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The Legal Research Process

The legal research process is how we recommend students conduct their research. It entails starting your research with secondary sources to help you understand and identify the law.  The secondary sources often point to the most relevant primary sources- the case law and legislation you should use. 


Secondary sources of law refer, discuss and help locate the law but are not primary sources.  They can help in understanding the law in specific areas.  They include dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, commentaries, and journal articles - pretty much anything that talks about the law.  If you don't know much about a topic start with general information and work towards more specific sources:

Primary sources are the authoritative records of law. These are:

Subjects: Law