Research is the root of the legal profession. Without research, the legal profession is stagnant, this is because the law is dynamic. Whether they are professionals like lawyers and judges or they are law students, law teachers everybody in the legal profession needs research. The law changes with society and with time it becomes essential to know what are the social rules and laws that have made an impact. The primary purpose of legal research or normal research is to analyse the new facts and justify the old facts of the concerned topic.
We will understand the genuine definition of research and, after that, understand legal research through this article. There are various sorts of legal research and we’ll take a look at the types by comparing and contrasting them. Not only this but towards the end of the article some websites help in conducting authentic legal research.
WHY IS LEGAL RESEARCH IMPORTANT?
Law can be considered as a tool administered to see reforms in the social sphere. The importance of research in such a field proves to be enormous considering the social analysis and proving points for amendments in the current legal system. But this has been stated in the whole legal sense involving the judiciary and the government. When it comes to students, the best way to understand the current system is to research any legal topic that they find prevalent for their line of work.
Law is an evolving subject and the need for research is high.
Automatically, the students are required to research more. A student decades ago would have found the research work to be comparatively more challenging if compared to the current student research. Technology has grown extensively, which makes it easier and thus, students must use this advantage and research. The resources as stated in the later subtopic prove that the students have a greater number of websites to look up their prevalent topics. Earlier, a commentary on a certain Act may have all the information, however, the time taken to find the book and look up the required subtopic could take up hours. In the current legal sphere, a commentary or an act can be looked up within seconds. The control bar on their keyboard is enough to look up any particular word within a blink of an eye. With such resources at their disposal, more research is appreciated.
STEPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE CONDUCTING THE RESEARCH
- The first requirement is to ensure that you are sure about the research project. Make sure you have the time to dedicate, and this requires the utmost dedication. Your internships or college assignments may interfere with such projects and may affect the research. Free up your schedule.
- There must be an assurance from yourself that such a topic is worthy of your attention and time. You must be interested in such a field. Only if you are focused can the completion of research be seen. Ensure the topic you have picked is desired and you have no issues dedicating your precious time.
- Once the topic is discussed, ensure the research question is relevant. There is no point in going on about a topic that has no question attached. You have to answer in your research and provide analysis for such questions to catch the attention of the audience.
- Ensure the right resources are used while citing certain work. News articles can be used rarely in times of question of facts. The legal questions require scholarly articles or resources discussed in the later subtopic.
- Citations are allowed but ensure your work is unique. There is no point in answering questions already discussed in other articles. Originality is required and ensures there are strong points to support your stance on certain legal issues.
RELIABLE RESOURCES FOR LEGAL RESEARCH
We all think that doing legal research is just a piece of cake but in reality, it’s not. Legal research is not about copying information from Wikipedia, it’s about looking for authentic databases to read from. Just like we need subscriptions to watch series on OTT platforms, we also need subscriptions to access legal databases. Some legal databases like SCC Online, are not available unless you purchase the subscriptions. But there is nothing to worry about because there are many legal websites that can be referred to for legal research.
Most of the information can be obtained from these sites, some of which are mentioned below:
SCC Online – The SCC Online, is a globally known publishing firm. For 75 years they have been creating authentic and dependable legal information. It has been offering legal services throughout India. However, if you want to use SCC, you’ll need to acquire a membership plan.
Indian Kanoon – Sushant Sinha founded the Indian Kanoon in 2008. It is one of the most effective tools available to law students for quickly comprehending complex decisions.
Law Times Journal – Law Times Journal, founded in 2014, is one of the main online legal education platforms. It believes that free legal education should be promoted. It also offers resume writing services to assist students in securing internships.
Bar and Bench – Established in 2011. One-stop for all the interviews, columns sources, news related to the legal profession.
Manupatra – To access this site also you’ll need a membership plan. The database includes all the bare acts/statutes, enterprise search, analytics and visual research and editorial enhancements regarding the legal field.
Taxmann Online – Taxmann online is a subject-based database that contains case law on direct taxes, indirect taxes, and business regulations. Acts, rules, forms, regulations, and circulars relating to tax and business law are included.
From the above article, it can be concluded that legal research is the basis for the legal profession. Laws are complicated and we need to find simpler ways to understand the complexities. There are numerous ways to do legal research and there are various kinds of research any of which can be used to do the necessary research. Secondary sources, such as commentaries, textbooks, and journals should always be used first. After that, primary sources such as legislation, constitutions etc. should be used.
As we know that both law and society impact each other, research is vital. In research, each method has its role. Obstacles may arise during the research which can be avoided by following proper steps and methods.