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Law Search Guide: Home

This guide is essential for every law student. Learn how to undertake legal research using quick and simple methods.



Welcome to the Law Search Guide 

Use this guide to learn the simple methods you can use to search.


What is legal searching? 

Legal searching is all about finding the evidence. Using evidence will support your arguments, statements and analysis with authority. Many law assignments will have a legal search component. 


Why should I learn it? 

Learning how to undertake legal searches is an essential skill for law students. Learning how to search, find and select resources will help you find the best quality evidence in the least amount of time. Legal searching skills will not only be valuable through your studies, but they are also skills that you can use in your current or future professional roles. 


How do I learn to do legal searching? 

Start by using this guide, each page will introduce you to a new topic. On this guide you will be able to read about the principles of searching, you will be able to watch video demonstrations of searching and you will be able to try practical activities. Legal searching is a  practical skill, so the more you practice the more experience and skill you will have. 


What will I learn from this guide? 

This guide will give you basic legal searching skills. By working through this guide you will learn;

  • Fundamental search skills such as how to pick out keywords and plan your research.
  • How to start searching for a new area of law that you know nothing about. 
  • How to find case law by browsing, searching by case name, citation, or keywords. 
  • How to find other material based on a case, such as a journal article. 
  • How to find out if a case is still good law.
  • How to find legislation both current and historical.
  • How to search for secondary sources, you will know how to find a book, a journal article or a report. 
  • How to critically evaluate legal resources.
  • Approaches to undertaking an assignment in law units such as case notes, essays, problem solving and exams.
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