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Legal Internship Research Toolkit: Research Strategy

Legal Research Process

  • Identify the scope of the legal question
            - Jurisdiction
            - Key sources and search terms
            - Applicable time period
  • Start by consulting a secondary source
  • Core text, Encycolpedias, or key articles
  • Identify the relevant legislation
  • Identify the cases that are on-point
  • Confirm the authority is still good law
  • Search online to fill gaps in your research
  • Keep a record of your research trail


Exhaust Your Resources



(Created by: Joseph Kennedy)

Boolean, Phrase Search and Truncation

Use Boolean  [AND]

E.g. narcotic & warrant

Use Boolean [OR]

E.g. lawyer OR counsel OR attorney

Use Phrase  [“  ”] double inverted commas

E.g. "tax deduction"

Use Truncation [* or ! or $ check database or search engine]

E.g. ident* retrieves: identity; identities;  identify etc.

Use Proximity Operator [ w/s or w/p or w/n]

E.g.circumstances W/s mitigation

More details

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