Legal Information Needs of Lawyers of Tehran City

Document Type : Original Article


1 MSc of Information Management, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Objective: Access to the right legal information at the right time is a must for the community and for lawyers. The use of information by lawyers and attorneys is strongly influenced by their information needs. These requirements determine the type of information needed, where the information can be found, and how to access it. Lawyers use a variety of methods to access information. Legal information is the most important source for the law and legal professions and without the right legal information; these professions do not perform well.
Methodology: The purpose of this study was to determine the legal information needs of Tehran's lawyers. Legal information needs are those that are met through the use of information resources and through formal or semi-formal channels of information and services offered by libraries and information centers. This research is a survey. The statistical population includes all lawyers in Tehran whose names are registered with the Center for Justice Lawyers. From a total of 8000 statistical population, 367 individuals were selected using Krejcie and Morgan's table by random sampling. The data collection tool was a researcher-made questionnaire consisting of two sections: general information and specialized information. In order to improve the validity of the research instrument, previously tested and validated questions asked in the questionnaires of previous studies conducted in the field of information needs were used in a similar context; and Cronbach's alpha was used to determine the reliability of the questionnaire. Assessment and selection of sources and barriers to the information process were over 0.70 and acceptable. Data were analyzed using the Friedman Ranking Test and Bivariate Chi-square test in the SPSS software version 25.
Findings: The results indicated that the most important reasons for seeking information for lawyers were promoting specialized knowledge and the most important sources for meeting the legal information needs of legal entities, were attending law courses and scientific journal articles. The most important problems for lawyers were access to updated information, the dissemination of legal information in different sources, the outdated nature of many sources, and the inadequate sources of law.
Conclusion: The most important reason for searching information was to update specialized knowledge and then to write a research paper, which shows the scientific attitude of the lawyers towards their specialized field. Books (both printed and electronic) and scientific journals were the most important information sources for meeting the information needs of lawyers. Among informal sources, the library of a legal organization or institution was the most important source of informal acquisition of information; and the Google search engine was the most common search engine used by lawyers. Also, going to the library and visiting the new library resources were the most important ways to update information after reading specialized publications. The suggestions of the study are as follows: (i) the fact that many people today use the Internet to find answers to their questions, lawyers are not an exception. One way to help them is to make legal online databases accessible and expandable; (ii) due to the diffusion of legal information in different sources, the legality of many legal information sources and the inadequate legal information sources, one of the most important problems for lawyers in accessing information is the need to take appropriate measures; (iii) since legal libraries are one of the places of interest for lawyers to access the information, libraries or legal organizations should select law librarians as managers for courthouse libraries/court law libraries; and (iv) the findings showed that the level of French and English language of lawyers was poor. 


حافظ‌نیا، محمدرضا (1389). مقدمه‌ای بر روش تحقیق در علوم انسانی، تهران: انتشارات سمت.
رمضانی، فاطمه (1375). بررسی نیازهای اطلاعاتی اعضای هیئت علمی و دانشجویان تحصیلات تکمیلی رشته‌های حقوق و علوم سیاسی، پایان‌نامه کارشناسی ارشد، دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی.
Ali, S., Jawwad, M., & Ahmad, P. (2016). Information seeking behaviour of practicing lawyers of Islamabad district courts bar association, Pakistan, International Journal of Librarianshipand Information Science, 3, 48-62. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from
Bhatt, A. A. (2014). Information needs perceptions and quests of law faculty in the digital era, Electronic Library, 32(5), 659-669.
Constable, F. T. (2007). Training needs for electronic information use in the college of law at the University of South Africa, University of South Africa, Master of Information Science.
Feliciano, M. S. (1984). Legal information sources, services and needs of lawyers, journal of Philippine, Librarianship, 8(12), 71-92.
Hainsworth, M. M. (1992). Information seeking behaviour of judges, PhD Dissertation, Florida State University.
Hafeznia, M. (2010). An introduction to the research methods in the humanities, Tehran: Samat Publications. (in Persian)
Kaluba, C., & Mulauzi, F. (2019). Information needs and information seeking behavior of judges and lawyers: A study of the judiciary superior courts in Lusaka, Zambia, The International Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Research, 2019. Paper - ID: CFP/661/2018.
Khan, G., & Bhatti, R. (2012). Information needs and seeking behavior of law faculty members: A survey of the University of Peshawar and its affiliated law colleges, Library Philosophy and Practice, 786. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from
Khan, S. A., Bhatti, R., & Khan, G. (2011). Information-seeking behavior of law practitioners: A survey of Bahawalpur City, Library Philosophy and Practice, 581. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from
Kim, J. H., & Seo, E. G. (2015). Exploring the lawyers' legal information seeking behaviors for the law practice, Journal of the Korean Society for information Management, 32(4), 55-76.
Mathabela, N. N. (2018). Information needs and information seeking behaviour of private practicing lawyers in Swaziland: A case study of the Law Society of Swaziland. Doctoral dissertation, Information Studies Programme, School of Social Sciences, College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Mathabela, N. N. (2019). Legal Information Access of Lawyers in Private Practice: A case study of the kingdom of Eswatini, Journal of Information Management, 6(1), 8-15.
Otike, J. (1999). The information needs and seeking habits of lawyers in England: A pilot study. International Information and Library Review, 31(1), 19–39.
Otike, J., & Mathews, G. (2000). Legal information needs of lawyer in Kenya: A case study, Library Management, 21 (5), 241-252.
Ramachandrappa, K. (2017). Information needs and information seeking behaviour of lawyers of district courts, Andhra Pradesh: A survey, International Journal of Library and Information Studies, 7(2).107- 114.
Ramezani, F. (1996). Investigating the information needs of faculty members and graduate students in law and political science, Master thesis, Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Humanities, Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch. (in Persian)
Singh, K., Bhue, S., & Bhoi, N. (2015). Information seeking behavior of law students in law colleges of Western Odisha: An empirical study. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from
Thanuskodi, S. (2009). Information-seeking behavior of law faculty at central law college, Salem, Library Philosophy and Practice, 282, Retrieved March 28, 2020, from
Thanuskodi, S. (2012). The information needs and seeking behaviour of the Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar law university faculty members, International Journal of Information Science, 2(4), 42-46.
Tuhumwire, I., & Okello-Obura, C. (2010). Assessment of legal information needs and access problems of lawyers in Uganda, Library Philosophy and Practice, 382, Retrieved March 28, 2020, from
Yemisi, O. D. (2014). The information behaviour of law students in Nigerian universities, Doctoral dissertation, Department of Information Studies, University of Zululand, South Africa. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from
Zaiton, O., Chan, S. N., Bidin, S. H., & Chuah, M. (1987). Pilot survey of user needs in the Law Library, University of Malaya. Kekal Abadi, 6(1), 12-21, Retrieved March 28, 2020, from