Why is legal research important? Legal research is important to every law office no matter what kind of practice it is because you have to be able to find cases, you need to be able to find the laws, you need to be able to find the rules so that you can do your job. A paralegal who can do legal research really well is very valuable to a law firm. If you get a case and you need to find out what other cases have there been that are like this? What are the laws in this case? What happens if this happens, or what happens if that happens? You need to be able to resolve that, and one way that you’re able to do that is if you know how to do legal research.
If you have a car accident case, you can go on the internet, or you can go to the law library, and you can find other cases that are similar to yours, and find out what the courts did in that case. What happened in this case? How can I find out what to do? What if I want the judge to rule in my favor? Then I can go to the legal research and I can find cases that are similar to mine, and then I can present them to the court and say, “Your honor, last time this happened in Colorado, this is what the court did, and this is how I would like for you to decide my case.”
Legal research also can be used to find out the rules. What are you supposed to do? When do I have to file the complaint? Who can serve it? How can I get this person served if I don’t know where they are? There’s rules about publishing to the summons in the newspapers, so you can serve somebody by publication. There’s rules about what time you’re supposed to file, how many days you have to file. There’s also case law about that, and if you don’t have the rules, you can find cases that are similar to yours, and the rules might be in the case. There’s lots of different ways that you can use legal research to find out what you want to know.