If you’re looking for research topic ideas for your assignment in pre-law, paralegal or criminal justice, then you have a wide range from which to choose. Whether it’s ethics in the workplace, ethics in business, judicial process or search and seizure, you can take your ideas anywhere within the scope of legal studies. Legal specialties include health, animal and environmental issues as well. Here are a few tips and ideas to help you with your legal research paper.
Legal research simplified
A good place to start your research into legal and ethics issues is at Questia, the Internet’s largest online library of full-text books, magazines and research journals. Within the area of law you’ll find topics that include:
- legal theory
- civil law
- criminal law
- international law
If you follow the thread of criminal law, for example, then you can proceed deeper into criminal procedure. Eventually you will be lead to such works as Law 101: Everything You Need to Know about the American Legal System by Jay M. Feinman.
Regarding the process of civil litigation, Feinman said, “The lawyers decide whom, where and when to sue, what legal issues to raise, how to investigate the facts, and what witnesses and other evidence to present. The judge is the referee who makes sure that the lawyers follow the rules of the game and ultimately decides the case, or supervises a jury.”
What you’ll really love about Questia is all of the research tools to help you find, store and cite your sources for your paper. The tools are located directly within the books and articles. Using the Questia tools you’ll be able to:
- save books or articles
- select and highlight text
- cite passages
- add notes
- bookmark pages
All of your items are saved within a project folder where you can retrieve and work on them at any time.
You can follow current topics relating to law and ethics by subscribing to popular blogs. Here are just a few of the most influential blogs on the subject of law.
- Above the Law: insider information about the legal profession
- The Crime Report: provides discussions of crime and judicial rulings
- Law.com: hosts a list of blog categories ranging from appellate litigation to work-life matters
- Election law blog: legal issues on political elections
One area of the law that is beginning to gain more coverage is social media law. Use of social media in the workplace is presenting employers with a number of challenges. If you’re interested in learning more, then check out Shear on Social Media Law where you’ll find posts such as, “Will Facebook’s New Timeline Policy Assist Cyber bullies, Stalker, and Murderers?”
In this Oct. 11, 2013 post Bradley Shear discusses the possible ramification of Facebook’s recent decision to stop users’ ability to hide from a Timeline search.
Regarding the new policy, Shear said, “This policy change may be perceived as one that does not protect the privacy of its users. Perception becomes reality. One simple way for users to perceive that Facebook still cares about its users’ privacy is to enable users to be able to hide from a Timeline search.”
Other legal resources
There are thousands of sites maintained by professional organizations, schools and universities to provide resources relating to the study of law. Here are just a few.
University of Maryland University College Guide to Legal Studies Resources: includes tutorials on using the LexisNexis database
Voice of the Shuttle (VOS) Legal Studies: a listing of links that includes Jurist: the Legal Education Network and Law School Admission Council Online
Justia.com: links to legal blogs; ask questions and receive answers from attorneys
American Bar Association (ABA): news and resources for lawyers and those who wish to become a member of the Bar
Tribal Court Clearinghouse: a resource on tribal legal studies created to develop, pilot, and implement Tribal Legal Studies curricula at tribal community colleges
Lewis & Clark Law School Center for Animal Law Studies: legal resources for those interested in advocating for animals
Public Resource.org: provides links to U.S. court decisions, hearings and reports
Wall St. Journal Legal blog: the latest news and analysis on legal issues in the U.S.
Learn more about legal issues at Questia where you can read full-text books and articles on thousands of topics.