Featured image for 37. Legal Research for SQE: Enhancing Your Analytical Skills

37. Legal Research for SQE: Enhancing Your Analytical Skills

37. Legal Research for SQE: Enhancing Your Analytical Skills

When it comes to preparing for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), one of the key areas you need to focus on is legal research. Developing strong analytical skills and being able to conduct effective legal research is crucial for success in both SQE1 and SQE2. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of legal research in the context of the SQE, and provide you with valuable tips to enhance your analytical abilities.

The Significance of Legal Research in the SQE

Legal research is the foundation upon which legal analysis is built. It involves finding and evaluating relevant legal sources to assist in answering specific legal questions. In the SQE, legal research plays a pivotal role in several aspects:

  1. Answering Case Study Questions: In both SQE1 and SQE2, you will encounter case study questions that require you to apply your legal knowledge to specific scenarios. Legal research allows you to find relevant statutes, regulations, case law, and legal commentary that can support your analysis and reasoning.
  2. Preparing Written Assessments: Legal research is essential when it comes to writing comprehensive and well-informed legal essays. It enables you to present a clear and persuasive argument by accessing and analyzing various legal authorities.
  3. Developing Legal Advice: In practice, solicitors are often required to provide legal advice to clients. Legal research skills acquired during the SQE will help you locate the appropriate legal principles and apply them to real-life situations.

Enhancing Your Analytical Skills

While legal research is fundamental, it is equally important to develop strong analytical skills to effectively synthesize and apply the information you gather. Here are some tips to enhance your analytical abilities:

  1. Understand the Problem: Before you start researching, make sure you have a clear understanding of the legal question or problem at hand. Break it down into its components and identify the key issues.
  2. Identify Relevant Sources: Determine which legal sources are most likely to provide the information you need. These may include legislation, case law, legal textbooks, academic articles, and reputable online resources.
  3. Search Strategically: Use appropriate keywords and Boolean operators (e.g., AND, OR, NOT) when searching for legal information. This helps narrow down the results and improves the relevancy of the sources you find.
  4. Evaluate the Sources: Assess the credibility, authority, and currency of the sources you come across. Not all sources are equally reliable, so it’s important to critically evaluate their quality.
  5. Extract Key Information: Extract the relevant legal principles, rules, and precedents from the sources you find. Condense and organize this information, making it easier to incorporate into your analysis.
  6. Analyze and Apply: Analyze the legal information you have gathered and apply it to the specific legal question or problem. Consider different perspectives, arguments, and potential counterarguments.
  7. Communicate Effectively: Finally, make sure you can clearly and concisely articulate your analysis and conclusions. Effective communication is crucial in both written and oral assessments.

By consistently practicing these analytical skills and incorporating legal research into your study routine, you will significantly enhance your performance in the SQE.

Practice with SQE Sample Papers

One of the most effective ways to improve your legal research and analytical skills for the SQE is by practicing with sample papers. SQE Sample Papers: Practice for Exam Success provide you with realistic scenarios and questions that simulate the actual exam format. By working through these papers, you will become familiar with the types of legal research required and gain confidence in your ability to analyze and apply legal principles effectively.

Further Resources

To master the key concepts and focus areas of the SQE, it is essential to complement your legal research skills with comprehensive study materials. Check out our related articles for more insights on SQE preparation:

Remember, the SQE is not just about knowing the law; it’s about being able to apply it effectively through sound analytical skills and comprehensive legal research. Start developing these skills early and practice consistently to maximize your chances of success.