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Business Resources for Lawyers: Home

This is a guide to resources for business and company research. It will focus on electronic resources accessible freely on the Internet and on databases available through the law library or LMU's main campus library.


Business research is an increasingly important skill for attorneys.  Being able to research particular companies or industries is helpful in at least two contexts:

  • Client development.  For most attorneys, the practice of law is a business in which it is important to pursue and land new clients.  An understanding of the business environment in which you are competing for clients is crucial.
  • Risk analysis.  When representing existing clients, there are many types of transactions where you will need to do business research.  For example, if your client is considering expanding into a new market, purchasing a rival, buying stock or merging with another company, you will need to provide information to your client about the potential risks and opportunities.

Business research can be generally divided into three categories:

  • Company Research:   Locating information about a specific company.  This might include company history, financial health, corporate structure, principal players, recent major transactions and competitors.
  • Industry Information:  Locating information about a specific industry.  This could involve searching for information about products, the regulatory environment, industry standards, major players in the industry, economic forecasts, etc.
  • Current awareness:  It is good practice to be on top of curret news and developments in any industry in which you are interested.  This can be done either through news feeds that are pushed to you or by regular reading of websites and publications that cover the areas of interest.

Many of the resources discussed in this guide are made available to the Loyola community through LMU's Hannon Library.  Follow this link for a complete list of business-related databases available through the main campus:

Quick reference

These resources may be helpful when you encounter terms, concepts, abbreviations, etc. with which you are not familar.  

Investopedia is a free online resource.  It offers a dictionary of financial and investment terms, as well as guides on topics such as "stock basics," "economics basics," and "options basics."

The New Penguin Business Dictionary -  Available online at the law library or at the LMU main library.  An all-purpose business dictionary that:  "...covers all aspects of business from accounting through marketing and organizational behaviour to human resource management."

The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics - Available online at the law library or at the LMU main library.  An 8-volume encyclopedia about all aspects of economics.

Essential Concepts of Business for Lawyers, by Robert Rhee.  A good primer for those without a business background.  Available in hard copy in the library at HG 5636 .R48 2013.

Business Basics for Law Students, 4th ed., by Robert Hamilton.  Another good introductory text for those without business backgrounds.  Available in hard copy in the library at KF 889 .H238 2006.