When undertaking legal research it is best to begin by consulting Secondary Materials such as books, journals, legal dictionaries and encyclopedias. These will provide the broader legal context of an issue, alert you to areas of uncertainty and debate, as well as referring to key legislation and cases. Use the side menu of this guide to locate these secondary sources. You may then wish to search Primary Materials, including legislation and case law.
Legal problem solving becomes much easier when following a structured method. Two methods used at UC are F.I.L.A and IRAC
For further details see the UC Law School's Guide.
2. IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion)
This method is both a specific method of case analysis, or legal reasoning, and a useful framework for organising or writing out an analysis. It involves laying out the issue to be discussed, identifying the relevant legal rule, the application or analysis of material facts based on that rule, and the overall conclusion.
Further details are avaialble courtesy of tthis Guide from the University of Western Australia.
Download the PowerPoint slide deck to access a past Legal Research Skills presentation by UC Library Staff.
The Learning outcomes were as follows: