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Research Review: Advanced Legal Writing

Legal Research Process Example

Click to see a useful flowchart of the process of legal research from the Loyola University law library website.

Keeping Track of your Research

Keeping Track of Your Research Continued

Be sure to follow a research plan so you don't constantly forget what you have done so far.

Finishing Your Research

At some point your must FINISH researching and start writing something or advising your client.

Hopefully you always follow a research process and use a research checklist so you won't miss anything and can easily evaluate whether you have anything left to be done. 

How to Tell When You are Finished

  • You completed all the steps on your research checklist
  • You keep finding the same information over and over again as you go through the steps of your research checklist
  • The information you found seems to answer your question
  • You have bounced your research strategy (and conclusions) off other people

How to Ensure You Will Never Be Sure That You Haven't Missed Something Important

  • Not having a research process which guides your search strategy
  • Not using a written research checklist to guide your research and record your results
  • Failure to use finding aids such as indexes, tables of contents, and Key Numbers
  • Lack of familiarity with a variety of secondary sources
  • Over reliance on natural language (Googly) searching
  • Failure to effectively use terms and connectors searching
  • Failure to take the time to READ the information you find