Gatekeepers of Legal Information: Evaluating and Integrating Free Internet Legal Resources into the Classroom

Barry Law Review, Vol. 17, pp. 221, Spring 2012

Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 84-2012

23 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2012 Last revised: 26 Jun 2017

See all articles by Jootaek Lee

Jootaek Lee

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School; Northeastern University - School of Law

Date Written: February 7, 2012

Abstract

This Article provides a new analytical tool for legal researchers and practitioners to evaluate free or low-cost Internet resources. Since the global financial crisis has discouraged legal researchers and practitioners from accessing high-cost databases and has encouraged increased reliance on free or low-cost Internet resources, it is important now to establish appropriate evaluation standards for free or low-cost Internet resources. The author believes that evaluation standards based on authority, accuracy, currency, coverage, and usability are necessary for legal instructors in order to safely introduce these resources into their classrooms.

The Article critically analyzes Internet legal resources, primarily using the principle of usability web-design. It concentrates on explaining how to evaluate free or less expensive Internet resources. First, the Article attempts to define Internet legal research and show the difficulty of distinguishing Internet legal research from other online searches. Next, the pros and cons of using free or less expensive Internet resources for legal research are discussed. Lastly, this Article attempts to introduce and establish evaluation standards which we can apply to various Internet resources.

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

Suggested Citation

Lee, Jootaek, Gatekeepers of Legal Information: Evaluating and Integrating Free Internet Legal Resources into the Classroom (February 7, 2012). Barry Law Review, Vol. 17, pp. 221, Spring 2012; Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 84-2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2000824

Jootaek Lee (Contact Author)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School ( email )

123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07120
United States

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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