Google Scholar and Legal Research

by Katy Sheehan on November 19, 2009

in Resources, Resources and Links

I stumbled across this article yesterday and I completely agree with Ernie the Attorney’s premise that Google Scholar for Legal Research is a GREAT start in terms of opening up legal research to the public.  Ernie puts the issue very succinctly:

“I’ve long contended that the law should be available online for free.  Seems fitting and proper, since ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’ and all.  If you can’t claim you didn’t know what the law is, then shouldn’t the government at least make the law available online for free?”

Like Louisiana where Ernie is writing, Washington State’s statutes are posted on a free online site. In my opinion it its a pretty good site, although there is no search function. But Google Scholar is the beginning of opening free case law searches to the public. In other words, this free search opens up interpretations of the law to the public which until now has been cloistered away in expensive databases like Westlaw and Lexis Nexis.

For more commentary on Google Scholar and how it affects lawyers and their researching check out this article on My Shingle “Free Legal Research by Google & What it Means”

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