Legal Methods: Meaning & Significance

The words "legal" and "method" are combined to form the phrase "legal method." In everyday speech, the word "method" refers to a process or to the attribute of being well thought out, ordered, and applied. The adjective "legal" denotes something that has to do with the law. For law to be most effectively used as a tool of social control, it must be understood how law operates in society using specific ways, or in accordance with specific processes

Significance of Legal Method

Legal method has been introduced into the curriculum of legal education, as part of the response to fill this basic gap. The subject is therefore of a recent origin. It is not about learning specific laws or branch of law as in Law of Taxation, Criminal Law, Law of Torts, Law of Contract, Company Law etc., which are called substantive law subjects. The importance of the legal method can be summarized as follows− −

  • To give a proper understanding of the nature, functions, breadth and diversities of law.

  • To introduce certain fundamental concepts and terms which students are bound to come across in their lectures, statutes, legal treatises or discussion in 'learned' circles.

  • To enhance students’ knowledge and appreciation of the various methods, processes, strategies or techniques which the law has evolved to achieve its objectives.

  • To expose students to the reasoning method of lawyers, legislators and judges in the making, execution and interpretation of law.

  • To lay a foundation for the ability to construct arguments about the facts of a case and how and why a particular authority should or should not be applied in that case; and

  • To deepen students' knowledge, understanding and application of various legal rules.


According to A.O. Sanni, law is− "a system of rules formed by individuals, bodies, or entities invested with the authority to make such rules which are enforceable and binding on members of a certain community or state."

Features of Law

Law is a collection of enforceable orders of a sovereign backed by penalties, and it has the following features −

  • It is a set of rules.

  • It is created through legislation by the government authority.

  • It is normative in character.

  • It is dynamic in nature.

  • It has territorial limitations.

Therefore, the rationale behind studying law is to conform to legal research, which is an art of thinking persuasively in a coordinated, orderly, sensible, and logical manner in relation to law.

Legal Research

Legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving information necessary to support legal decision−making. As it helps in the courts in solving issues. Legal Research has the following objectives −

  • To discover new facts.

  • to test and certify old facts.

  • To introduce a new legal concept.

  • To analyze the facts in a new theoretical framework.

  • to examine the nature and scope of a new law or legal institution.

Methods of Legal Research

There are four types of legal research, which are as follows −

Descriptive and Analytical Legal Research

Legal Descriptive Research outlines the phenomena or circumstances being studied as well as its numerous aspects. The main focus of this research is "what has happened" and "what is happening." It makes no attempt to provide an explanation for why something occurred. In other words, it aims to explain the study as it is right now rather than attempting to identify the reasons for the phenomenon.

Analytical Legal Research suggests that the case should be critically examined using the facts and information already at hand. It critically examines all available data and facts.

Quantitative and Qualitative Legal Research

Quantitative Legal Research is being done using numerical data. It aims to quantify the amount or quantity. A methodical, scientific examination of quantitative reports to ascertain how they are related.

Qualitative Legal Research primarily addresses qualitative phenomena, that is, phenomena pertaining to quality or characteristics. It is dependent on the justifications for various parts of conduct.

Conceptual and Empirical Legal Research

Conceptual Legal Research It is associated with a speculative theory or idea. Frequently accepted by philosophers and other thinkers to expand upon or reframe an already existing topic.

Empirical Legal Research is carried out solely based on experience or observation, frequently without adequate consideration of any system or theory. As experimental research, it also goes by that name. It is also known as experimental research.

Deductive Method and Inductive Method

The deductive method works from the more general to the more specific. It is called a "top−down approach". We might begin by thinking up a theory about our topic of interest. We then narrow that down into more specific hypotheses that we test.

The inductive method works from specific observation to broader generalization and theories. It is called a "bottom−up" approach. It begins with specific observation and measures, begin to detect pattern and regulations, formulate some tentative hypotheses these we can explore and finally end up developing some general conclusion or theories.


The legal method can be characterized as the technique and manner in which things are done in society in relation to the law. It is also a study of how judges and attorneys interpret and apply the law to accomplish their goals in society. Legal technique is thus the study of law and the numerous ways, processes, and procedures the law can be effectively applied to suit the needs of the person and the state. Therefore, the term "legal method" can be used to describe an effort to describe or analyze the process of "thinking like a lawyer." In order to obtain insight into how law is designed and arranged to achieve its goals in a community, it is essential to study the usage and creation of legal rules.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the importance of law?

Law is a set of rules, and well−written detections are frequently the means. Laws are crucial for maintaining the smooth functioning of society. Laws are non−binding, generally accepted codes of behaviour that are upheld and applied by the state government. Infractions are penalized by the judiciary.

Q. What is the importance of the legal method?

A legal method aids lawyers in establishing a solid basis for correctly comprehending and applying the many substantive rules and principles they may encounter as they advance in their legal profession.

Q. What are the basics of the law?

Law is a set of regulations that are established and upheld by societal or governmental entities to regulate individuals’ behaviors. Basically, this is about the rules and laws that have been established by a state or community's government and are applicable to its residents.