Legal Research: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your qualifications for legal research, legal writing, legal editing, and other legal services?


In 2011, I was licensed to practice law as a member of the State Bar of California 
(Member No. 276281). 

Since then, I have been working remotely leveraging telecommunication and online collaboration tools provided through the Web and social media to supply legal research, analysis, writing, editing, assistance with legal forms, and other services, including immigration, benefits, changes to legal and military identification records including name and gender identity, among others. 

I earned my Juris Doctor degree from Los Angeles-based Concord Law School, part of Kaplan University. Besides the core law curriculum, I completed course work in electronic legal research, cyberlaw, administrative law and others, and I completed a legal research internship with a state agency. 

Since then, I have annually exceeded my continuing education requirements.

Before becoming a lawyer and focusing on legal research and services, I worked in news media as a journalist and reporter. My experience includes working as a reporter, researcher, writer and editor at newspapers, magazines and other channels covering news, business and technology in the U.S. and abroad. That experience included 10 years as a staff editor for The New York Times Co.

My CV of experience and qualifications is available at About Scott, and a professional profile is available at


How is it possible for your research and wring services to be so inexpensive?

I leverage super-spatial methodology! Basically, I use information technology and online collaboration tools that almost eliminate traditional office overhead expenses. That, combined with working from a region with extremely low cost of living, means I am sustainable with much less than if I was based in San Francisco or New York. 

That, and I'm not greedy! So I don't need $300 per hour to provide you with legal support.

After manpower, the largest expense in legal research is access to the top-tier legal databases of Westlaw and Lexis. I am fully conversant with those databases, and I use the subscriptions of the firms who commission research.

Otherwise, I am conversant with several lower-cost databases like FastCase, that usually are sufficient for all but the broadest and most complex cases. Google Scholar is a free database of cases from all federal courts and from an increasing number of states.


Is working remotely secure?


In the early days of the Internet, security and privacy issues were a huge concern.
By now, so many businesses -- including lawyers and their firms -- depend on cloud-based services that even the free e-mail, cloud storage, and other services from such providers as Google, Microsoft and others is acceptably secure. DropBox is widely considered more secure than the mailbox at the end of your driveway!


Do you recycle research?


I don't use templates, say, for that employment discrimination complaint.

In serving other lawyers, not using templates brings the advantage of fresh perspective to problem-solving, and avoids complacency. Of course I review models and use checklists and institutional memory, but each project is original and custom. 

For individuals employing self-help by appearing pro se to represent themselves, templates and fill-in-the-blank legal forms can be useful starting points. But legal problems are as individual as each of us experiencing them! And they deserve to be addressed individually from the start. 


This Web site is provided for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.
No LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP is formed by viewing this site. Nor is such a relationship established by a simple e-mail or phone inquiry as to Scott Akin’s availability and willingness to provide services. 

Services listed here DO NOT constitute legal advice NOR the practice of Law.

Limited scope legal representation is available in come matters, including for:
Immigration Petitioners
Veterans Benefits Issues
Residents of the State of California

In order to establish a lawyer-client relationship, there must be EXPLICIT agreement between the parties. Be assured that even when there is no lawyer-client relationship, all communications in seeking such services do remain confidential in accord with the Rules of Professional Conduct.

© Copyright 2017 R Scott Akin