'Unknown Symbols': Online Legal Research in the Age of Emoji

38 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 155 (2019)

Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2019-72

19 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2019 Last revised: 22 Dec 2019

See all articles by Jennifer L. Behrens

Jennifer L. Behrens

J. Michael Goodson Law Library, Duke University School of Law

Date Written: October 3, 2019

Abstract

Over the last decade, emoji and emoticons have made the leap from text messaging and social media to legal filings, court opinions, and law review articles. However, emoji and emoticons’ growth in popularity has tested the capability of online legal research systems to properly display and retrieve them in search results, posing challenges for future researchers of primary and secondary sources. This article examines current display practices on several of the most popular online legal research services (including Westlaw Edge, Lexis Advance, Bloomberg Law, Fastcase, HeinOnline, and Gale OneFile LegalTrac), and suggests effective workarounds for researchers.

Keywords: emoji, emoticons, kaomoji, online legal research, technology, Unicode

Suggested Citation

Behrens, Jennifer, 'Unknown Symbols': Online Legal Research in the Age of Emoji (October 3, 2019). 38 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 155 (2019), Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2019-72, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3463766

Jennifer Behrens (Contact Author)

J. Michael Goodson Law Library, Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.duke.edu/fac/behrens/

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