Legal Information and the Search for Cognitive Authority
UC Berkeley Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper No. 99-1
27 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 1999
Date Written: September 1999
In the 20th Century legal information presented a stable universe of cognitive authority. Law, divided into primary and secondary sources, was a well charted area. Certain sets of books were accepted as institutional authority in legal research, even though they were the products of commercial publishers. This system, which was built around print products, is collapsing. In the midst of this collapse new sources will be defined, but the process is complicated by an information generation gap. This essay will explore the old world of print sources, how they were used, how and why they are collapsing, and what comes next. It ends with a cry for help.
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