This page will help you analyze the legal problem you are going to research and help you identify the points your research will need to address.
Below is a sample research plan template:
Once you have a handle on what your legal problem is you can plan your research accordingly.
The depth and focus of your plan will likely vary depending on the issues and your familiarity with the subject area.
Start with secondary sources – discussions of the law – to get a grounding on the developed law and an idea of relevant legislation and leading cases on your topic. You'll find detail on secondary sources, including help in finding them, in the next section of this guide.
Legal dictionaries, legal encyclopedias, textbooks, annotated statutes, law reform commission reports, websites and blogs are all examples of secondary materials. Include these steps in your plan:
Legislation is often the first primary source to consider as many legal research problems centre on the interpretation of legislation. Statutes, regulations and by-laws are all examples of legislation. Your research plan should include these steps:
The other key primary source is case law. Be sure to pay attention to court level and jurisdiction. Your research plan should include these steps: