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This guide is designed to support the University of Notre Dame Australia community identify essential legal research resources.

When starting legal research, it can be useful to begin with secondary resources. This includes encyclopedias and dictionaries, books, journal articles and commentaries. These will point you to relevant primary resources including case law and legislation. 

Summary of Legal Research

University of Notre Dame Australia School of Law has generally adopted the IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion) approach for legal analysis & hypothetical legal problems.

  • Read the question: Use IRAC to identify
    • Issue(s): What happened? Who did it happen to? Where did it happen? What is the area of law? 
    • Rules/Relevant Law: Identify relevant case law and legislation, focusing on legal principles. 
    • Application: Apply the law to the facts and develop legal arguments
    • Conclusion: Stand back and play 'judge', choose the argument that you think is strongest and justify why


Lexis+ training

Effective Research Skills is an annual program run to support students to become excellent legal researchers capable of efficiently finding solutions to legal problems. Strong legal research skills will help you get better marks!

To register:

1. Create a Lexis Learning account (if you don't have one already)

2. Enrol in the course ERS0709

Recordings will be available in September for those who miss the live webinars.

Semester 2 2024: Session dates and times

*Note all sessions are local time

First year: Foundations of legal research

8 July , 10am  2 July, 12pm 
10 July, 10am  13 August, 4pm 
8 August, 4pm  16 August, 10am 
13 August, 6pm  19 August, 12pm 

Second year: Developing research efficiency

18 July, 10am  10 July, 3pm 
14 August, 12pm  20 August, 4pm 
20 August, 3pm  23 August. 3pm 
22 August, 6pm  27 August, 10am 

Third year: Strategic research skills

22 July, 10am  18 July, 11am 
21 August, 3pm  12 August, 1pm 
28 August, 6pm  28 August, 11am  
  30 August, 4pm

Westlaw Webinars

Westlaw training

Join an interactive online training session to improve your understanding of your Westlaw.

The most relevant sessions for students include:

  • Introduction to case law
  • Advanced case law
  • Researching legislation
  • Researching secondary sources