While a law degree isn’t necessary to be a private investigator, understanding the law is essential. The better your understanding of the law and legal matters, the more effectively you can serve your clients. However, it takes years to obtain even an undergraduate law degree. Fortunately, various legal books and reference guides are available to help you quickly improve your knowledge.
Build a Legal Library
In one way or another, the law will touch almost every aspect of running a private investigation business. It will be a part of every case you work on and every client you serve. Also, it will be involved in every aspect of your business, from licensing and permits to managing employees and payroll. A library of legal reference books will help you navigate the legal issues of your cases. Also, it will help you safely manage your investigation firm’s business affairs. Whether your library is physical, with books stacked on a shelf, or virtual, with a folder on your computer full of PDFs and eBooks, you’ll use law books to:
Understand how the legal system works in the United States and how to best navigate through its complexity.
Know when to involve an attorney or lawyer in your case
Where to find or how to create various legal documents and forms for your clients and your own business
What laws apply to your investigation case (child support, divorce, bankruptcy, tort, etc.)
Laws that apply to your business operations, such as employment law, licensing, taxes, leases, etc
Understand the meaning of complex legal terms and become more well-versed in client communications.
List of Legal Books
The following are several legal and law books private investigators should have in their libraries. All of the books are available at Amazon.com.
Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About American Law provides an excellent overview of the American Legal System. The book explains the U.S. Legal system in a way anyone can understand. Think of it as a crash course to the first year of law school. It covers all the subjects taught in the first year of law school. Plus, the author of this book manages to present all of this information in an entertaining way, which makes the information easier to absorb and remember. Most legal books will put you straight to sleep, but this one will keep your attention throughout. This is a great place to start if you’re a private investigator who needs to learn about the law quickly.
Navigating the Legal Minefield of Private Investigations is a legal book for private investigators. The author is an experienced attorney who has worked as a private investigator. The book does a great job explaining the laws on private investigation work. For example, topics include surveillance, trespassing, impersonations, electronic wiretapping, arrest rules, witness interviewing, and more.
In addition, the book also covers the use of spy gear and surveillance equipment such as GPS tracking devices, hidden video cameras, and other types of equipment. This can be a helpful reference guide for your collection if you want to ensure your private investigator business follows the rules.
Black’s Law Dictionary is the premier legal reference resource with over 50,000 legal definitions. In addition to providing the meaning for thousands of important legal terms and acronyms, the book includes a copy of the Constitution, a time chart of the United States Supreme Court, a map of the Federal Court circuit, and many more features. Private Investigators should use Black’s Law Dictionary as a study guide to learn the terminology used by attorneys, judges, and others in the legal system.
In addition, use it as a handy reference guide to look up terms as you come across them. Don’t be intimidated by attorneys who throw legal jargon around. Study the dictionary and know the words they understand.
If Black’s Law Dictionary is too dry or too technical, try the Dictionary of Legal Terms. This book contains more than 2,500 of the most commonly used legal terms.
However, it differs from the Black Law Dictionary because it translates complicated legalese into simple, easy-to-understand language. If you’re starting as an investigator and don’t have a background in law study or police work, start with this book to learn the most common legal terms. Think of it as an introductory dictionary. If you find it a breeze, you can graduate with a more extensive dictionary
The Law for Dummies book provides an easy-to-understand overview of everyday legal issues. This is the place to start if you know nothing about the law. Although this book won’t help you specifically with running your private investigation business, it will introduce you to the law. Its content focuses more on everyday legal issues such as protecting your family, money, and rights.
eInvestigator.com is a resource website for Police Officers, Private Investigators, Law Enforcement officials, Security Guards, Bodyguards, Legal Professionals and anyone interested in using the internet to search for people and information.
Leverage our extensive collection of investigative research tools, reference materials, educational articles, software programs, detective books, spy gear, and more.
If you're an aspiring private eye, learn how to become a private investigator in your state, get information on schools, training, continuing education and find a job to start your career.
The articles on our website are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. eInvestigator.com makes no warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, does not endorse any companies, products, or services described here, and takes no liability for your use of this information. Also, we are an information provider only and do not distribute the products we review on our website.
Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive compensation from the brands we promote.