New legal researchers often sidestep research planing and immediately go to Google or an online database for keyword searching. Instead take a contemplative pause before plunging forward, and try this simplified structure as a template that remains flexible.
contemplative pause = THINK FIRST!
Use a worksheet to plan your search! It's downloadable!
2.. Unless you have a case or code citation, start with SECONDARY SOURCES to learn some background on the subject matter.
3. Next, determine what PRIMARY SOURCES govern the subject (legislation or case law).
4. ASK: How do you know if you are done?
5. VERIFY & UPDATE (using Shepard's/Keycite/BCite) to make sure your primary sources are current and accurate.
How do you answer a legal question? Start by analyzing the problem!
Identify the people, places, things, actions, and issues:
Use the method recommended by your LRW professor (e.g., IRAC, CRAC, TARP)
While you are asking these questions, you should be thinking about search terms.