When people think of research work or working in academia, a question which looms at large is how much would the work actually impact the ‘real’ world. Well, in some cases the impact is more than what we would imagine.
Lina Khan, while she was a student at Yale Law School, wrote a paper for the university’s law review. The 90-page long paper, published in 2017, was titled ‘Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.‘ Her work has been considered as one of the most important papers written in the field of competition law, which has re-framed decades long conception of the law.
As a result of her research, she has become a public figure, and has been conferred with numerous awards. She has also been hired by the trade regulators (FTC) in the USA to strengthen enforcement of competition law.
In a New York Times interview she said that one benefit of her research has been that ideas which were not openly contested are now being debated and there is finally an examination of how competition law often promotes the things they were meant to curb.
Legal research has often paved way for groundbreaking thoughts. The right to privacy was first advocated to be a separate right in the year 1890(!) in this famous paper by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis. In fact, Lina Khan is said to be a part of a “new Brandeis” school of competition law.
While one might argue that these are the best case examples, there are more instances where legal research has significantly contributed to the practice of law. We will cover those in upcoming blog-posts.
A few things to keep in mind is to do your work honestly and to not copy anyone else’s thought. Developing your own thought process is one of the strongest skills a lawyer should work on, which is often a result of well-rounded research skills.
If there is any piece of legal writing or research that has moved you in your studies or practice, please comment below.
For those wanting to learn about legal research and writing, you could check out Lawctopus Law School’s course here.