Accessing Law: An Empirical Study Exploring the Influence of Legal Research Medium
53 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2014
Date Written: June 19, 2014
The legal profession is presently engaged in an uncontrolled experiment. Attorneys now locate and access legal authorities primarily through electronic means. Although this shift to an electronic research medium radically changes how attorneys discover and encounter law, little empirical work investigates impacts from the shift to an electronic medium.
This Article presents the results of one of the most robust empirical studies conducted to date comparing research processes using print and electronic sources. While the study presented in this Article was modest in scope, the extent and type of the differences that it reveals are notable. Some of the observed differences between print and electronic research processes confirm predictions offered, but never before confirmed, about how the research medium changes the research process. This Article strongly supports calls for the legal profession and legal academy to be more attentive to the implications of the shift to electronic research.
Keywords: legal research, empirical study, technology, Westlaw, Lexis, electronic legal research
JEL Classification: K00, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation