Legal research involves not only finding the relevant law and facts but also analyzing the results of your research and communicating those results persuasively. Analysis is the hardest part of legal research.
You use your analytical skills at several stages of the research process. For example, you use analytical skills when sorting relevant facts from irrelevant facts, to frame the legal questions that need researching, and to identify the legal principles, elements, and ingredients that comprise the law on your topic. You use analytical skills to apply the law to the facts of your problem and to identify the issues that will determine whether you win or lose your case.
From law school, you have probably learnt the “IRAC” method of case analysis. IRAC stands for “Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion”. When reading cases, students use IRAC to identify the Issue that the case raised, identify the Rule the court applied, understand how the court Applied that rule, and understand the Conclusion the court reached.
Most of the articles and software on Research One do not repeat what you have already learnt at law school or in continuing legal practice. Rather, the articles and software on this website provide guidance on the more fundamental, and sometimes overlooked, knowledge and skills that affect your analytical skills.
For example, you will learn how to improve your vocabulary. A better vocabulary helps your analytical skills in several ways. A broader vocabulary will help you to better understand the material you read. A deeper vocabulary will alert you to subtle but potentially important differences in a given word’s meaning.
Likewise, the sections on speed reading and comprehension will help your analytical skills. Articles and software will help you to read legal materials more quickly, without diminishing your comprehension of those materials.
Other sections will help you to frame legal questions, apply the law to the facts of your problem, identify issues, and resolve those issues.
To get started, explore our knowledgebase on analytical skills. Do not get daunted. We have included links to software that will help you with the different aspects of legal analysis and fact analysis.