Read 28 comments as:
Filter By
I my experience legal research is nothing but searching on Google for extended period of time.

Please enlighten me if I am mistaken.

Also if you think this is not what legal research is please do enlighten me (serious) because I really want to learn.
It's not that straightforward as Google search. If one is finding an order/judgment from a website, a person would require knowledge of what is meant by O.A., W.P., Second Appeal, Civil Appeal, etc etc.

In my limited understanding, I think in India mostly topmost investigative journalists apart from lawyers/law students possess such knowledge. Therefore, legal Research is not just a Google search. At least for now.
Based on your current circumstances, you may be eligible for a full refund of the fees you have paid to your college.
enlighten us with your profound knowledge, what do you do in β€œlegal research”?
To add, what is legal research if not a longer trial and error search with requirement of bare minimum legal lingo and a SCC/Manu subscription
You can go the same with any thing.

What is birdwatching if not a sight of a bird, with a binocular
Let me guess. first-year law student after completing the first law school project?
Bhai Maine toh law degree complete bhi kar Li phir bhi yahi question hai.
everyone who is going to answer against this, please provide reasons for doing so. I am a first year student and would like to know what legal research is, if not what OP said it is.
It is the nuances that Google cannot give us. It leads us, the horse, to water, but cannot force us to drink. It is up to us to make that additional effort.

If you simply copy-paste shit and make random inferences, then God help you.
What is surgery if not glorified butchering?

What is investment banking if not a glorified game of Monopoly?
Han aise toh sab bekar: what is aerospace engineering if not glorified Lego assembly? What is mathematics if not glorified philosophy?
why are people offended and downvoting? OP might have somewhat oversimplified the situation, but I don't think they're entirely wrong
Facts don't care about your feelings and it's a fact that research is just that a glorified Google search. But that doesn't make it a cakewalk. When it comes to writing research papers you do more than just search, you take different pieces, put your own thought process etc. But at the end of the day it's just that.
Legal research is much more than google search. Includes the following:

1. Case law research: Finding the relevant case law is quite a task. One must exercise judgment to figure out what fact patterns are analogous and what are distinguishable, especially when the query is such that there are no direct precedents. In obscure cases, finding relevant case laws can test your limits of using the various softwares.

2. Commentaries: When faced with grey area, you need to cull out general principles from commentaries (especially statutory interpretation by GP Singh) and try to build arguments. Despite being something fundamental, most lawyers tend to forget basic principles as they progress in their career. Good senior advocates earn the big buck for their grasp over fundamentals.

3. Articles/Industry research: When dealing with a legal controversy, often one needs an understanding of industry practice as well. You need to know the business inside out if you have to litigate on that area. This is part of your legal research as well.

So yes, legal research isn't just google search.
This is exactly why those humanities courses are so important. The ones that 19 year old kids come here and mock. Humanities teaches you to disaggregate various parts of a topic, maintain a healthy skepticism towards all sources, and rigorously test your assumptions.
Bas kuchh saal hai

AI aa gaya aur ye searching bhi nahi karna padega.
I will try answering this since I used to enjoy researching back in college (still do).

You are right, it does start with Google.

First you need to have a proposition or a point you are trying to find or understand. This has to be clear and well thought, or else you will get lost.

Second, you want to know the statutes that are applicable (using Google).

Third, you want to read the statutes to narrow down on the sections that are applicable (find latest copies of statutes on India Code).

For the fourth step and the differentiating step, you either need to use a legal software or a commentary. This is to find case laws on how courts have interpreted the provisions. If you don't know how to use a legal software, please youtube. If you don't have access to commentaries, visit a legal library (older versions can also be found for free sometimes).

The fourth step is where the magic happens. Often, you will find additional legal provisions which apply (through reading case laws) to your proposition.. These you would not have found on Google.

You may also find different courts interpreting the same provision differently. This will give you perspective on legal interpretation which you could not have developed in any other way (personal belief).

Hope it helps, I tried my best during the taxi ride home.
You need to look at it like an open book exam. Answers are available on a search - but you need to know where to look. A mere google search will yield a plethora of resources but sifting through the data and judging which sources are useful and accurate is a skill you would need to develop. Secondly, a lot of information is not available through a google search and you'd have to look through commentaries or do case searches. Even once the information is before you, you need to assess how it applies to the question before you and how legal principles are being generally applied rather than just vomit out your search results.

AI is being used for legal research but the results are less than stellar where the questions aren't straight forward. AI tends to make up things when it doesn't have the information and cannot distinguish between true and false information. And mind you, AI provides answers through google searches.

Google searching is a tool but it is not the entirety of research skills. Application and argumentation based on what you find is the essence.
you can google the key terms and catchphrases, and that is because someone told you precise enough information to do the research on.

as you progress in your legal career if you choose to, you will realise that legal research often involves crystallising a legal principle, a nuance, which is unique to each factual matrix, and dissecting it into 4-5 manageable pieces which are watered down for kids and young lawyers such as yourself to go and google. what you are seeing right now, is a very small piece of the puzzle which someone more senior or smarter is looking at from a different, larger angle, and has employed you as a pair of hands to assist them in developing an argument. you find it simple - because it really is, and has deliberately been made so for your to be able to digest it.

if the legal senior told you the exact problem at hand, you would perhaps not be of much use at your experience. a good researcher understands the larger problem at hand - reads cases - thinks tangentially - tries to modify the proposition (or better still, forms his/ her own proposition) and keeps on repeating the process till a distilled, clean chain of legal logic comes to the fore - strung together by a list of 7-12 case laws, which complete the legal chain of reasoning.

don't think that legal research or legal reasoning is plain old google search, if that's the only thing you are being entrusted with, at this stage :)

do keep in mind that the latest crop of seniors and law firm partners were born/ have grown up with search engines around, and know what to expect from people who think that legal research is nothing but google search.
A 3-word comment posted 1 week ago was not published.
A 5-word comment posted 1 week ago was not published.