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Legal Research

This research guide introduces users to the legal research process. If you're new to legal research, it's best to follow this guide step-by-step.

Overview

Legal Research Process

This research guide introduces users to the legal research process. If you're new to legal research, it's best to follow this guide step-by-step. The amount of time you focus on each particular step will depend on your research assignment and your instructor's directions.

Legal research in five steps
  1. Gather and Organize Your Thoughts
  2. Secondary Source Research
  3. Identify Relevant Statutes
  4. Identify Relevant Cases
  5. Update Statutes and Cases

This guide is structured to mimic these five steps. Keep in mind that you're likely to repeat all or some of these steps during the course of your reserach. Once you become more familiar with legal research or the area of the law that you're interested in, you're likely to go through this process much faster or even skip a few steps.