How To Write A Legal Research Paper

Students planning on making their career based off jurisprudence and overall legalese will always have hundreds of case files open in front of them, analyzing whether to file formal charges, dismiss cases or what angle to defend their clients. The entire process begins with understanding how to evaluate some law or case, discern fact from opinion, and write the perfect legal paper for your college professors to grade. All prelaw and advanced graduate level law students can expect legal paper assignments, and this is how to write a legal research paper correctly.

Step 1: Research References Provided

Most college law professors will provide you specific case references to kick off your legal research paper; for example, you may need to review cases which fought the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The teacher will simply give you some references and you’ll need to spend several days in research and note taking. Once you’ve compiled enough information to stake your claim, it’s time for organization to transpire.

Step 2: Pencil In Your Outline

Your outline will be simplistic to create yet lengthy depending on content needed between each heading. You would benefit by making your outline similar to this one below:

  • Title, issue or case being researched and written
  • Rule, law or citation which is equal to your title
  • Arguments which take up your entire body
  • Outcomes of cases which you will put in ending of body
  • Conclusion, consisting of opinion and mitigating circumstances that stick out

Step 3: Scribble Rough Draft

The rough draft of your legal research paper will probably take up several hours of time. You, of course, will probably write the rough draft several dozen times before you’re completely happy. Make sure you stuff your facts and worry less about the spelling or punctuation as this will be edited later down the process tree. Finally, add your appendix page with resources you included unless these were endnotes.

Step 4: Finalize And Edit

Once you feel confident the information written is sufficient enough, make sure you finalize your rough draft, polishing up your font, paragraph format and any requirements given by your law instructors. Edit the final paper for perfect spelling, grammar, sentence structures and punctuation. You may also entertain letting someone else with fresh eyes edit the paper, too, provided they have some legalese.

In Conclusion

Regardless of what topics you choose, from judicial negligence to force majeure, you’ll need to heavily research your legal paper before writing since there are literally oceans of facts existing in law today.