Friday, September 20, 2013

Rebooting Legal Research in the Digital Age

LexisNexis has published a report on a survey of how practitioners conduct research today. Forty percent of the survey group were “digital natives,” that is, young attorneys. The report includes a number of interesting charts and statistics. You can find it here. Here is a paragraph from the conclusion: 

There is no question that making some timely changes to legal research instruction
would help students, law schools, and employers. Law school faculty should
consider updating their curriculum to better align with modern legal research
practices. They can do this by adjusting the time allocated for hard copy vs.
online research, reducing emphasis on legal classification systems, offering
more comprehensive training with both paid and free online legal research
services, including mastery of search and filtering functionality that these
systems embody. Additionally, students will be better prepared if they can
master the use of treatises, practice guides, and other highly used sources
such as legal news and regulatory materials, and provide greater emphasis on
primary law materials such as statutes, case law and public records. With a
modern curriculum focused on modern research tools, law schools and legal
research departments in particular, can help their students develop the
research skills necessary to produce a high quality work product expected of them
in the workplace.


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