Don't pull an all-nighter
for a research assignment.


Work smarter not harder: by organizing your thinking and your research around a time-honored method. And get some sleep!

We know you know not every lawyer goes into litigation – and if you don’t see yourself in a courtroom you might think you can skimp on legal research and writing. Don’t. Do. It.

You have to understand legal foundations and case law to fully understand any area of practice. Legal research and writing are crucial skills to be able to find, interpret and analyze the law, and to articulate a clear and persuasive response. Plus, you need these skills to pass your classes and the bar exam.

Raise the Question

Spotting the Issues

Knowing how to spot your issues is key to legal writing. Learn that your paramount task is to spot the issues the facts raise, and gain the skills to do this efficiently and effectively.


The CREAC Format

What Comes First:
Rule or Application?

Maximize your writing by learning this legal writing formula:
Conclusion, Rule, Explanation, Application, and Conclusion.


As you build out your research, remember these tips:


Update and expand your materials

Determine the end point of your research process

Think creatively about the research process

If your primary sources are duds, consider starting over with secondary sources

Learn about the different research tools and leverage them

Understand that there may not be a direct answer

If you're hitting a brick wall, consider consulting with a librarian, faculty member or Reference Attorney for advice


Hit a roadblock during a legal research assignment?
A Reference Attorney can help with that.

Not all heroes wear capes. Did you know Thomson Reuters has real
attorneys to help you during your legal research journey?

Getting started.

Don’t know where to begin?

Locating content.

Have you been asked to find something and you’re unsure where to go?

Tackling a new area of law.

Still learning copyright law and other areas?

Best search tips.

Stumped on how and where to search?

Improve research efficiency.

Is your research taking too long or do you have other things to do?

Refining your strategy.

Or don’t have a strategy? (yes, that is important.)

Using legal solutions products.

Not sure what these products do?

They are just one step away at all times

So why not give them a call? Or chat with them live by clicking “LiveChat” on the bottom left corner of Westlaw and Practical Law.

eLearning Options

Still not feeling very strong in legal research?
These eLearning modules will put you on the right track.


Is Your Case Good Law?


Build a Research Plan


Identifying Key Search Terms

Explore the Guide

Looking for something else?
Explore these other topics in the Law School Survival Guide.