Research allows a student to learn an area of law, which has value.
Research is not glamorous. It involves a desk, a computer, and possibly a few books. No lawyer will ever tell glorious war stories about the heroic research that they conducted while they articled. But what research may lack in excitement it can make up for in utility. Research allows a student to learn an area of law, which has value. Especially if a student is diligent in saving their memos and cases, research produces knowledge of the law that can be applied at a later date to other problems.
So when that juicy contested motion comes through the door and the partner asks “so who has experience in X?”, it may just be that 10 hour paper-laden goose chase that you went on 3 months ago that clinches the assignment for you.