Documenting Legal Research

The library team at Field Law uses the word blink all the time.  We use it in the context of Blink by Malcolm Gladwell; i.e. What is your Blink on a starting point for this legal research question?

To back up our blink, we also document common questions and processes within a Library Procedures Manual. We also publish how to guides on our Intranet for common research tasks: How do we note up a case; how do we search for judicial consideration of a statute section; how do we check for coming in to force dates; what are the amounts under the cap for insurance; what is the judgment interest rate…

Today’s Tip is about documenting your legal research processes.  Like David and Garry’s advice about Office Manuals, think about creating and maintaining documentation about your research process.  It is easy to do for each project by adding a “Sources Consulted” heading at the end of a research memo that explains where you looked and how. It is also easy to make a spot where you consistently save information about how you do things.

Hat Tip to students of the Head Start program, who help keep legal research process top of mind for me every June.

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