Thursday, November 19, 2009
Currently, Google Scholar allows you to search and read opinions for US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791 (please check back periodically for updates to coverage information). In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available. Legal opinions in Google Scholar are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed lawyer. Google does not warrant that the information is complete or accurate."
There's plenty of good commentary about the pros and cons on the Law Librarian blog here, here and here as well as the Adjunct Law Prof blog. Further, Brian Leiter points out on his blog that law review articles are also now searchable on Google Scholar.
The story fits hand-in-glove with the debate we've been reporting on all week regarding the ability of open access legal research tools to compete effectively with the commercial folks. If you don't know what I'm referring to, please scroll down the page.
I am the scholarship dude.