Legal Research is a process that helps to analyze the legal aspects of any practical problem whether it’s a case, legal paper, legal article, or analysis of any legal news. It helps to find a practical approach to the cases in the field of law. But before discussing legal research we need to understand ‘what does research means’ and what are the several ways of doing research.

What is a Research?

“Research is a systematic inquiry to describe, explain, predict, and control the observed phenomenon. Research involves inductive and deductive methods.” ~Earl Robert Babbie (American sociologist).

Research is done when someone wants to study a particular topic in detail. Detailed research provides logical and systematic information. It is the scrutiny that helps to find solutions to the problem. It enhances the knowledge of the researcher by making it more informative. Now, the question arises what could be the sources for research? Sources for research could be any reliable source like manuscripts, journals, eyewitnesses, videos and books, etc. Experiment, observation, analysis, comparison, and reasoning help to research. Philosophies or research approaches, methods, procedures, and techniques that are reliable and have been tested. It is a careful investigation of facts that can be done in any field of knowledge.

Objectives of Research

  • It helps in acquiring in-depth knowledge about a particular topic.
  • It helps to conclude important and relevant facts.
  • It helps to find the causes and the reasons in detail.
  • It helps to find solutions in any field.

What does Research Methodology mean?

Research methodology is a systematic study that helps to define the problem(s) by formulating a hypothesis. It collects data and analysis data and gives a conclusion.

Objectives of Research Methodology

  • Helps in taking rational steps while conducting research.
  • Helps in conducting research inefficient way which makes it more useful.
  • Helps to create research technique(s) and the way(s) to make it efficient.
  • Helps to acquire new knowledge by the researcher.

The types of researches can be defined as exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory research, applied and basic research, quantitative and qualitative research.

Let’s understand the above-mentioned types of researches in brief:

  • Exploratory Research: the problem which has not been scrutinized or not has been thoroughly studied in the past. It investigates the current problem to make it more comprehensive as well as understandable. But it does not conclude any result.
  • Descriptive Research: this method focuses less on ‘why’ whereas, more on ‘what’ during research. It helps to define the characteristics of the population. It does not state the reason what caused the situation.
  • Explanatory Research: it is used to make people understand in an illustrative way. It emphasizes more on the detailed and well-explained manner of study.
  • Applied Research and Basic research: applied research helps to study the problems relating to the real world, it deals with practical problems. Whereas basic research may not have an immediate objective for use but it may have further in future, it may not result in practical problems and its solutions.
  • Qualitative Research: in qualitative research data is collected through surveys, interviews and observations. This type of research uses ‘words to express. it makes difficult or not well-understood topics easier to understand because it provides you the in-depth knowledge about the topics.
  • Quantitative Research: in quantitative research ‘graphs and numbers are used to express data. To test theories and assumptions, we use this type of research. It may be used to generalize facts about the topic.

What is Legal Research?

As discussed in the preceding paragraphs about the research outlay an idea of legal research. Legal research is a process that helps in finding out the ways or solutions for legal problems or any legal case. It can be done through several ways like gathering legal knowledge and information relating to the problem or the case; reading precedents, judgments of relevant cases, statutes. Legal research is the systematic finding of law or an inquiry of the law on the identified problem or case. It is a process of identifying and helps to support legal decision-making. 

Objectives of Legal Research

  • It helps to test and verify old facts
  • It examines the facts and in the wake of new theories.
  • To create new ways of legal research.  
  • Helps to explore new abstracts in legal research.

Characteristics of Legal Research

  • It is focused and conducted with a purpose.
  • It is reasonable in nature.
  • It is about the process of creating innovative ideas and includes revelation, inquiry, and exploration.
  • It is done with precision.

Nature and scope of legal research

  • It is a process to explore and discover facts that are necessary to probe the accuracy of legal judgments. It involves investigation of facts and analyzing these facts for further compliance and transmission of the outcome of the research.
  • It promotes development in different spheres of life.
  • It is not necessarily different from other kinds of research.
  • It involves investigation of hypothesis and correlating issues of genuine law and studying the manner in which it is associated with community or society.
  • It is different in nature from other kinds of scientific researches.

About the Author: This Law Notes is prepared by Ms. Urvi Yadav, law student at Maharishi University of Information Technology, Noida and was an intern at MyLawman. She can be reached at 

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