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Legal Research in the UK


surveyEarlier on today, I put up a quick post calling for assistance in some research I’m undertaking to better understand the ways in which practising lawyers go about researching issues of law in 2016.

I’ve developed a shortish survey that asks a range of questions about your attitudes and approaches to carrying out legal research. I am no survey designer and I am sure many a hole could be picked in the way this survey has been put together. That said, I think most of you will get the gist of what I’m asking!

Availability of legal information is a tricky issue here in the UK. Unlike many other common law jurisdictions, the UK does not have any real form of centralised, state-sponsored mechanism for disseminating primary law, let alone secondary materials. Here in the UK, we have a hodge-podge of sources, some are free, some are good value and some are incredibly expensive. Some are lean on the amount of information on offer, others throw in the kitchen sink.

The tools lawyers use to research the law do not get that much attention. But they’re important. The tools lawyers use and the ways in which they are used influence the efficiency and quality of legal advice and advocacy. This in turn influences the efficiency and quality of judicial decision-making.

This survey seeks out to understand what you use and how you use it. I can’t offer to enter you into a prize draw for an iPad for taking part of this survey, but please be assured that you have my gratitude!

You can access the survey here

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About the Author

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I am a law reporter employed by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England & Wales. I write law reports for the Official Law Reports, the Weekly Law Reports and the Public and Third Sector Reports. I also write on a freelance basis for the Road Traffic Reports and the Times Reports.

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