about relevant cases, jurisdictions, judges, and opposing counsel. On Bloomberg Law, type “Dockets Search” in the Go bar or find the dockets search box in the Litigation Intelligence Center .

If you do not know the specific docket number and/or court, use the docket search functionality Docket Key . Select from any of 20 categories, including motions, briefs, and orders, across all 94 federal district courts, to pinpoint the exact filing of choice.

Bloomberg Law Dockets Search feature on a desktop computer screen

Dockets can also help you access lots of information to guide your case strategy. For example, if you are considering filing a particular type of motion, such as a sanctions motion, you can use dockets to help determine how frequently your judge grants sanctions motions. You can also use dockets to see how similar cases before your judge proceeded through discovery.

If you are researching expert witnesses, you can use dockets to help determine if the expert has been recently excluded from a case, or whether their opinion has been limited. If so, this will help you determine whether the expert is a good fit for your case.

Dockets are a powerful research tool that allow you to search across filings to support your argument. Stay apprised of docket updates with the “Create Alert” option on Bloomberg Law.

Dive deeper into competitive research.

For even more competitive research insights, dive into Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics – this is available in the Litigation tab on the homepage. Data here helps attorneys develop litigation strategy, predict possible outcomes, and better advise clients.

To start, under Litigation Analytics , leverage the Attorney tab to view case history and preview legal strategies the opposition may practice against you. Also, within Litigation Analytics, use the Court tab to get aggregate motion and appeal outcome rates across all federal courts, with the option to run comparisons across jurisdictions, and filter by company, law firm, and attorney.

Use the Judge tab to glean insights from cited opinions, and past and current decisions by motion and appeal outcomes. Also view litigation analytics in the right rail of court opinions.

Docket search can also offer intel on your opponent. Has your opponent filed similar lawsuits or made similar arguments before? How did those cases pan out? You can learn a lot about an opponent from past appearances in court.

How do I validate case law citations?

Checking the status of case law is essential in legal research. Rely on Bloomberg Law’s proprietary citator, BCITE. This time-saving tool lets you know if a case is still good law.

Under each court opinion, simply look to the right rail. There, you will see a thumbnail icon for “BCITE Analysis.” Click on the icon, and you will be provided quick links to direct history (opinions that affect or are affected by the outcome of the case at issue); case analysis (citing cases, with filter and search options), table of authorities, and citing documents.

How should I use technology to improve my legal research?

A significant benefit of digital research platforms and analytics is increased efficiency. Modern legal research technology helps attorneys sift through thousands of cases quickly and comprehensively. These products can also help aggregate or summarize data in a way that is more useful and make associations instantaneously.

For example, before litigation analytics were common, a partner may have asked a junior associate to find all summary judgment motions ruled on by a specific judge to determine how often that judge grants or denies them. The attorney could have done so by manually searching over PACER and/or by searching through court opinions, but that would take a long time. Now, Litigation Analytics can aggregate that data and provide an answer in seconds. Understanding that such products exist can be a game changer. Automating parts of the research process frees up time and effort for other activities that benefit the client and makes legal research and writing more efficient.

[Read our article: Six ways legal technology aids your litigation workflow .]

Tools like  Points of Law ,  dockets  and  Brief Analyzer  can also increase efficiency, especially when narrowing your research to confirm that you found everything on point. In the past, attorneys had to spend many hours (and lots of money) running multiple court opinion searches to ensure they did not miss a case on point. Now, there are tools that can dramatically speed up that process. For example, running a search over Points of Law can immediately direct you to other cases that discuss that same legal principle.

However, it’s important to remember that digital research and analytical tools should be seen as enhancing the legal research experience, not displacing the review, analysis, and judgment of an attorney. An attorney uses his or her knowledge of their client, the facts, the precedent, expert opinions, and his or her own experiences to predict the likely result in a given matter. Digital research products enhance this process by providing more data on a wider array of variables so that an attorney can take even more information into consideration.

[Get all your questions answered, request a Bloomberg Law demo , and more.]

Recommended for you

See bloomberg law in action.

From live events to in-depth reports, discover singular thought leadership from Bloomberg Law. Our network of expert analysts is always on the case – so you can make yours. Request a demo to see it for yourself.

  • Search Menu
  • Browse content in Arts and Humanities
  • Browse content in Archaeology
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology
  • Archaeological Methodology and Techniques
  • Archaeology by Region
  • Archaeology of Religion
  • Archaeology of Trade and Exchange
  • Biblical Archaeology
  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Historical Archaeology
  • History and Theory of Archaeology
  • Industrial Archaeology
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Mortuary Archaeology
  • Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Underwater Archaeology
  • Urban Archaeology
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Browse content in Architecture
  • Architectural Structure and Design
  • History of Architecture
  • Residential and Domestic Buildings
  • Theory of Architecture
  • Browse content in Art
  • Art Subjects and Themes
  • History of Art
  • Industrial and Commercial Art
  • Theory of Art
  • Biographical Studies
  • Byzantine Studies
  • Browse content in Classical Studies
  • Classical History
  • Classical Philosophy
  • Classical Mythology
  • Classical Literature
  • Classical Reception
  • Classical Art and Architecture
  • Classical Oratory and Rhetoric
  • Greek and Roman Epigraphy
  • Greek and Roman Law
  • Greek and Roman Papyrology
  • Greek and Roman Archaeology
  • Late Antiquity
  • Religion in the Ancient World
  • Digital Humanities
  • Browse content in History
  • Colonialism and Imperialism
  • Diplomatic History
  • Environmental History
  • Genealogy, Heraldry, Names, and Honours
  • Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
  • Historical Geography
  • History by Period
  • History of Emotions
  • History of Agriculture
  • History of Education
  • History of Gender and Sexuality
  • Industrial History
  • Intellectual History
  • International History
  • Labour History
  • Legal and Constitutional History
  • Local and Family History
  • Maritime History
  • Military History
  • National Liberation and Post-Colonialism
  • Oral History
  • Political History
  • Public History
  • Regional and National History
  • Revolutions and Rebellions
  • Slavery and Abolition of Slavery
  • Social and Cultural History
  • Theory, Methods, and Historiography
  • Urban History
  • World History
  • Browse content in Language Teaching and Learning
  • Language Learning (Specific Skills)
  • Language Teaching Theory and Methods
  • Browse content in Linguistics
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Cognitive Linguistics
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Forensic Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • History of English
  • Language Acquisition
  • Language Evolution
  • Language Reference
  • Language Variation
  • Language Families
  • Lexicography
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Linguistic Theories
  • Linguistic Typology
  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Translation and Interpretation
  • Writing Systems
  • Browse content in Literature
  • Bibliography
  • Children's Literature Studies
  • Literary Studies (Asian)
  • Literary Studies (European)
  • Literary Studies (Eco-criticism)
  • Literary Studies (Romanticism)
  • Literary Studies (American)
  • Literary Studies (Modernism)
  • Literary Studies - World
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
  • Literary Studies (19th Century)
  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)
  • Literary Studies (African American Literature)
  • Literary Studies (British and Irish)
  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)
  • Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)
  • Literary Studies (Gender Studies)
  • Literary Studies (Graphic Novels)
  • Literary Studies (History of the Book)
  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)
  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)
  • Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)
  • Literary Studies (Queer Studies)
  • Literary Studies (Science Fiction)
  • Literary Studies (Travel Literature)
  • Literary Studies (War Literature)
  • Literary Studies (Women's Writing)
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies
  • Mythology and Folklore
  • Shakespeare Studies and Criticism
  • Browse content in Media Studies
  • Browse content in Music
  • Applied Music
  • Dance and Music
  • Ethics in Music
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Gender and Sexuality in Music
  • Medicine and Music
  • Music Cultures
  • Music and Religion
  • Music and Media
  • Music and Culture
  • Music Education and Pedagogy
  • Music Theory and Analysis
  • Musical Scores, Lyrics, and Libretti
  • Musical Structures, Styles, and Techniques
  • Musicology and Music History
  • Performance Practice and Studies
  • Race and Ethnicity in Music
  • Sound Studies
  • Browse content in Performing Arts
  • Browse content in Philosophy
  • Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art
  • Epistemology
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Non-Western Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Perception
  • Philosophy of Action
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic
  • Practical Ethics
  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Browse content in Religion
  • Biblical Studies
  • Christianity
  • East Asian Religions
  • History of Religion
  • Judaism and Jewish Studies
  • Qumran Studies
  • Religion and Education
  • Religion and Health
  • Religion and Politics
  • Religion and Science
  • Religion and Law
  • Religion and Art, Literature, and Music
  • Religious Studies
  • Browse content in Society and Culture
  • Cookery, Food, and Drink
  • Cultural Studies
  • Customs and Traditions
  • Ethical Issues and Debates
  • Hobbies, Games, Arts and Crafts
  • Lifestyle, Home, and Garden
  • Natural world, Country Life, and Pets
  • Popular Beliefs and Controversial Knowledge
  • Sports and Outdoor Recreation
  • Technology and Society
  • Travel and Holiday
  • Visual Culture
  • Browse content in Law
  • Arbitration
  • Browse content in Company and Commercial Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Company Law
  • Browse content in Comparative Law
  • Systems of Law
  • Competition Law
  • Browse content in Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Government Powers
  • Judicial Review
  • Local Government Law
  • Military and Defence Law
  • Parliamentary and Legislative Practice
  • Construction Law
  • Contract Law
  • Browse content in Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Evidence Law
  • Sentencing and Punishment
  • Employment and Labour Law
  • Environment and Energy Law
  • Browse content in Financial Law
  • Banking Law
  • Insolvency Law
  • History of Law
  • Human Rights and Immigration
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Browse content in International Law
  • Private International Law and Conflict of Laws
  • Public International Law
  • IT and Communications Law
  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law
  • Law and Politics
  • Law and Society
  • Browse content in Legal System and Practice
  • Courts and Procedure
  • Legal Skills and Practice
  • Primary Sources of Law
  • Regulation of Legal Profession
  • Medical and Healthcare Law
  • Browse content in Policing
  • Criminal Investigation and Detection
  • Police and Security Services
  • Police Procedure and Law
  • Police Regional Planning
  • Browse content in Property Law
  • Personal Property Law
  • Study and Revision
  • Terrorism and National Security Law
  • Browse content in Trusts Law
  • Wills and Probate or Succession
  • Browse content in Medicine and Health
  • Browse content in Allied Health Professions
  • Arts Therapies
  • Clinical Science
  • Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Operating Department Practice
  • Physiotherapy
  • Radiography
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Browse content in Anaesthetics
  • General Anaesthesia
  • Neuroanaesthesia
  • Browse content in Clinical Medicine
  • Acute Medicine
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Clinical Genetics
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genito-urinary Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medical Toxicology
  • Medical Oncology
  • Pain Medicine
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology
  • Rheumatology
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Sports and Exercise Medicine
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Community Medical Services
  • Critical Care
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Haematology
  • History of Medicine
  • Browse content in Medical Dentistry
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Paediatric Dentistry
  • Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics
  • Surgical Dentistry
  • Browse content in Medical Skills
  • Clinical Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Nursing Skills
  • Surgical Skills
  • Medical Ethics
  • Medical Statistics and Methodology
  • Browse content in Neurology
  • Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Neuropathology
  • Nursing Studies
  • Browse content in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Gynaecology
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Ophthalmology
  • Otolaryngology (ENT)
  • Browse content in Paediatrics
  • Neonatology
  • Browse content in Pathology
  • Chemical Pathology
  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics
  • Histopathology
  • Medical Microbiology and Virology
  • Patient Education and Information
  • Browse content in Pharmacology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Browse content in Popular Health
  • Caring for Others
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Self-help and Personal Development
  • Browse content in Preclinical Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Reproduction, Growth and Development
  • Primary Care
  • Professional Development in Medicine
  • Browse content in Psychiatry
  • Addiction Medicine
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Old Age Psychiatry
  • Psychotherapy
  • Browse content in Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health
  • Browse content in Radiology
  • Clinical Radiology
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Browse content in Surgery
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Gastro-intestinal and Colorectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Peri-operative Care
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Browse content in Science and Mathematics
  • Browse content in Biological Sciences
  • Aquatic Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Natural History
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry
  • Research Methods in Life Sciences
  • Structural Biology
  • Systems Biology
  • Zoology and Animal Sciences
  • Browse content in Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Crystallography
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Industrial Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Mineralogy and Gems
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Study and Communication Skills in Chemistry
  • Theoretical Chemistry
  • Browse content in Computer Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Architecture and Logic Design
  • Game Studies
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mathematical Theory of Computation
  • Programming Languages
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Virtual Reality
  • Browse content in Computing
  • Business Applications
  • Computer Security
  • Computer Games
  • Computer Networking and Communications
  • Digital Lifestyle
  • Graphical and Digital Media Applications
  • Operating Systems
  • Browse content in Earth Sciences and Geography
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Environmental Geography
  • Geology and the Lithosphere
  • Maps and Map-making
  • Meteorology and Climatology
  • Oceanography and Hydrology
  • Palaeontology
  • Physical Geography and Topography
  • Regional Geography
  • Soil Science
  • Urban Geography
  • Browse content in Engineering and Technology
  • Agriculture and Farming
  • Biological Engineering
  • Civil Engineering, Surveying, and Building
  • Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Energy Technology
  • Engineering (General)
  • Environmental Science, Engineering, and Technology
  • History of Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering and Materials
  • Technology of Industrial Chemistry
  • Transport Technology and Trades
  • Browse content in Environmental Science
  • Applied Ecology (Environmental Science)
  • Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science)
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Environmentalist Thought and Ideology (Environmental Science)
  • Management of Land and Natural Resources (Environmental Science)
  • Natural Disasters (Environmental Science)
  • Nuclear Issues (Environmental Science)
  • Pollution and Threats to the Environment (Environmental Science)
  • Social Impact of Environmental Issues (Environmental Science)
  • History of Science and Technology
  • Browse content in Materials Science
  • Ceramics and Glasses
  • Composite Materials
  • Metals, Alloying, and Corrosion
  • Nanotechnology
  • Browse content in Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biomathematics and Statistics
  • History of Mathematics
  • Mathematical Education
  • Mathematical Finance
  • Mathematical Analysis
  • Numerical and Computational Mathematics
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Browse content in Neuroscience
  • Cognition and Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Development of the Nervous System
  • Disorders of the Nervous System
  • History of Neuroscience
  • Invertebrate Neurobiology
  • Molecular and Cellular Systems
  • Neuroendocrinology and Autonomic Nervous System
  • Neuroscientific Techniques
  • Sensory and Motor Systems
  • Browse content in Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Biological and Medical Physics
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Computational Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electromagnetism, Optics, and Acoustics
  • History of Physics
  • Mathematical and Statistical Physics
  • Measurement Science
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Particles and Fields
  • Plasma Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Relativity and Gravitation
  • Semiconductor and Mesoscopic Physics
  • Browse content in Psychology
  • Affective Sciences
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Criminal and Forensic Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • History and Systems in Psychology
  • Music Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing
  • Psychology of Human-Technology Interaction
  • Psychology Professional Development and Training
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Browse content in Social Sciences
  • Browse content in Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Human Evolution
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Regional Anthropology
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Theory and Practice of Anthropology
  • Browse content in Business and Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Business Ethics
  • Business History
  • Business and Government
  • Business and Technology
  • Business and the Environment
  • Comparative Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Industrial and Employment Relations
  • Industry Studies
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • International Business
  • Knowledge Management
  • Management and Management Techniques
  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • Pensions and Pension Management
  • Public and Nonprofit Management
  • Strategic Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Browse content in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Forms of Crime
  • International and Comparative Criminology
  • Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice
  • Development Studies
  • Browse content in Economics
  • Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics
  • Asian Economics
  • Behavioural Finance
  • Behavioural Economics and Neuroeconomics
  • Econometrics and Mathematical Economics
  • Economic Systems
  • Economic History
  • Economic Methodology
  • Economic Development and Growth
  • Financial Markets
  • Financial Institutions and Services
  • General Economics and Teaching
  • Health, Education, and Welfare
  • History of Economic Thought
  • International Economics
  • Labour and Demographic Economics
  • Law and Economics
  • Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
  • Microeconomics
  • Public Economics
  • Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
  • Welfare Economics
  • Browse content in Education
  • Adult Education and Continuous Learning
  • Care and Counselling of Students
  • Early Childhood and Elementary Education
  • Educational Equipment and Technology
  • Educational Strategies and Policy
  • Higher and Further Education
  • Organization and Management of Education
  • Philosophy and Theory of Education
  • Schools Studies
  • Secondary Education
  • Teaching of a Specific Subject
  • Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs
  • Teaching Skills and Techniques
  • Browse content in Environment
  • Applied Ecology (Social Science)
  • Climate Change
  • Conservation of the Environment (Social Science)
  • Environmentalist Thought and Ideology (Social Science)
  • Natural Disasters (Environment)
  • Social Impact of Environmental Issues (Social Science)
  • Browse content in Human Geography
  • Cultural Geography
  • Economic Geography
  • Political Geography
  • Browse content in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Museums, Libraries, and Information Sciences
  • Browse content in Politics
  • African Politics
  • Asian Politics
  • Chinese Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Conflict Politics
  • Elections and Electoral Studies
  • Environmental Politics
  • European Union
  • Foreign Policy
  • Gender and Politics
  • Human Rights and Politics
  • Indian Politics
  • International Relations
  • International Organization (Politics)
  • International Political Economy
  • Irish Politics
  • Latin American Politics
  • Middle Eastern Politics
  • Political Methodology
  • Political Communication
  • Political Philosophy
  • Political Sociology
  • Political Behaviour
  • Political Economy
  • Political Institutions
  • Political Theory
  • Politics and Law
  • Public Administration
  • Public Policy
  • Quantitative Political Methodology
  • Regional Political Studies
  • Russian Politics
  • Security Studies
  • State and Local Government
  • UK Politics
  • US Politics
  • Browse content in Regional and Area Studies
  • African Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Japanese Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Native American Studies
  • Scottish Studies
  • Browse content in Research and Information
  • Research Methods
  • Browse content in Social Work
  • Addictions and Substance Misuse
  • Adoption and Fostering
  • Care of the Elderly
  • Child and Adolescent Social Work
  • Couple and Family Social Work
  • Developmental and Physical Disabilities Social Work
  • Direct Practice and Clinical Social Work
  • Emergency Services
  • Human Behaviour and the Social Environment
  • International and Global Issues in Social Work
  • Mental and Behavioural Health
  • Social Justice and Human Rights
  • Social Policy and Advocacy
  • Social Work and Crime and Justice
  • Social Work Macro Practice
  • Social Work Practice Settings
  • Social Work Research and Evidence-based Practice
  • Welfare and Benefit Systems
  • Browse content in Sociology
  • Childhood Studies
  • Community Development
  • Comparative and Historical Sociology
  • Economic Sociology
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Gerontology and Ageing
  • Health, Illness, and Medicine
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Migration Studies
  • Occupations, Professions, and Work
  • Organizations
  • Population and Demography
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Social Theory
  • Social Movements and Social Change
  • Social Research and Statistics
  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Sociology of Education
  • Sport and Leisure
  • Urban and Rural Studies
  • Browse content in Warfare and Defence
  • Defence Strategy, Planning, and Research
  • Land Forces and Warfare
  • Military Administration
  • Military Life and Institutions
  • Naval Forces and Warfare
  • Other Warfare and Defence Issues
  • Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution
  • Weapons and Equipment

Idea and Methods of Legal Research

Idea and Methods of Legal Research

Idea and Methods of Legal Research

  • Cite Icon Cite
  • Permissions Icon Permissions

Legal research examines subject matter enshrouded in social circumstances in order to conceptualize theories and prepare a future course of action. This dynamic, inter-disciplinary, and labyrinthine character of legal research requires researchers to be fluid, eclectic, and analytical in their approach. Idea and Methods of Legal Research unearths how the thinking process is to be streamlined in research, how a theme is built on the basis of comprehensive and intensive study, and the paths through which notions of objectivity, feminism, ethics, and purposive character of knowledge are to be understood. The book first explains the meaning, evolution, and scope of legal research, and discusses objectivity and ethics in legal research. It engages with the requirements, advantages, and limits of various doctrinal and non-doctrinal methods and tools, and the points to be considered in selecting a suitable method or combination of methods. It highlights analytical, historical, philosophical, comparative, qualitative, and quantitative methods of legal research. The book then goes on to discuss the use of multi-method legal research, policy research, action research, and feminist legal research and finally, reflects on research-based critical legal writing, as opposed to client-related legal writing. This book, thus, is a comprehensive answer to key questions one faces in legal research.

Signed in as

Institutional accounts.

  • Google Scholar Indexing
  • GoogleCrawler [DO NOT DELETE]

Personal account

  • Sign in with email/username & password
  • Get email alerts
  • Save searches
  • Purchase content
  • Activate your purchase/trial code

Institutional access

  • Sign in with a library card Sign in with username/password Recommend to your librarian
  • Institutional account management
  • Get help with access

Access to content on Oxford Academic is often provided through institutional subscriptions and purchases. If you are a member of an institution with an active account, you may be able to access content in one of the following ways:

IP based access

Typically, access is provided across an institutional network to a range of IP addresses. This authentication occurs automatically, and it is not possible to sign out of an IP authenticated account.

Sign in through your institution

Choose this option to get remote access when outside your institution. Shibboleth/Open Athens technology is used to provide single sign-on between your institution’s website and Oxford Academic.

  • Click Sign in through your institution.
  • Select your institution from the list provided, which will take you to your institution's website to sign in.
  • When on the institution site, please use the credentials provided by your institution. Do not use an Oxford Academic personal account.
  • Following successful sign in, you will be returned to Oxford Academic.

If your institution is not listed or you cannot sign in to your institution’s website, please contact your librarian or administrator.

Sign in with a library card

Enter your library card number to sign in. If you cannot sign in, please contact your librarian.

Society Members

Society member access to a journal is achieved in one of the following ways:

Sign in through society site

Many societies offer single sign-on between the society website and Oxford Academic. If you see ‘Sign in through society site’ in the sign in pane within a journal:

  • Click Sign in through society site.
  • When on the society site, please use the credentials provided by that society. Do not use an Oxford Academic personal account.

If you do not have a society account or have forgotten your username or password, please contact your society.

Sign in using a personal account

Some societies use Oxford Academic personal accounts to provide access to their members. See below.

A personal account can be used to get email alerts, save searches, purchase content, and activate subscriptions.

Some societies use Oxford Academic personal accounts to provide access to their members.

Viewing your signed in accounts

Click the account icon in the top right to:

  • View your signed in personal account and access account management features.
  • View the institutional accounts that are providing access.

Signed in but can't access content

Oxford Academic is home to a wide variety of products. The institutional subscription may not cover the content that you are trying to access. If you believe you should have access to that content, please contact your librarian.

For librarians and administrators, your personal account also provides access to institutional account management. Here you will find options to view and activate subscriptions, manage institutional settings and access options, access usage statistics, and more.

Our books are available by subscription or purchase to libraries and institutions.

  • About Oxford Academic
  • Publish journals with us
  • University press partners
  • What we publish
  • New features  
  • Open access
  • Rights and permissions
  • Accessibility
  • Advertising
  • Media enquiries
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Languages
  • University of Oxford

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide

  • Copyright © 2024 Oxford University Press
  • Cookie settings
  • Cookie policy
  • Privacy policy
  • Legal notice

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Stanford Law School | Robert Crown Law Library

Directed Research Projects

  • Getting Started
  • Preparing to Research
  • The Research Process

Structuring Your Paper

Writing tips, writing resources.

  • Checking your Sources
  • Getting it Published

There is no strict structure to writing a legal research paper.  Unlike legal memos written for class or documents prepared for court proceedings that require formatted headings such as "Question Presented," "Statement of Facts," etc., legal research papers are not required to contain prescribed content or abide by a particular structure.

That said, below is a typical approach to organizing the content of your research project.

  • Introduction (clear statement of your thesis)
  • Background information (what is the existing law, if any)
  • The problem (explain why the status quo does't work)
  • Recommendation for change (what can be done to improve the field and how)
  • Conclusion (tie back to your thesis)

If you have any questions about formatting your research project, you should seek advice from your faculty advisor.  Below are some basic guidelines, but keep in mind formatting requirements set forth by your faculty advisor will always supersede instructions provided here.

Generally, directed research papers are formatted as follows:

  • 12-point font (Times New Roman or similar)
  • Double-spaced lines
  • One-inch margins on both sides, top, and bottom
  • 10-point font for footnotes (same font as text)
  • Bluebook style and rules for all footnotes citations
  • Roman numerals and/or letter headings and subheadings (same font as text but bolded and/or underlined)
  • Numbered pages in the footer (same font as text)

Table of Contents

Although not required (unless your faculty advisor states otherwise), a table of contents can be helpful to provide your reader with an overview of your research paper and direct them to certain sections.  Your table of contents should mirror your headings and subheadings.  Below is an example of a table of contents.

research paper legal

When to Cite

You must include a citation every time you refer to, paraphrase, or quote a law, case, or another's work.  Most of your sentences will include a citation.  Additionally, when you cite to a law, always cite to the primary source.

How to Cite

The Bluebook, formally titled  The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation , is the style manual for citing to legal documents within the United States.  You should use the Bluebook for all your citations in your legal paper.  The white page section contain the citation rules for legal academic publications.

Cover Art

Writing a Strong Introduction

Your introduction is arguably the most important section of your paper because many people will decide to continue reading based on the introduction.  It must grab the reader's attention and explain why what you are writing about is important.

Essentially, the reader should be able to skim the rest of your paper after reading your introduction and have a good understanding of its layout and arguments.  A good introduction should present the theme of the paper in a succinct manner while providing an overview of your paper.

Generally, a strong introduction will

  • State the legal problem/issue;
  • Describe why it is important and how your paper contributes to the discussion;
  • Provide a road map of your paper; and
  • State your conclusion.

Being Objective & Subjective

After your introduction, you should discuss background information on the issue you chose to write about.  This should be an objective overview of the relevant facts and existing law.  Your objective background information section should not be an all encompassing.  Keep this portion of your paper focused on the essential law and relevant facts that support your recommendation for change. 

The bulk of your paper lays in your discussion of the problem and recommendation for change.  This is the subjective portion of your paper.  In this section you should extract the relevant objective material to support your subjective analysis.

Writing a Strong Conclusion

Your conclusion should restate your thesis, summarize your major points, and remind the reader why the issue you've chosen is important.  The conclusion should essentially reword your introduction in a condensed fashion. 

research paper legal

  • << Previous: The Research Process
  • Next: Checking your Sources >>
  • Last Updated: Oct 21, 2022 4:32 PM
  • URL:

Stanford University

  • Stanford Home
  • Maps & Directions
  • Search Stanford
  • Emergency Info
  • Terms of Use
  • Non-Discrimination
  • Accessibility

© Stanford University , Stanford , California 94305 .

Our Legal World

5 Key Steps to Writing an Effective Law Research Paper

Photo of author

Table of Contents

5 Key Steps to Writing an Effective Law Research Paper: Our Legal World

Writing a law research paper is much different and complex than crafting a research paper for other fields. That’s because it involves methodological research, which further requires familiarizing yourself with the current legal precedents, principles, and regulations. So, due to such complexities, students often get overwhelmed when asked to write a law research paper. And if you happen to know any such students, this blog post is for them.

Here, we’ll simplify the art of writing a persuasive research paper for law students with the help of 5 key steps. So, without prolonging this intro, let’s get to those steps.

1.    Select a Relevant and Narrow Topic

Whether you want to write a research paper for law or any other field, the first step you need to perform is to select a relevant topic. This step is paramount to writing an effective research paper because it will help you form the foundation for a compelling and well-researched paper. Therefore, the earlier you complete it, the better it will be for the overall quality of your law research paper.

But choosing a topic for a law research paper is different from selecting a topic for any other writing form. That’s because broader topics are challenging to cover. Therefore, your chosen topic should be specific and relevant to your interest. For instance, you can narrow your research for a topic to a particular point that aligns with your interest or has significance in law.

Sometimes, colleges or universities assign the research paper’s topic to students. So, if this situation represents your use case, all you need to do is pick a topic according to your interest from the assigned ones.

2.    Perform a Thorough but Methodological Research

Like other writing forms and research papers, thorough research is essential to write an effective law research paper. In fact, it’s the backbone of a research paper. Therefore, you should perform it, which is the second step in this guide.

But unlike other writing forms, the research for writing a law paper must be methodological. So, how can you conduct such research?

Well, existing literature can be a great starting point for the research phase of a law research paper. But other than that, you can use a plethora of sources, such as

  • Legal databases.
  • Scholarly articles.

Thus, looking for relevant data should be your priority while exploring the above-mentioned resources. But other than that, you should also familiarize yourself with the current legal precedents, principles, and regulations. Doing so will help you collect compelling evidence, arguments, and counterarguments, ultimately supporting your research paper and providing an overall comprehensive analysis.

3.    Create a Well-Thought-Out Outline

Suppose you have collected a lot of information and read all the existing written material regarding your research topic. In that case, you might crown your research paper with a lot of information and get carried away. Therefore, to cope with such a situation, we recommend creating a detailed outline, which is the third step of this guide.

Creating an outline and dividing your research paper into logical sections and subsections will help you formulate a coherent and organized structure. So, do that because this way, you can convey your ideas effectively. But remember that each section and subsection you create should relate to your research question and support your thesis.

Thus, once you’ve maintained a clear flow of ideas through the logical sections and subsections, it will ultimately improve your paper’s readability, which means readers can follow your point quickly.

4. Write in a Clear and Precise Legal Language

Documents related to law are famous for their complex and intricate language. But since a law research paper doesn’t intend to educate people having a legal background only, understanding convoluted language can be challenging for readers. And this situation is especially valid when you have to discuss arguments or concepts that are intricate and nuanced. To cater to this, we recommend writing the law research paper in clear and precise language.

Whether you are developing a solid thesis statement or writing your research paper’s introduction, body, and conclusion sections, it is essential to communicate the ideas clearly. And to do that, first of all, you must avoid using complex sentences and wording. Doing so will make your law research paper accessible to the experts and novices in the field.

But if writing content in a simple and easy-to-read manner is challenging for you, you can reword your complex content with any AI-based rephrase tool . Such tools use advanced NLP and AI technologies to paraphrase sentences and simplify their complexities in no time. This will ultimately save you time in simplifying the research paper manually and improves the overall quality of the paper as well.

5.    Don’t Forget to Revise, Edit and Polish Your Work

You’ve got the research and outline, which means, by now, you will have crafted a first draft of your research paper. And if you have, then it’s time to polish that draft by revising and editing it. But how can you do that?

Well, you can perform the following checks:

  • Carefully proofread your paper and look for formatting mistakes.
  • Besides formatting, don’t forget to check for grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. But if you need any assistance, we recommend using an AI writing assistant.
  • Your research paper will have a plethora of arguments. So, make sure that every one of them flows logically and cohesively throughout your research paper. And also, analyze whether you’ve supported every idea with relevant details.
  • The first draft often contains repetitions of ideas. Therefore, you must trim them to polish your work.
  • Perform a check for plagiarism on the content of your research paper.
  • Remember to cite every source you’ve assisted in formulating your research paper’s data.
  • Remember to use the same citation style throughout the research paper.

Thus, by implementing these tips, you can easily polish your research paper and prepare it for the final submission.

Writing a law research paper requires dedication, meticulous research, and thoughtful organization. However, with the proper guideline, you can enhance your chances of producing a compelling and impactful paper.

So, remember to choose a relevant and focused topic, conduct thorough research, structure your paper effectively, and meticulously revise and edit your work. Thus, with practice and persistence, you can master the art of writing an outstanding law research paper that engages readers and contributes to the legal discourse.



Evolution of aviation law: global perspective.


Privacy Policy

© Ourlegalworld | All rights reserved

Privacy Policy | Sitemap


Researching Law School Papers

  • Research papers
  • Coming up with a topic
  • Checking for preemption
  • Expanding your research

Resources on academic legal writing

Make a research appointment.

Reference librarians are available to help you get started and research your topic. 

Articles (UC Davis law students may access from offsite using Kerberos password)

  • Stalking the Golden Topic: A Guide to Locating and Selecting Topics for Legal Research Papers by Heather Meeker
  • Writing a Student Article by Eugene Volokh
  • How to Write a Law Review Article by Richard Delgado
  • How to Write a Law Review Article by Sean Burke

Cover Art

  • << Previous: Expanding your research
  • Last Updated: Sep 14, 2023 10:00 AM
  • URL:

Scholarship@Cornell Law

Home > Legal Studies Research Papers

Cornell Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series

The Cornell Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series presents the scholarship of the Cornell Law School faculty on a broad range of law-related and interdisciplinary topics.

Browse the Cornell Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series Collections:

Cornell Law School Legal Studies Research Papers

Advanced Search

  • Notify me via email or RSS
  • Collections
  • Disciplines

Author Corner

  • Submit Research

Home | About | FAQ | My Account | Accessibility Statement

legal upanishad logo

How to write a legal research paper: All you need to know

This article on “How to write a legal research paper: All you need to know” was written by Vridhi Rai, an intern at Legal Upanishad.


Law is all about analysis, critical thinking, and interpretation. Your capability to put together the analysis of the study of the issues in written form is essential in the practice of law. The research paper is one such way to express your creative and analytic thought process, your vision of the theme, and the originality of your content. The word ‘research’ means a systematic examination of material facts. It can be complex and daunting for law students. But research helps in enhancing your knowledge and cultivating your writing skills. This article will help you understand what is research paper all about and how to write a research paper.

What is a research paper?

A research paper is a piece of academic writing which is based on an author’s original composition in the research and the findings on a given theme or topic. The writing should be owned by the author himself or herself. A good research paper strives to convey the information traced by the author crisply and concisely. The paper is written to examine the theme or the provisions, present your stand on it, and showcase evidence in support in a systematic manner. The true nature of the paper shows you the purpose of the theme or topic. 

What is the aim of the legal research paper?

The aim of the legal research paper can be a subjective question since the writing will indicate what the intended outcome is. There are kinds of writings that would pave a way for courts because it geared toward a certain kind of doctrinal analysis of the court’s interaction with theory and practice. The writings are done for better interpretation of the law. It could also be used to influence policy-making and generate debates. The author has a specific objective and intended audience in mind to serve.

How to write a legal research paper

How to write a legal research paper?

Step-1 choose a theme or topic:.

The foremost step in writing a  legal research paper is to select a theme or topic for the research. Select topics that catch your attention or interest. You can pick topics addressing contemporary issues or topics for the intended audience you wish to cater to. It should be novel, innovative, and interesting. While choosing a topic, read pertinent issues from different sources.  You can follow legal news to search for pertinent topics.

In case, you find difficulty selecting a topic, it will be wonderful for you to approach your professors, colleagues, and friends for consultation. Also, never feel hesitant to change the theme or topic of the research, if you feel it is not the right topic or you will not able to research the topic effectively.

Step-2 Research on your topic:

Now, your next task is to research the topic extensively on your selected topic from credible sources. You can refer to different sources by reading legal research pieces from books to online sites like SCC online, Manupatra, and Kluwer Arbitration. Always remember don’t just goggle. Use conventional sources like books and articles, these will give you a broader perspective. Read as much as you can. Reading helps you understand the nitty-gritty of the law provisions. Please beware of the research as this task can be very monotonous. You might lose motivation to perform this task. But hang in there and stay motivated to find interesting facts.

Step-3 Examine and Make a plan:

After researching, your very next step is to examine and make a plan to execute writing a legal research paper. Your research will be comprehensive with ideas. Please develop a detailed outline. Try adding notes to your research work. It can be possible that you might end up adding too much information to your paper. Highlight the key findings from your study. At this stage you are required to identify the goal of your research work, it can be either argumentative or analytic. You have to determine the masses you are wishing to address. The focus and the tone of the paper should b according to the audience you are intending to reach.

To get your Legal Research Paper written by an expert. Contact us.

Step-4 writing the paper:.

The next step is to draft the research paper. Make a final outline of the research work. The outline must have the points to describe the overview of the paper. The basic mantra of legal research is the structure of the paper. The research paper writing should be creative, clear, concise, and comprehensive. The language of your research paper should be easy to interpret. The legal terminologies and material facts are generally very sophisticated and complex. The facts, you are mentioning must be backed by shreds of evidence.

The format of the legal research paper:

The paper should have a proper format that consists of writing styles, referencing styles, page numbering, spacing, and margins. It should also include the headlines, sub-headlines, citations, or credits to the authors and the scholars.

The content of the legal research paper:

The content consists of the following:

Acknowledgment : the content of the paper should include an acknowledgment section that appreciates all the contributors to the research paper for their efforts and encouragement.

Table of contents: it includes the list of the things that you have written in your research paper.

Scope of the research: the scope or object of the research includes the reason for your study. It shows you the skeleton of your research paper. You have stated the problem or issue of the paper.

A literature survey or the sources used in the study: it includes the sources you have referred to in your study. It can be primary or secondary resources. The primary resources include books, statutes, and case laws. The secondary sources include the material you have collected from law articles, journals, and compendiums online or offline.

The hypothesis of the research: the hypothesis is the idea that is suggested to explain the objective of the research conducted by the researcher. It conveys the expectations of the researcher on what basis he started studying the issues, he raised in his paper.

Abstract : abstract shows the gist of the theme you have mentioned in your study. It is like the summary of the findings in your research regarding the theme. It should be written clearly and concisely.

Introduction: the introduction should be well-written to attract the attention of the audience toward the theme you mentioned in your thesis. A glance over the initial paragraphs gives an insight to the readers of your work. The introduction determines whether the research paper is worth reading or not. It should express the research problem, the purpose of your thesis, and background details about the issue you are referring to. It should be short, crisp, and comprehensive.

The main body of the study: the main focus of the paper is the main body of the thesis. The body should be divided into paragraphs along with sub-headings for a better understanding of the facts. Each paragraph should draw the main points of your study. It should begin with the topic’s sentences and should conclude extensively. In the main body, you can add the case laws and judgments.  

The conclusion of the study: the finale of the study should include a summary of the main pointers discussed in the study, it should express your stand or viewpoint towards the research problem. The concluding para of your research can be affirmative or negative in tone. In the end, you can add some suggestive measures to your study.

References or bibliography: at the end of the paper mention the references or the sources links or sites from which you have researched the material facts.

Step – 5 edit and proofread the final draft of the research paper:

Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Proofreading will help you to find errors in your content. If you need, to make changes to the paper, check and find the logic and legality of the statement. At this stage, you check the plagiarism of your content.

The things that should be considered carefully before drafting the paper:

you need to check the validity of the judgments before mentioning them in the research paper. The validity of the bills mentioned in your study should be carefully considered. The errors related to applicability or jurisdictions should be carefully verified.


Legal research is not an easy task to perform. It takes a lot of time to conduct it. Constant hard work, attention, motivation, and patience are the factors required to examine and analyze the details. It can be boring. But it will help you in brushing your skills. Your efforts and dedication toward finding more and more material facts will help in shaping you into a good researcher.

It is beneficial for law students for interpreting law provisions, policies, and judgments. It can be used as a medium to influence policy-making procedures and as a tool to aware the masses. Publication of your research papers will act as a stimulating force to your law career. It will help you build your confidence and help them transform into law professionals.


  • How to write a legal research paper: guide: how to write a winning research paper?- Legal Desire. Retrieved:
  • A helpful guide on writing a law research paper- Writing help. Retrieved:
  • How to begin with writing a legal research paper- Manupatra- youtube channel-(video file)
  • How to write a legal research paper law?|research paper- Eminent law classes-(Video file)
  • The aim of writing a legal research paper- the art of writing a legal research paper-Rohini Sen-letter of the law-(video file)

Join Our Community

University of Bristol Law School

Law working papers series.

' aria-hidden=

Welcome to the Bristol Law Working Papers Series. The series publishes a broad range of legal scholarship in all subject areas from members of the University of Bristol Law School. All papers are published electronically and available to download as pdf files.

Working papers

Exceptions and Regulatory Autonomy (PDF, 1,504kB) Author: Joshua Paine

Default Norms in Labour Law- From Private Right to Public Law (PDF, 1,525kB) Author: Alan Bogg

An Analysis of the UK–Australia FTA’s Investment Chapter (PDF, 630kB) Author: Joshua Paine

A Kantian moral cosmopolitan approach to teaching professional legal ethics (PDF, 693kB) Author: Omar Madhloom

COVID-19 at Work: How risk is assessed & its consequences in England & Sweden (PDF, 837kB) A‌uthors: Peter Andersson and Tonia Novitz

Capturing the value of community fuel poverty alleviation (PDF, 1,891kB) Authors: Colin Nolden, Daniela Rossade and Peter Thomas

Bridging the Spaces in-between? The IWGB and Strategic Litigation (PDF, 522kB)   Author: Manoj Dias-Abey

View past papers

Writing a Research Paper

Research paper writing is a very important portion of the process of research. It’s vital that you research, but if you can not write a great research paper, then it is going to be impossible for you to achieve the credit essay writing service that you deserve.

Whenever you’re going to compose a research document, it’s necessary that you learn what you can about the subject. Research should start before you start writing your research document, so ensure that you do any research. Some topics require specialised resources or aid. Some subjects need extra research in order to write a excellent research paper.

Research paper writing demands more than simply researching the topic. You want to write a research paper that stands out from all the other research papers which are printed each year. If you are able to collect relevant facts from different sources, then discuss these details in a way that’s intriguing and entertaining, you will be able to compose a research document which stands out.

Just like other people, people from a variety of areas take distinct search papers and see what they can learn from them. It is necessary that you look at as many different research papers as possible, and make your own special research paper.

To be able to write a research paper that is first, you need to know what it is you’re talking about. You also need to know what is worth writing about, and what is not. Writing a research paper necessitates knowledge of the subject that you’re writing about, as well as the subject issue.

In case you have never written a research paper earlier, then you have to be certain to write one which has all the essential writing skills that you require. Lots of men and women that are experts at writing research papers discover they need assistance from others, but they also require help with other aspects of writing a research paper, such as research abilities.

When you begin writing a research paper, then you need to ask yourself a few questions. The very first thing you have to do would be to decide on what you would like to say, and what you wish to write around. Next, you will need to ask yourself if the topic of the study paper is one which you could write about, and also exactly what your true knowledge is about the subject.

Once you have decided what you would like to say and what you would like to write about, the next step is to create a research paper which you can write that will stand out from most of the other people. If you are able to write a research paper that’s different from the rest of the research papers published each year, then it will be simpler for you to obtain a research paper writer’s occupation. If you are able to write a research paper which stands out from most of the other people, then you’re able to procure a research job for yourself, and you will be able to write research papers on an almost daily basis.

IJLLR logo square.PNG

Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research ISSN: 2582-8878 | PIF: 6.605 Indexed at Manupatra, Google Scholar, HeinOnline & ROAD

Open Access Logo


ISSN: 2582-8878 (O)

Subject Area: Law and Related Disciplines

Publication Impact Factor: 6.605

Plagiarism Limit - Upto 25 Percent

Plagiarism Software - Turnitin and Plagiarism X

Publication Frequency - Bi-monthly


The IJLLR is inviting authors across India and the Globe to contribute their pieces of academic writings for publication.  Volume: Volume V Issue IV |  Theme: Law & Related Disciplines

Perks:  Certificates of Publication, Certificate of Excellence, Free DOI Link, Internship Opportunities, 48-hour Review Process, Indexed at Google Scholar, HeinOnline, Manupatra, ROAD  & others.

* Verify our Manupatra, Google Scholar & ROAD Indexing by clicking the Buttons given above.

** Do not fall prey to journals making false claims regarding their Indexing at various databases.

research paper legal

IJLLR Journal is an online bi-monthly   journal with 6 Issues per year. The Journal revolves around Socio-legal  topics and is not restricted to any particular field or subject of law. The Journal promotes interdisciplinary research entailing detailed study of law with other disciplines in the contemporary era.

IJLLR aims to provide a platform where everyone related to the field of law can contribute their research work on any topic related to law and help create a quality open-access platform that can be used by anyone to gain or develop their knowledge and expertise in the subject of law.

Provide a detailed conceptualisation of socio-economic phenomenon and its interplay with law and policy-making.

Encourage  interdisciplinary and  comparative research  to develop a holistic and multifaceted approach towards the complex issues of today’s society.

Critically and intellectually engage with contemporary issues and the discourse surrounding them.

Enable the development of legal intellect, critical analysis and quality research by promoting original legal writing. 


Publication Certificate  - Certificate of publication is given to all the authors published in each issue without any additional cost. The certificate is given to the authors as soon as the publication is live.

Free DOI (Digital Object Identification) - A DOI is a string of numbers, letters and symbols used to permanently identify an article or document and link to it on the web. A DOI will help your reader easily locate a document from your citation.

Certificate of Excellence - The top 10 authors in each issue are given a Certificate of Excellence for their publication with other prizes.

Indexed:  The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research is indexed in reputable places like Google Scholar & Manupatra which makes the articles available to a wider community making the research available to all. 

Hard Copy Available: The authors have the choice to get a hard copy of their Publication Certificate/Certificate of Excellence on payment of a minimal fee after their manuscript is published.

No Delays and Timely Process  - The whole review process takes up to 72 hours (1-3 days). The final publication after the payment of the processing fee is done within 24-72 hours (1-3 Working days).

Internship Opportunities: The top authors are provided with internship opportunities.

Chance to be a Student Editor: Students are also provided with an opportunity to work as an editor for the Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research .


The IJLLR Journal invites original, unpublished manuscripts from all academicians, authors, legal professionals and Law students in the following categories:

I. Long Articles (3000-6000 words)

II. Essays/Short Articles (1500-3000 words)

III. Case Notes and Legislative Comments (1200-2500 words)

Submissions in this category are expected to engage with the theme and literature of a particular topic comprehensively. The article must survey current practice in the field, identify any lacunae and offer innovative reassessment along with constructive suggestions. Theoretical pieces are also welcome in this category.

Essays/short articles are more concise in scope and are focused on a particular issue and offer new perspectives and critical insights on the selected topic. They offer clearly identifiable arguments and may provide different ways of conceptualizing the selected issue.

This category is meant for the analysis of any contemporary judicial pronouncement, legislative action, or policy proposal. Notes and Comments must trace the line of cases in which the decision appears and comment on its implications on the evolution of that branch of law. Similarly, a legislative comment or policy proposal must identify the object and expected impact of the legislative action/policy proposal in question.


Manupatra logo.png

SMU Libraries logo

  •   SMU Libraries
  • Scholarship & Research
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Bridwell Library
  • Business Library
  • DeGolyer Library
  • Fondren Library
  • Hamon Arts Library
  • Underwood Law Library
  • Fort Burgwin Library
  • Exhibits & Digital Collections
  • SMU Scholar
  • Special Collections & Archives
  • Connect With Us
  • Research Guides by Subject
  • How Do I . . . ? Guides
  • Find Your Librarian
  • Writing Support

Types of Research Papers: Overview

A research paper is simply a piece of writing that uses outside sources. There are different types of research papers with varying purposes and expectations for sourcing.

While this guide explains those differences broadly, disciplines and assignments vary. If unclear, ask your professor for clarification on the purpose and types of appropriate research questions and sources.

Need More Help?



  Schedule Appointment

Related Guides

  • Literature Reviews
  • Annotated Bibliographies
  • Starting Your Research

Research and Writing Lab

Need last minute help but didn't book an appointment? Every week we offer online drop-in labs.

Tuesdays 3:00pm - 4:30pm via Zoom @  and in-person, Fondren Red 1st floor (near elevators)

  • Last Updated: Apr 11, 2024 12:59 PM
  • URL:
  • MyU : For Students, Faculty, and Staff

2024 Tomash Virtual Lecture with Alex Reiss-Sorokin

Join CBI's 2023-2024 Tomash Fellow Alex Reiss-Sorokin, Ph.D. Candidate in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), presenting her paper From Research to Search: Legal Research Technologies, 1964-1994.

This virtual event is free and open to the public.

Registration closes at 12 CST on Monday, April 29.

Abstract:  This talk interrogates how lawyers who traditionally relied on books came to use and trust computers for their work. I focus on the evolution of the Ohio Bar Automated Research (OBAR) System, a local legal research system developed for small Ohio firms, into LexisNexis, a national service better suitable for Big Law's needs (and pockets). As early plans for automating legal practice emerged in the 1960s United States, lawyers’ work became an object of empirical and technical interest. It was not long before the interest in lawyers’ traditional legal research practices waned, and the emphasis moved to the many systems developed in the 1960s to “automate” legal research. In the process of developing the OBAR system, normative disagreements were recast as technical decisions in the process of developing OBAR/Lexis. Legal research was stripped of its social and political implications and remade as legal “search,” a stand-alone, general skill. In particular, the talk focuses on the developers' and users' competing notions of trust and credibility, tracing the “techniques of trust” that enabled the spread and ascent of OBAR/Lexis.

Alex Reiss Sorokin

Free online event

  • Future undergraduate students
  • Future transfer students
  • Future graduate students
  • Future international students
  • Diversity and Inclusion Opportunities
  • Learn abroad
  • Living Learning Communities
  • Mentor programs
  • Programs for women
  • Student groups
  • Visit, Apply & Next Steps
  • Information for current students
  • Departments and majors overview
  • Departments
  • Undergraduate majors
  • Graduate programs
  • Integrated Degree Programs
  • Additional degree-granting programs
  • Online learning
  • Academic Advising overview
  • Academic Advising FAQ
  • Academic Advising Blog
  • Appointments and drop-ins
  • Academic support
  • Commencement
  • Four-year plans
  • Honors advising
  • Policies, procedures, and forms
  • Career Services overview
  • Resumes and cover letters
  • Jobs and internships
  • Interviews and job offers
  • CSE Career Fair
  • Major and career exploration
  • Graduate school
  • Collegiate Life overview
  • Scholarships
  • Diversity & Inclusivity Alliance
  • Anderson Student Innovation Labs
  • Information for alumni
  • Get engaged with CSE
  • Upcoming events
  • CSE Alumni Society Board
  • Alumni volunteer interest form
  • Golden Medallion Society Reunion
  • 50-Year Reunion
  • Alumni honors and awards
  • Outstanding Achievement
  • Alumni Service
  • Distinguished Leadership
  • Honorary Doctorate Degrees
  • Nobel Laureates
  • Alumni resources
  • Alumni career resources
  • Alumni news outlets
  • CSE branded clothing
  • International alumni resources
  • Inventing Tomorrow magazine
  • Update your info
  • CSE giving overview
  • Why give to CSE?
  • College priorities
  • Give online now
  • External relations
  • Giving priorities
  • Donor stories
  • Impact of giving
  • Ways to give to CSE
  • Matching gifts
  • CSE directories
  • Invest in your company and the future
  • Recruit our students
  • Connect with researchers
  • K-12 initiatives
  • Diversity initiatives
  • Research news
  • Give to CSE
  • CSE priorities
  • Corporate relations
  • Information for faculty and staff
  • Administrative offices overview
  • Office of the Dean
  • Academic affairs
  • Finance and Operations
  • Communications
  • Human resources
  • Undergraduate programs and student services
  • CSE Committees
  • CSE policies overview
  • Academic policies
  • Faculty hiring and tenure policies
  • Finance policies and information
  • Graduate education policies
  • Human resources policies
  • Research policies
  • Research overview
  • Research centers and facilities
  • Research proposal submission process
  • Research safety
  • Award-winning CSE faculty
  • National academies
  • University awards
  • Honorary professorships
  • Collegiate awards
  • Other CSE honors and awards
  • Staff awards
  • Performance Management Process
  • Work. With Flexibility in CSE
  • K-12 outreach overview
  • Summer camps
  • Outreach events
  • Enrichment programs
  • Field trips and tours
  • CSE K-12 Virtual Classroom Resources
  • Educator development
  • Sponsor an event

This paper is in the following e-collection/theme issue:

Published on 11.4.2024 in Vol 26 (2024)

This is a member publication of Imperial College London (Jisc)

Regulatory Standards and Guidance for the Use of Health Apps for Self-Management in Sub-Saharan Africa: Scoping Review

Authors of this article:

Author Orcid Image

There are no citations yet available for this article according to Crossref .


  1. (DOC) How to Write an Excellent Law Research Paper

    research paper legal

  2. Legal Research, 3rd Edition

    research paper legal

  3. Legal Research Template

    research paper legal

  4. legal research paper

    research paper legal

  5. Research Paper Format For Law Students

    research paper legal

  6. FREE 10+ Legal Research Form and Samples in PDF

    research paper legal



  2. How to prepare for one paper legal exam (Part 2/2)

  3. How to do Legal Research


  5. Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About Stamp Paper

  6. Legal Research


  1. Legal Research Strategy

    This guide will walk a beginning researcher though the legal research process step-by-step. These materials are created with the 1L Legal Research & Writing course in mind. However, these resources will also assist upper-level students engaged in any legal research project. ... Researchers can keep paper logs, folders on Westlaw or Lexis, or ...

  2. Legal research: 3-step how-to guide

    1. Identifying the legal issue is not so straightforward. Legal research involves interpreting many legal precedents and theories to justify your questions. Finding the right issue takes time and patience. 2. There's too much to research. Attorneys now face a great deal of case law and statutory material.

  3. The Journal of Legal Studies

    ABOUT THE JOURNAL Frequency: 2 issues/year ISSN: 0047-2530 E-ISSN: 1537-5366 2022 JCR Impact Factor*: 1.0 2022 CiteScore*: 1.2 The Journal of Legal Studies publishes interdisciplinary academic research that tests or develops a particular legal or social scientific theory about law and legal institutions, including short submissions that critique or extend articles published in previous issues ...

  4. Harvard-Law-PUB :: SSRN

    The Harvard Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series journal makes available abstracts and papers in the areas of public law, both domestic and international, and legal theory, broadly defined. Papers may be submitted to the journal's editor, Carol Steiker, at [email protected], or to Professor Steiker's assistant, Amanda Cegielski ...

  5. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies

    A collection of John Gardner's influential research. In memory of Professor John Gardner, we curated a collection of some of his world-class articles, published in OJLS, which expand on the theory of mens rea, tackle the common misconceptions about responsibility, and question the law of discrimination.. Explore now

  6. How to Conduct Legal Research and Analysis

    Beginning your legal research will look different for each assignment. At the outset, ensure that you understand your goal by asking questions and taking careful notes. Ask about background case information, logistical issues such as filing deadlines, the client/matter number, and billing instructions. It's also important to consider how your ...

  7. How to Do Legal Research: A Complete Guide

    First, ensure you understand what you're researching. Then, start with secondary sources (law reviews, practice guides, and treatises), consulting a citator to ensure it's "good" law. Lastly, fill in any gaps with primary sources, including constitutions, treaties, regulations, and case law.

  8. Idea and Methods of Legal Research

    The book then goes on to discuss the use of multi-method legal research, policy research, action research, and feminist legal research and finally, reflects on research-based critical legal writing, as opposed to client-related legal writing. This book, thus, is a comprehensive answer to key questions one faces in legal research. ...

  9. Theoretical and Normative Frameworks for Legal Research: Putting ...

    This paper discusses the role of the theoretical frameworks used in legal research and has two related aims. First, it aims to provide some practical conceptualizations and guidelines regarding theoretical and normative frameworks that are useful to understand and conduct legal research.

  10. PDF An Introduction to Legal Research

    Step #1: Legal Research Process 7 Secondary Sources: Sources of information that describe or interpret the law, such as legal treatises, law review articles, and other scholarly legal writings, cited by lawyers to persuade a court to reach a particular decision in a case, but which the court is not obligated to follow.

  11. LibGuides: Directed Research Projects: The Writing Process

    Unlike legal memos written for class or documents prepared for court proceedings that require formatted headings such as "Question Presented," "Statement of Facts," etc., legal research papers are not required to contain prescribed content or abide by a particular structure. That said, below is a typical approach to organizing the content of ...

  12. 5 Key Steps to Writing an Effective Law Research Paper

    Here, we'll simplify the art of writing a persuasive research paper for law students with the help of 5 key steps. So, without prolonging this intro, let's get to those steps. 1. Select a Relevant and Narrow Topic. Whether you want to write a research paper for law or any other field, the first step you need to perform is to select a relevant topic.

  13. Resources on academic legal writing

    Most law schools require upper-level students to write a sophisticated legal research paper on a topic of their choice. Scholarly Writing guides students through a five-step process of constructing their legal research papers, from topic selection to finishing the final product. Maintaining its example-based approach, the new edition includes ...

  14. Free Legal Research Sites

    Online Legal Information Resources Locate free online primary legal materials for all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, U.S. Federal Government, and Canada. PublicLegal by Internet Legal Research Group Categorized index of select legal websites, thousands of legal forms, and helpful legal resources and documents.

  15. Cornell Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series

    The Cornell Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series presents the scholarship of the Cornell Law School faculty on a broad range of law-related and interdisciplinary topics. Browse the Cornell Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series Collections:

  16. How to write a legal research paper: All you need to know

    Step-1 Choose a theme or topic: The foremost step in writing a legal research paper is to select a theme or topic for the research. Select topics that catch your attention or interest. You can pick topics addressing contemporary issues or topics for the intended audience you wish to cater to. It should be novel, innovative, and interesting.

  17. Cornell Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series

    Monica K Miller, Logan A. Yelderman, Jason A. Cantone, & Matthew Huss (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of psychology and legal decision-making. Cambridge University Press.; Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 23-14; University of Illinois College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 23-09

  18. Legal research papers

    Working papers. 2022. An Analysis of the UK-Australia FTA's Investment Chapter (PDF, 630kB) Author: Joshua Paine A Kantian moral cosmopolitan approach to teaching professional legal ethics (PDF, 693kB) Author: Omar Madhloom COVID-19 at Work: How risk is assessed & its consequences in England & Sweden (PDF, 837kB) A‌uthors: Peter Andersson and Tonia Novitz

  19. Academic Publications

    The Making of Lawyers' Careers: Inequality and Opportunity in the American Legal Profession. October 2023. David B. Wilkins, Robert L. Nelson, Ronit Dinovitzer, Meghan Dawe. , Book. , After the JD, A2J, Career paths, Gender, Race. , Diversity Dividend: The Transformational Power of Small Changes to Debias Your Company, Attract Diverse Talent ...

  20. (Pdf) Legal Research Methodology: an Overview

    Abstract:-. Research methodology is the process for direct approach through mixed types of research. techniques. The research approach supports the researcher to come across the research result ...

  21. Google Scholar

    Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Search across a wide variety of disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions.

  22. Writing a Research Paper

    When you begin writing a research paper, then you need to ask yourself a few questions. The very first thing you have to do would be to decide on what you would like to say, and what you wish to write around. Next, you will need to ask yourself if the topic of the study paper is one which you could write about, and also exactly what your true ...

  23. Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

    IJLLR - Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research is an online bi-monthly law journal. The Journal revolves around Socio-legal topics and is not restricted to any particular field or subject of law. The Journal promotes interdisciplinary research entailing detailed study of law with other disciplines in the contemporary era.

  24. Legal Constitutionalism and the Ius/Lex Distinction

    Abstract. This paper, to be published in a symposium issue on Paolo Sandro's book The Making of Constitutional Democracy (Hart, 2022), focuses on Sandro's insistence that the ius/lex distinction is essential and crucial to modern legal constitutionalism.

  25. Research Guides: Types of Research Papers: Overview

    A research paper is simply a piece of writing that uses outside sources. There are different types of research papers with varying purposes and expectations for sourcing. While this guide explains those differences broadly, ask your professor about specific disciplinary conventions. To argue for a single claim or thesis through evidence and ...

  26. 2024 Tomash Virtual Lecture with Alex Reiss-Sorokin

    Join CBI's 2023-2024 Tomash Fellow Alex Reiss-Sorokin, Ph.D. Candidate in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), presenting her paper From Research to Search: Legal Research Technologies, 1964-1994.This virtual event is free and open to the public.Registration closes at 12 CST on Monday, April 29.RegisterAbstract: This talk ...

  27. 'Misinformation' Is the Censors' Excuse

    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last month in the momentous case of Murthy v. Missouri. At issue is the constitutionality of what government authorities did to censor speech that departed ...

  28. Journal of Medical Internet Research

    Background: Health apps are increasingly recognized as crucial tools for enhancing health care delivery. Many countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, can substantially benefit from using health apps to support self-management and thus help to achieve universal health coverage and the third sustainable development goal. However, most health apps published in app stores are of ...