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Introducing and Integrating Free Internet Legal Research into the Classroom

14 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2009 Last revised: 5 Aug 2014

Jootaek Lee

Northeastern University - School of Law

Date Written: June 10, 2009

Abstract

The Global financial crisis has been discouraging legal researchers and practitioners from accessing high-cost databases.Many legal professionals and researchers are under financial pressures mainly because of the increased kinds and cost of subscription databases such as Westlaw and Lexis; thus, many legal professionals and researchers started considering free or less expensive internet resources for their research and classes. On the other hand, the number of these free or less expensive internet resources is increasing every year, and their coverage for legal sources is also expanded. Furthermore, just as the creation of a list of hypertext links to internet resources is not an easy task anymore because of the gigantic number of resources available, so simply providing created list to the law students will likewise irresponsibly confuse and intimidate them.

First, this article attempted to define internet legal research and to show the difficulty of distinguishing internet legal research from other online searches. Next, pros and cons of free or less expensive internet resources were discussed. Lastly, this article attempted to introduce and apply usability to various internet resources, criticizing Lexis and Westlaw by the principle of usability web-design.In conclusion, the necessity and prospective plan to establish evaluation standards for free internet resources including coverage, currency, accuracy, authority, appropriateness, and perspective will be explored.

Keywords: internet, legal, research, evaluation, usability, westlaw, lexis, resource, web

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Lee, Jootaek, Introducing and Integrating Free Internet Legal Research into the Classroom (June 10, 2009). University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1509673 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1509673

Jootaek Lee (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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