The goal of legal research is to find all of the authority that applies to the answering the legal issues presented in the legal problem. Researchers find this authority in a multitude of resources. Plus, researchers need to find binding authority. Researchers create three documents during the research process: Research Plan, Research Log, and Research Product. Research plans enable a researcher to identify the issues, jurisdiction, authority, and key facts in a problem so to create a strategy of checking resources to find relevant authority. Research logs are used to track research findings. A good research log contains information about the resource used, the searches conducted, the currency or validity of the findings and the findings themselves. Research products are the distillation of the research to answer the legal issues presented. Research products include memos, letters, emails and conversations with the assigning attorney or client.
Researchers should know the following about Research Analysis and Planning (RAP).