Refining Legal Issue

Legal Notes

Refining the statement of the "Legal Issue"

1. Read Harvard Law School on doing legal research - 
click here.

Here is an excerpt about "Core Legal Theory" - this is where you are refining the exact statement of your "Legal Issue" - 

Core legal theory: The core legal theory of your case theory encompasses both the key facts supporting your case and the various legal theories which you believe support your position. It is both the driving force behind the your conceptualization of the case and the art of making your point and finding the resources to support that position. Your core legal theory is the story you present which predisposes the finder of truth, be it a jury or a judge, to believe that an injustice has been done. It dictates the presentation of your case. It allows you to tie together the applicable legal rules with the emotional side of your case and the sense of justice.

It is important to note the interaction between your core legal theory and your legal research. The activities you will undertake during a research project from the time you receive the assignment until you complete your written product, will involve many steps. You will perform a preliminary analysis of the problem, conduct legal research, analyze the results of your research, develop a core legal theory, and use that theory to apply the law you found in your research to the facts of your particular problem. Although you will go through several steps, this is not a linear process. A problem of any length or complexity will require you to evaluate and modify at several stages your analysis of the problem. Most likely you will go through a circular process of analysis, research, and evaluation of your analysis followed by more research. Initial theories may have to be changed or even abandoned. Seemingly important facts may not in the final analysis prove to be important while others may determine whether particular legal principles are applicable. During the course of this process of analysis and research, you will develop the core legal theory of your case which in turn will guide you in the presentation of your final arguments.