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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 relevant to your jurisdiction.

NSW/ACT – Course ID: 1ERS2024

WA - Course ID: 4ERS2024

Session dates and times

Lexis+: Foundations of Research 

WA – 2 & 3 April, 1pm. 5 April at 11am.

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