cropped logo 1 01.png
download (2)

Common Challenges in Legal Research and How to Overcome Them.


Legal research has always been a crucial part of the legal profession. This has helped lawyers and judges to make informed decisions based on previous cases and legal principles. However, this becomes challenging, especially for amateurs in dealing with complex legal issues. This article will explore some challenges that arise during legal research and will offer ways to tackle them.

1. Finding Relevant Sources: 

With the amount of information available online, it can become overwhelming to decide which sources to rely on. This is one of the biggest challenges one might face during their legal research. Following are some strategies to deal with them:

  • Define your research question: Having clarity on your research topic and what you want to achieve keeps you way above the game. Before you start your research, have an understanding of the research question. This will avoid any waste of time on irrelevant sources.      
  • Use keywords: When your research is keyword-specific, reaching out to answer your research question becomes easy. Try both narrow and broad keywords to fill out all the possibilities of your research question. 
    Use Boolean operators: Using different Boolean operators like AND, OR and NOT can ease out your search and refine it to more relevant sources. Making strings using these operators along with both broad and narrow keywords can lead you better to the research question.
  • Use secondary sources: Sometimes reaching out to your primary source can be a herculean task. Using secondary sources can provide some background understanding and lead you to relevant research questions. These can include legal encyclopedias, treatises or some law review articles.

2. Understanding Legal Concepts

Sometimes the complex legal words and terminologies used might appear daunting. These can be confusing for laymen or newbies in the legal profession. Following are some strategies to understand them better:

  • Define key terms: You can have your own set of notes where you enlist certain key terms related to your research question. For this, you can use a legal dictionary or other reliable sources. This way you can have your handbook that can be accessed anytime.
  • Read cases carefully: Whenever studying cases, pay attention to minute details. This can include facts, holding or reasoning of the court. This way one can understand the legal concepts better and how they apply to your research question.
  • Consult secondary sources: Sometimes reaching out to some secondary sources can facilitate your search. This includes legal encyclopedias and treatises that can provide helpful explanations of complex legal concepts. One can also have access to examples of how these concepts have been applied in practice.
  • Seek advice from experienced lawyers: One should never stop seeking help or guidance. If you’re struggling with understanding complex legal concepts, seek advice from experienced lawyers in your area of law. They have experience and can provide valuable insights into these concepts.

3. Analyzing Legal Arguments

One big challenge in legal research is the analysis of legal arguments mentioned in certain cases. Legal arguments might appear tiring and can lead to academic fatigue. Hence, making it difficult to bring clarity on the strengths and weaknesses. Here are some strategies for analyzing legal arguments:

  • Identify the issue: Identification of the main legal issue present in the case is not a straight line path. Try focussing on the relevant arguments and avoid getting bogged down in irrelevant details.
  • Identify the parties’ arguments: Identify the arguments that are presented by each party in a certain case. Demarcate the positions of both sides on the issue and understand how they support their arguments with evidence and authority.
  • Evaluate the strength of each argument: Evaluate the strength of each argument as per evidence and authority. Think of certain factors such as precedent, logic, and policy considerations while you evaluate each argument’s strength.
  • Consider counterarguments: Consider making a note of the counter arguments presented by the opposing party or other sources. This can help one understand the alternative perspectives on the issue. Once done, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each argument more objectively becomes easy.

4. Managing Time Constraints

Time constraint is one big challenge while doing legal research. Dealing with complex issues or huge volumes of information can be time-consuming. Here are some strategies to manage time constraints:

  • Set realistic goals: Set realistic goals for yourself while doing the research. These goals can be framed as per available time and the complexity of the issue. This will not only save you from overcommitting but also remain energized. Along with ensuring that you have enough time to complete your project effectively.
  • Prioritize tasks:  Make a priority list of tasks based on how important or urgent they are. This also ensures that you complete them within your time constraints. One can also avoid getting stuck in less important tasks at the expense of more important ones.
  • Use technology efficiently:  One can use tools such as online databases, PDF readers, and citation managers to streamline the research process. This will not only save time but will also avoid errors. Projects can be completed more timely and efficiently by minimizing errors and omissions that arise due to manual processes such as handwritten notes or citation cards.

In today’s world, the way we work, behave, communicate, or interact with people is changing rapidly. We now can exchange ideas easily around the globe making it easy to do legal research. This gives us the freedom to conduct research more comprehensively and coherently. Although the use of technology has some challenges but can be worked upon if above mentioned ways are used.

Allied Outsourcing is one of the prominent providers of outsourced legal services that tend to deliver thorough and effective legal support to international law firms and corporations through their vast experience and global connections. Employing Allied Outsourcing for legal research can result in reduced expenses, increased adaptability, and access to a competent group of legal practitioners. The Allied Outsourcing can provide excellent services customized to fulfill the precise demands of every customer. 

Related News