July 16, 2008
Cost Effective Legal Research Advice for New Associates and Law Clerks
A recent semi-serious LLB Poll posed the question: what will be the first thing law firm librarians tell summer associates this year? 74.7% responded with "Lexis/Westlaw costs MONEY!" By now, the truth of that advice, the consequences of not realizing how expensive online legal research can be, is sinking into the minds of some "bright young things" who started working at law firms and corporate legal departments this summer. Perhaps it's time to assign them some required reading.
Lisa Smith-Bulter's Cost Effective Legal Research Redux: How to Avoid Becoming the Accidental Tourist, Lost in Cyberspace, 9 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 293-346 (2008) [Westlaw | SSRN] may do the job. The goal of her article is to assist legal researchers with cost effectively retrieving legal information. To accomplish this, researchers should understand the various branches of the government and the primary sources of law produced by each branch. Researchers then need to understand and be able to evaluate the available formats, i.e. print or electronic, in which legal information is located. Fee and free electronic sites are reviewed and discussed. Free, reputable Internet sites that provide access to primary and secondary sources of American law are located and reviewed in detail.
The author is the Assistant Dean and Director, Law Library & Technology Center & Associate Professor of Law, Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University. The article is titled "redux" because Lisa Smith-Bulter is revisiting a topic that has changed substantially since her 2000 article, Cost Effective Legal Research, 18 Legal Reference Services Q. 61. Nice job! [JH]
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Hah. Interesting observations. I dont even know if people from other law colleges are aware of this. There is bound to be an uproar then.
Posted by: Oliver | Sep 6, 2010 1:08:11 PM