This comprehensive reference work is specifically aimed at busy practitioners (solicitors, barristers and professional support lawyers). Legal Research: A Practitioner's Handbook provides practical advice on every aspect of effective legal research: problem analysis, selecting and finding the best sources, and presenting results effectively.
This second edition has been thoroughly updated throughout, taking into account the increasing popularity of the PLC database aimed at UK law practitioners, the overhaul of a number of government and other official sites (national and international), and significant changes to directions by UK courts relating to the conduct and presentation of legal research. New material on the use of social media in legal research has also been added.
Part A covers problem identification and analysis, followed by advice on how to select the best sources and formats (paper or electronic) for research. Part B deals with the information most frequently sought by practitioners, listing sources with analytical comments and, for a selection of the most complex, `how to use' instructions developed to a standard template. Jurisdictional coverage includes England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the European Union, with the addition of information on key sources in European human rights and international law. Part C details sources on how to make the presentation of the results of legal research more effective. These three parts are supplemented by Part D, which describes in non-technical language how a practitioner might get the best value for money when buying information, whether print or online, from commercial law publishers. Extensive appendices provide:
* indexes to abbreviations for Acts, journals and law reports;
* a glossary of technical terms used in legal research;
* a summary of the practice directions, statements and decisions of the UK courts relating to legal research;
* a table of guidance on how to devise more effective searches on the four most popular commercial databases and
* a popular names index for legislation and cases relating to the UK and the EU.
Peter Clinch has 35 years' experience in law information work, including training law students, practising solicitors and law librarians in legal research skills. Jon Beaumont is Head of Knowledge Management at Shakespeares. He is Chair of the British & Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) Publications Committee.
List of Figures Introduction Acknowledgements PART A - BEFORE TOUCHING A KEYBOARD OR OPENING A BOOK ... 1 Where to Start the Research 2 Which Sources to Use 3 How to Choose the Sources PART B - SELECTING THE RIGHT SOURCE AND USING IT EFFECTIVELY 4 General Law Encyclopaedias 5 Legislation 6 Case Law 7 Procedural Law 8 Words and Phrases 9 Updating Known Law 10 Commentary on the Law 11 Pre-legislative Proposals 12 Other Official Information 13 Where to Find Legal Information not Available within your Firm or Chambers 14 Business Information 15 Information about People and Personalities Connected with the Law 16 Portals, Gateways and More PART C - PRESENTING THE RESULTS EFFECTIVELY 17 Writing to Impress PART D - HOW TO GET THE BEST DEAL FROM COMMERCIAL LAW PUBLISHERS 18 Buying Legal Information APPENDICES 1 Lists of Abbreviations 2 What Does this Technical Term Mean? 3 Court Directions Relating to Legal Research 4 Using Databases Better 5 Popular Names Index to UK Cases and EU Legislation and Cases Index of Published Materials Index to Databases and Organisations General Index