The views expressed in the Legal Information & Technology eJournal are those of the contributing authors and do not imply the endorsement of the sponsor, advisory board, or editors.

The Legal Information & Technology eJournal is sponsored by the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section (ALL-SIS). The purpose of the Section is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information on academic law libraries and to represent its members' interests and concerns within the American Association of Law Libraries. The eJournal is also sponsored by the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries (MAALL), an official chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries. MAALL includes members from academic, court, and law firm libraries in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

Table of Contents

Words that Matter: Predicting Persuasive Briefs in the United States Supreme Court

Adam Sean Feldman, University of Southern California, Political Science
Elli Menounou, University of Southern California, Department of Political Science

The Idea of the Casebook: Pedagogy, Prestige, and Trusty Platforms

Joseph Scott Miller, University of Georgia Law School
Lydia Pallas Loren, Lewis & Clark Law School

Citations to Wikipedia in Canadian Law Journal and Law Review Articles

Rex Shoyama, Independent

The Legal Consciousness of Wikipedia

Ayelet Oz, Harvard University, Law School, Students

Sponsored by the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association
of Law Libraries and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries

"Words that Matter: Predicting Persuasive Briefs in the United States Supreme Court" Free Download

ADAM SEAN FELDMAN, University of Southern California, Political Science
ELLI MENOUNOU, University of Southern California, Department of Political Science

In this paper, we generate predictive models of judicial voting using the language from litigants' briefs. Specifically, we use quantitative text classification to generate models of Supreme Court Justices' voting behavior in First Amendment cases. We then propose a multidimensional scaling procedure to assess the justices' preferences through language-based modeling. We utilize a dataset composed of five justices' votes - Justices Scalia, Rehnquist, O'Connor, Stevens, and Kennedy, over a seventeen term period from 1987 through 2004. With this data, we show how focusing on inputs to judicial decision-making such as litigants' briefs necessitates a new means of assessing judicial attitudes. In particular, we show that with the addition of a second dimension of voting in the First Amendment context with a rights/restrictions axis, we can better understand the justices' preferences. The models in this paper achieve near 80% predictive accuracy of the justices' votes which far surpasses the prediction accuracy of models based on ideology scores commonly used in judicial behavior literature.

"The Idea of the Casebook: Pedagogy, Prestige, and Trusty Platforms" Free Download
Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts, Vol. 12, 2015, Forthcoming

JOSEPH SCOTT MILLER, University of Georgia Law School
LYDIA PALLAS LOREN, Lewis & Clark Law School

Independently published, electronically delivered books have been the future of the law school casebook for some time now. Are they destined to remain so? We sketch an e-casebook typology then highlight some features of law professor culture which suggest that, although e-casebook offerings will surely expand, the trust credential that the traditional publishers provide plays a durable, central role in the market for course materials that law professors create.

"Citations to Wikipedia in Canadian Law Journal and Law Review Articles" Free Download
Canadian Law Library Revew, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 11-15, 2014

REX SHOYAMA, Independent

To better understand how and why Wikipedia is utilized in Canadian legal scholarship, the author conducted a citation analysis of Canadian law journal and law review articles. This article presents the findings of this analysis, along with a discussion of implications and possible themes for future research. Overall, most Canadian authors appear to be quite selective and conservative when it comes to citing Wikipedia. However, the nature of such citations to Wikipedia indicates that legal researchers may need to develop greater information literacy skills when it comes to supporting assertions based on non-legal information sources (particularly with respect to statistical data, historical information and technological definitions). Law librarians may have an important educational role to play in this regard.

"The Legal Consciousness of Wikipedia" Free Download

AYELET OZ, Harvard University, Law School, Students

For the last two decades, socio-legal scholars have studied the way ordinary people, and predominantly disempowered people, experience and understand law. Only a few studies have focused on the legal consciousness of the upper-middle class or those who hold greater economic, social or symbolic power.

The following dissertation adds to this body of knowledge through an online ethnography of the legal consciousness of the editors of Wikipedia. As the dissertation reveals, legality holds a surprisingly central place in Wikipedia, especially given the expressed rejection of legality in the community’s ethos. Wikipedians manage a complex and delicate system of formal rules and dispute-resolution institutions that extensively use legal vocabulary and rely on the paradigmatic structures and images of national law. The centrality of legality in Wikipedia further poses the question of the interrelations that are created when an egalitarian, open, participatory and ad-hoc community incorporates formality, strict procedures and semi-legal institutions and vocabulary.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries.

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts in all areas of legal information scholarship. Topics include (but are not limited to): 1) the impact of legal information on domestic, comparative, and international legal systems; 2) the treatment of legal information authorities and precedents (e.g., citation studies); 3) the examination of rules, practices, and commentary limiting or expanding applications of legal information (e.g., citation to unpublished opinions and to foreign law); 4) the study of economic, legal, political and social conditions limiting or extending access to legal information (e.g., trends in the legal publishing industry, intellectual property regimes, and open access initiatives); 5) the finding and use of legal information by academics to produce legal scholarship, by law students to learn the law, by attorneys in practice, and by judges and others decisionmakers to determine legal outcomes; 6) the history of legal information systems and technological advancements; 7) legal information system design and assessment; and 8) the relationship of substantive areas of law (such as information law, intellectual freedom, intellectual property, and national security law) and other academic disciplines (e.g., information science) to legal information. This includes the scholarship of law librarians, other legal scholars, and other academic disciplines.

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Advisory Board

Legal Information & Technology eJournal

Associate Dean/ Director of the Law Library, University of South Carolina School of Law, Associate Dean for the Law Library & Associate Professor of Law, University of South Carolina - Coleman Karesh Law Library

Professor, University of Texas School of Law

Associate Director and Head of Technical Services, William A. Wise Law Library, University of Colorado Law School

Library Director & Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law - Leon E. Bloch Law Library

Associate Dean for Information Services, Professor of Law, Professor of Information Resources and Library Science, and Editor, Legal Reference Services Quarterly, University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law, Cracchiolo Law Library

Rufty Research Professor of Law & Senior Associate Dean for Information Services, Duke University School of Law

Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Library Services, Emory University School of Law - Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library

University of Washington - School of Law, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Library and Computing Services, University of Washington School of Law - Gallagher Law Library

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Director, Academic Advising, Senior Law Lecturer, University of Washington School of Law

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Associate Dean for Finance & Administration; Professor of Law, University of New Mexico School of Law

Associate Law Librarian for International and Foreign Law, Georgetown University Law Library

Library Director and Associate Professor, Brooklyn Law School