Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Do pocketparts still exist?

My sources say "yes."  For the record, I still spend class time telling students about pocketparts so that in the (concededly) unlikely event they do get a query from a partner, they don't respond with that vacant, Village of the Damned stare betraying their utter cluelessness.  After all, newly minted lawyers usually don't go to work for some hotshot digital native in her 20's.  Instead, they work for some old codger ready for the glue factory but who nevertheless had it burned into his 1L analog mind a very long time ago that it's malpractice, malpractice I tell you! . . . not . .  to . . .  check . . .  the . . .  pocketpart

OK, so if the pocketpart isn't quite dead yet, the author of the FutureLawyer blog says we should seriously consider administering last rites.  What do you think?  If you teach legal research, do you still cover pocketparts in class? If you're a practitioner, do you ever use them or even subscribe to them anymore?  (One commenter at FutureLawyer says she does). Have pocketparts kicked the bucket?  Tell us what you think in the comments.

Hat tip to Legal Blog Watch.


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Jim, the question is not whether pocket-parts exist for now at least. The question is whether their content is reliable. Law librarians have know for years that the editorial quality of pocket-parts have deteriorated, particularly for many (most?) West secondary law literature. In this context, that was revealed for all in the sham pocket-part litigation known in the law library and legal publishing community as "Rudovsky." For details see, the Law Librarian Blog posts listed and linked at this post:

So when instructing students about pocket-parts, certain a good thing to do, such instruction may need to be qualified with words of caution about their editorial quality for West but also for Lexis print titles. -- Jim

Posted by: Joe Hodnicki | Dec 7, 2012 2:56:16 PM

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