Legal Research Importance and Benefits in the Legal Industry
Legal research, importance and benefits in the legal industry are well known. Legal research is an very important tool for individual lawyers and law firms irrespective of their practice areas. It involves basic search for land mark case governing the issues in question. Legal research, though sounds simple is a not an easy job. The skill to conduct legal research is indispensable for lawyers, regardless of area or type of practice. The most basic step in legal research is to find the leading case governing the issues in question. As most researchers know, this is far more difficult than it sounds.
Some of the common problems that the researchers face while doing research are:
There is a very strong possibility that during the research process, the issues at stake are wrongly interpreted. Wrong interpretation can result in research not relevant to the current issue. Hence, identification of the right issue is very crucial for an effective research. A good research involves searching for underlying principles of finding, understanding, and applying the law.
The second issue which the researchers continuously face is changes made in the law of a particular state or country. Split and conflicting decisions also make it difficult for the legal researchers to reach an appropriate conclusion. The most significant stage for legal research begins with the beginning of a case as it is important to carefully explore the facts of a case and the legal doctrines and examples that may apply which will shape the strategy of presenting the case. Good legal research is an entangle of analysis, understanding, and application. A lawyer’s understanding and analysis of a case starts by identifying the relevant facts and determining the legal issues that need to be researched. This analysis continues the question of what needs to be searched is determined. As relevant legal matter is found, application and understanding of the same is required. The research makes available a crucial investigative base that prompts the decisions for the rest of the case. Research is a serious and continuing constituent of representing a client.
Finding the right law is crucial to any legal research. However one should not forget that the right conclusion depends upon the researcher’s ability to analyze the matter found during the research process. Research needs to be taken seriously and one needs to be committed to continuously develop their researching skills. Taking research seriously also means working on your research skills and knowledge. One should be up to date with frequently changing laws and should be available to devote long hours as at times, looking for the correct issue can be time consuming. Patience and a yearning to learn are the qualities that all researchers must possess as research skills enables one to learn about new areas of the law and keep up to date throughout their career.
Researcher’s ignorance about the current or the changed law is no excuse for improper discharge of its duty as a researcher. Also one should note that researchers should provide a list of resources that were consulted during the research process so as to prove the authenticity of the material provided.
A person undertaking a legal research project should be knowledgeable of the fundamental principles and issues of law related to the topic of the research undertaken. Thorough knowledge will help in determining the law on significant issues and facts.
Attorneys, who have not performed significant research always face the risk of being sued by their clients as failure to carry out research in a proper manner to have a better understanding of the prevalent law can lead to personal liability issues for the client.
Though there are many tools available for conducting an effective research, legal research has become more difficult as the need for accurate and current data has emerged thus asking the researchers to acquire new skills so as to keep pace with the changes. Legal research is a critical skill all practicing lawyers must acquire, however attorneys who are hard pressed for time and cannot devote time to research can now outsource research projects to legal support services provider based in India. The benefit of outsourcing such projects shall save on cost and shall be delivered with the same output as these offshore vendors support a team of well qualified lawyers who are experts in doing research projects.
The key to effective legal research is to develop a good research tactic and following a effective approach.