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Summer Legal Research Tips: When You Get an Assignment

First 5 Steps for Getting Started

1.  Take Notes!

  • Always take notes when receiving an assignment
  • If you receive an assignment in written form parse out the components into notes for yourself

2.  Repeat

  • Whether in email or in-person, always repeat back what you are being asked to do in your own words
  • Repeating back both forces you to formulate your understanding of the problem and clarify any potential misunderstandings upfront

3.  Clarify Parameters

  • How much time do you have?
  • How much money can you spend?
  • What is the expected deliverable?

4.  Assess Your Knowledge

  • What, if anything, do I know about this area of law?
  • What, if anything, do I know about this type of task?
  • What steps do I need to prepare to navigate this question?

5.  Question/Review/Check-In

  • Ask questions when needed!
  • Reviewing, asking questions, and checking-in can help make sure you are on track (but be careful to balance this aspect with the need to be a self-directed and autonomous)