Breaking Down a Legislative Search

California legislative history

With any kind of legislative research project, you have to have very specific goals and a clear understanding of your intended outcome. Being able to put a concise game plan together for your legal research will allow you to efficiently uncover the necessary federal statutes and regulations or legislative history in regards to your case. Before you get too far along, make sure that you understand when to seek further clarification or guidance to avoid extended, unfruitful searches.

As you dive into research, it may be beneficial to start with a simple google search to get a clear understanding of all facets of the subject. Once you have a basic understanding, you can better formulate your strategy as you investigate your primary references, such as prior cases, legal statutes and regulations. Depending on your needs, you may need to confirm any research charges in terms of client cases or invoicing arrangements. That will insure that you are covered later in terms of time and effort spent on research.

Do not discount the law reviews and commentaries to fill in any gaps in your research. While they may not be directly useful to the inner workings of the case work, they can give new life to a stalling research problem. Regardless of where your research takes you, there must be constant checks that you are sticking to the original task, and not following an unnecessary tangent.

Research can alter your course of action along the way. Quite honestly, you just do not know what you do not know, so it may be helpful to go back as you gain new insights. This recursive nature will allow you to dive back into your previous research with a more refined eye as to what is important. Finally, during any legislative research project, you have to know when it is appropriate to stop your research. Once you have uncovered the relevant information, you will have to make the judgement call that you have gathered enough in your legislative research. Continue your research here.

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