Importance of Legal Research to Lawyers -By  Umar Ishaq Katsinawa


In general sense, legal profession cannot do without research and findings, because law is not static but dynamic subject to the changes of the society. Therefore, a lawyer must always do engage in research to know the current law that will favour him.

In this write up I will like to briefly outline the importance of legal research to Lawyers and any person in legal profession like students, law teachers, lawyers, solicitors and judges.

Meaning Of Legal Research

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Fifth edition, Oxford University press (1995) p.996 defined research to mean “careful study or investigation in order to discover new fact or information”.

Legal Research Involve a systematic and objective inquiry or investigation into the basic facts, sources, ideas or concepts, principles and institutions of law.

Legal research can also mean the process of finding information necessary to support legal decision making.

Methods Of Legal Research

There are two different methods of legal research. Doctrinal and empirical method

  • Doctrinal Method of research is when the researcher rely on the theoretical aspects. Such as books, journals, Magazines, statute, law reports, news papers among others.

This type of research has more connection to legal research

  • Empirical Method of research is where by the researcher will rely on practical aspects. Such as experiment, distributing questionnaire, interview among others.

Importance Of Legal Research

Importance of legal research cannot be over emphasize:

  • Legal Research helps Lawyers in Identifying new legal theories with a view of adopting them.
  • Legal research helps in grooming and developing the experience of a Lawyers and younger ones.
  • Legal Research helps a lawyer to meet the dynamism of the law. Because law is always subject to changes.
  • Law is versatile. A lawyer must engage in legal research to know different things needed to him by the society.
  • Lawyers must engage in legal research in order to be acquainted with the recent cases of the superior courts of records.
  • Legislatures always spend there time, writing new laws, and modifying the old ones. Therefore a lawyer need research to know the new laws at all the time.
  • A lawyer need to convince the court to change to the right decision, in case it takes wrong decision either in the interpretation or application of the law. Therefore research is imperative to Lawyers.
  • Research helps a lawyer to know the current law that will come to his aid.


From the above write up, we can safely conclude that a research is imperative to Lawyers to meet the dynamic nature of the law.  Without research, lawyer is no more.

There was a popular saying that says: Lawyers are different from the laymen not because they know the law, but because they know where to find the law.

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