EtymologyFrom leg + work.
Legwork, in law enforcement slang, is the work necessary to solve a case. Legwork usually involves interviewing witnesses, investigating evidence and following leads.
In detective and mystery fiction, legwork is an important structural component of the plot. It gives the author the opportunity to lay the evidence and clues before the reader in a format that is more interesting than the usual police dossier.
In business vernacular, legwork refers to the gathering, review and interpretation of the basic facts, figures and research nessary to achieve a goal.
amassing evidence, ambling, ambulation, backpacking, close inquiry, department of investigation, detection, detective work, exhaustive study, footing, footing it, footwork, going on foot, hearing, hiking, hitchhiking, hitching, hoofing, indagation, investigation, investigative bureau, legislative investigation, lumbering, marching, pedestrianism, perambulation, perscrutation, probe, research, sauntering, sifting, sleuthing, staggering, strolling, thumbing, thumbing a ride, toddling, tottering, tramping, treading, trudging, waddling, walking, witch-hunt