How to begin with Legal Research

A Lot of Law students often get confused when they hear the word research. The first thing that they do is go to Google, type the Key Words and within a few seconds millions of hits with respect to your topic pops up. The student gets confused and then gets stuck in the endless loop.

To be honest Google Search is ideally helpful for people, who already know the basics of the subject. Too much information may look like an achievement, but as a lawyer, you should know, what are the best ways to segregate that information.

Hereunder are a few useful tips to master the art of Legal Research

Understand your topic.

A lot of students often jump to conclusions without reading the basics. Always read the basics of your topic from a Bare Act and then proceed towards referring to the said topic from a Text and in the end a Legal Commentary.

Make Pointers

It is important to make pointers, before starting your legal research. If you have your pointers in place, it will be easier to have a road map, which will help you to research in the right direction. The best way to start with your pointers is by asking 5 Ws and 1 H to your topic.

Always keep a notebook and pen handy

Legal Research cannot be started until and unless you have a pen and paper nearby. It is true that you have modern technology, which helps you to copy and paste data, but as a new researcher or someone who is just starting to write down, it really won’t help you. When you write down pointers with your own hands, you are mentally more alert and tend to notice, the content, which helps you in memorizing the content later on.

When you are using a Digital device, your half work is automatically done, but with an absent mind. Going old school helps.

Make a habit to read hardcopy every day

It is important to understand that even to date not much of quality content is available online. It will take at least a few more years to get quality legal content online. Legal Commentaries are still the best source for experience-rich content. Those big fat books may look boring and tiresome, but if you want to be above average lawyer then, this is one of the best routes to adapt. One does not have to read the entire 4000 pages in a day, but you can definitely read 2-3 pages in a day.

Read Judgments and Bare Acts

Bare Acts are the simplest law books. Make it a daily habit to at least read the Index page of the Bare Act, so that you know which sections are there under, which laws. Always read at least 5 new Judgments every single day, so that you are well-updated with the current trends. Instead of relying on the Internet, it is always advisable to read law journals, which are generally subscribed to by the Law School and are available in the Libraries.

A Law student should always consume, Legal Content from the Daily Newspapers, with a pinch of salt. Most of the time, these articles are not written by a person from a legal background and often the most simplest judgments are sensationalized for views.

Attend your Lectures in the College

It is important for a law students to understand the basic concepts of Law Theoretically before they move into the practical world. Until and unless a student, does not understand the concept or the idea behind a particular law, they will not be able to analyse and apply the same law. So even if you refer to guides for your exams, ensure that you read Bare Acts during your spare time.

No matter how much you dislike a particular professor. A person is appointed as a professor because they have certain skill set and knowledge, which you do not have.

Participate in Competitions

College days are the best place to remove your fear. Remember one thing, your life belongs exclusively to you. It is up to you, whether you want Fear and Negativity to dominate you or you want to develop your skill set. A Law Student, is above `18 years of age, at this age, you are given the Right to Vote, Right to Drive a Vehicle, do definitely, know what is best for you, and fight for same.

Participate in Competitions to learn. It is not mandatory to participate in Competition only through Colleges, there are so many other Online Competitions, participate in them individually.

Research is a Habit

You cannot do your legal research in a day. You have to keep on reading every day to be well acquainted with the current laws and develop your own techniques. The more you are curious to read about any subject, the more you will move towards perfection.

A Law student with good Research skills can easily be a Good Lawyer.

Research forms a huge part of a Lawyer’s life. Develop this practice at the earliest, so that your speed to get the correct judgment at the right time will increase.

A Final year law student, should be able to figure out which laws are applicable to the particular subject and shortlist atleast 5 case laws once the brief has been presented to them. This will happen only with sincere and consistent habit of reading.

Here is a small video that I had recorded on How to do Legal Research

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