Legal Research is primarily considered a function that is delegated to paralegals. Although, attorneys do conduct legal research it is a paralegal that is required to be proficient at legal research.
Legal research requires a great deal of time and patience as it is not a task that can be performed without careful consideration of how the research results will determine the outcome of a case. Whether a paralegal is working for an attorney or for themselves it still requires the same level of attention. Why then do most paralegals not understand the basics of legal research and spend the time and energy to develop these skills.
Becoming a proficient legal researcher requires a great deal of time and effort. Follow these tips and cut the time that it takes for you to complete your legal research projects:
- Have a plan. Without a plan your research you will surely spend a lot of time on your legal research projects.
- Write out your plan so that you can refer to it when you need to.
- Ask for help when you need it. This may be one of the most important tips in cutting down the time it takes to complete a legal research project. Although you may know what you are looking for. Someone else in your office or a colleague may know how you can reach your research goals quicker while obtaining more relevant information.
- Start your research off with the mindset that you are search a huge database. Knowing how the legal research system providers database is structured is extremely important.
- Use research shortcuts. Almost all research systems have various shortcuts that can be used in order to sift through that particular legal research database.
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