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Legal Research Methods in Legal Problem Solving

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Juridical review is a step that generally aims to find and break down the components of a problem to be studied more deeply and then relate it to the law, legal rules and applicable legal norms as a solution to the problem. Along with legal problems that are growing day by day, in conducting a juridical review, it is necessary to have a legal research method as an instrument to explain and examine legal issues that are increasingly developing day by day. Legal research itself is a research with legal objects, both law as science or dogmatic rules and laws relating to people’s lives based on certain method, systematics and thoughts to study legal phenomena that occur by analyzing and then solving possible problems that arise. There are various types of legal research methodologies that can be used in conducting legal research, in order to unravel a contemporary legal problem including Normative Legal Research Methodology (normative juridical), Empirical Legal Research Methodology (Empirical Juridical) and Socio Legal Research Methodology.

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A. Normative Legal Research Methodology

The Normative Legal Research method uses a normative juridical approach. The normative juridical approach is an approach that refers to the applicable laws and regulations. Furthermore, Normative Legal research is one type of legal research methodology that bases its analysis on applicable laws and regulations and is relevant to the legal issues that are the focus of research. Topics of Legal Issues that are relevant to be researched using Normative Legal Research, among others;

  •  The positive law inventory
  •  The principles of law
  •  The theme of the discovery of the law in-concreto,
  • The systematics of law or the systematics of statutory regulations, research on the level of synchronization (level of consistency) of laws and regulations, both vertically and horizontally.


Data collection in normative legal research is carried out by means of library research in the form of secondary data as a basic material to be researched by conducting a search on regulations and other literature related to the problems studied or often referred to as library law research.


B. Empirical Legal Research Methodology

The empirical legal research method or empirical juridical research method is a legal research method that examines applicable legal provisions and what happens in society or research that is carried out on the actual conditions that occur in society, with the aim of finding facts that are used as research data. Then the data is analyzed to identify problems which ultimately lead to problem solving. Relevant topics or themes to be researched using empirical legal research methods are research on legal identification, and research on legal effectiveness. 


Legal research is focused on testing community compliance with a legal norm with the aim of measuring the effectiveness or not of an applicable legal arrangement/material. The primary data used in this research method is data obtained directly from the researched place  based on respondents and sources. Data collection in the researched place is carried out by researchers by means of interviews.


Legal data collection in empirical legal research is carried out by means of a survey. Survey is a tool to collect data from interviewees or informants to conduct observations and interviews with an empirical approach (non-doctrinal legal research). 

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C. Socio Legal Research Methodology

In principle, the Socio-Legal research methodology is a legal research methodology, which uses a social science methodological approach in a broad sense. Socio-Legal research basically looking at law in a complex way, does not stop at norms that use a number of interdisciplinary disciplines. 


This legal methodology uses social science in general and sociology in particular in contracting and explaining the legal issues under study. Even though it uses social science, Socio Legal’s research methodology is not intended for the benefit of social science but for the benefit of legal science. 


The topics of legal issues that are relevant to be researched using the Socio Legal research methodology are; (1) research on legal identification, and (2) research on effectiveness which is focused on testing community compliance with a legal norm with the aim of measuring the effectiveness of an applicable legal arrangement/material. Socio Legal research relies on main data from the field, namely through informants obtained through in-depth interviews. If normative legal research departs from das solen or law in book to das sein or law in action, then Socio Legal research departs from das sein to das solen, which means Socio Legal research is based on existing laws in society, not laws made by central government (Law).



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Disclaimer: This article has been prepared for scientific reading and marketing purposes only from ADCO Law. Accordingly, all the writings contained herein do not constitute the formal legal opinion of ADCO Law. Therefore, ADCO Law should be held harmless of and/or cannot be held responsible for anything performed by entities who use this writing outside the purposes of ADCO Law.