One of the advantages to doing case studies is that they allow you to utilize your prior knowledge of law to think about creative and new ways of presenting your research. You have an opportunity to expand upon your current knowledge and skills by drawing on your prior understandings and learning experiences to generate fresh and innovative case studies. For example, if you have already conducted research on the subject of child abuse, you may be able to use your prior findings as the main theme of your new case study on civil litigation involving a toddler’s accidental death.
A case study allows you to draw useful inferences from your own personal experience and knowledge without having to draw from any outside resources. Although case studies are intended to be used as a general guide to help future lawyers and judges evaluate and interpret cases based on similar patterns of behavior, you may still find that the case study is unique and different from any case that has previously presented to that court. Therefore, you should ensure that your case studies closely mirror your own research problem so that they provide a clear comparison between your findings and the legal issues involved in the case. Another way to ensure that your case studies are as accurate as possible is to write them with your life experiences in mind. Be sure to be as descriptive as possible of the specific circumstances of your life, your feelings and emotions about the events that you reviewed and analyzed.
When you begin to draft a case study, you must first establish a comprehensive and in-depth theoretical framework. Theoretical frameworks are usually developed based upon prior research in legal disciplines. It is important to build upon the research findings from each case study that you compose. Develop a thorough understanding of all the theoretical frameworks that you will use in your case studies. You will need to determine what theoretical framework best describes the behaviors, attributes and situations that you believe are important in determining which cases will be successful in obtaining a favorable outcome. Once you have developed a complete theoretical framework for your case studies, you can move into developing a detailed and in-depth factual database that you will use in your case studies.
You may also consider utilizing special features of qualitative data collection in your case studies. The most common features are elicitation, which is the use of special features of oral communication to collect data, such as tone, speed, enunciation, pitch, and consistency of speech; recording, which is the recording of verbal responses or events; and questionnaires, which are instruments used to collect additional data on individuals. As long as you utilize these features effectively in your case studies, you will have a more accurate picture of the unique characteristics and behaviors of individuals.
The case studies approach is an effective method of research because it provides a rich environment for eliciting personal information. For example, if a researcher wants to study the characteristics of an individual who has been involved in a fatal car accident, he may choose to engage in descriptive interviews with the surviving passengers and the other individuals involved in the accident in order to learn more about the deceased individual. In this case, the researcher is not relying only on his in-depth research method and the gathered data in order to draw conclusions, but he is also using these descriptive interviews as a way to elicit further information about the dead individual.
Most researchers choose to employ case studies because they generate more qualitative or quantitative data than any other method. For instance, most researchers conduct case studies in order to discover important patterns or to determine the relationships among specific factors. Case studies are often used to help people understand the concepts behind empirical research, as well as to help them design better procedures or to establish connections among various phenomena. Also, case studies allow for greater interaction among case study participants, which can make for more interesting and valuable qualitative or quantitative research. For instance, if a qualitative researcher wants to study the relationship between the use of caffeine and the onset of insomnia, he could choose to conduct case studies in which people were asked about their caffeine intake on different days; thus, discovering the correlation between the two phenomena.
Another benefit of using case studies is that they can be designed to meet the researcher’s specific needs. For instance, if the researcher wants to conduct an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of individuals who work in IT departments; he would be better served using multiple-case studies over case studies with one common topic. In addition, the researcher also has a wide variety of formats from which to choose. He or she may decide to utilize descriptive statistics or he or she may want to conduct a survey or focus group, depending on the specific characteristics or variables of interest. Regardless of the format that a researcher chooses, case studies provide the ability to provide quantitative or qualitative information in a meaningful and timely manner.