Legal research and decision making

Identifying relevant information using Legal Technology

Written by Knowledge Team, posted on June 13, 2019.

Extend document management solution as knowledge management platform and precedents can become a reliable source in firms legal research

Legal Research

2. The ability to research in an effective manner is an essential skill for a law practice. The main objective of conducting a clear and methodical legal research is to find answers and solutions to legal questions or problems in the most effective way. Process ensures that an attorney has searched in all the relevant sources. In legal practice, being able to prove that a good legal research is executed can help show the clients that the work is accurate and that value for money is realized. To be a successful lawyer, one needs to know how to research the law, across various sources

Steps in Legal Research

It is always a good idea to follow a structured way while performing legal research.
  • Define the scope of the legal research project and the issues that need to be researched.
  • Generate a list of search terms specific to the issue for which the research is carried out.
  • Plan the research path for each issue.
  • Search for relevant information by executing a research plan.
  • Evaluate the information found and validate the research to ensure that all the information is current.
  • Revise the search terms and research plan as necessary and repeat the search process to gain a complete clarity of the researched issue.

Tools for Legal Research

First step is to identify and establish the Primary Authority. Primary authorities are the rules of law that are binding upon the courts, government, and individuals including statutes, regulations, court orders and court decisions.
Secondary sources act as supporting tool for legal research as they help to define or situate an issue and gather information on a new or unfamiliar topic, for which Primary source may not an authoritative source. It helps identify legal subjects and develop search strategies and effective keywords and search strings. A research can begin by consulting a right secondary source and can be validated against primary source.
Another emerging tool in legal research is using artificial intelligence tools (AI) to streamline the research process and provide faster and accurate results.

Tips for an Effective Legal Research

Knowledge Management must provide or create the right tools for enhanced learning.
  • Analyse and Reread the problem:
    The issue being researched should be well understood and all the relevant facts must be in place. 5. To be successful in researching, one must comprehend the issues and be able to stay focused at the problem to discover overlooked issues. A well planned research strategy can prove fruitful in this case. A clear research strategy is one in which all of the research sources available are considered and all the research tools and contents are used. Scanning the issue may offer new insights into the research problem.
  • Channelize the search process:
    Start with simple search logics to see what results turn up and then gradually and carefully add more appropriate keywords and search operators to hone the results to obtain the most useful outcome. Use Boolean searches wherever applicable and advanced searching options to find even the most obscure and hidden cases. By browsing indexes of previously untried sources, new terms or concepts can be located.
  • Try out all possible ways before ending:
    Other than online search processes, primary and secondary sources, Consider talking to others in the law firm for their views or asking the legal secretary association about their best practices and tools. A law librarian can also suggest resources and strategies. Learn about the many alternative research tools and how to use them. Once all options of legal research have been carried out, start writing the legal analysis document at your best.

Be a pro at Legal Research

Being proficient in legal research is essential for an attorney’s success in legal practice. A sharp eye for accuracy and attention to details in identifying and retrieving information necessary to support legal decision-making are crucial for a good legal researcher. Regardless of the path or strategy followed, if an attorney is thorough and flexible in the research process, succeed is granted.

Extend Document Management Solution

Existing precedents and case documents can be tagged with practice pertinent keywords. This allows the contents to be searched for decision making and introducing SOP for content creation will guarantee that time invested on legal research is protected. PageLightPrime Legal Document Management Solution provides document automation feature to assemble documents based on precedents. Document created can be tagged surfaces the contents automatically based on case description and practice area.
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