PCs and CALR: Changing the Way Lawyers Think

20 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2007  

Elizabeth McKenzie

Suffolk University Law School

Susan Vaughn

Suffolk University Law School

Date Written: September 18, 2007

Abstract

The ubiquitous use of personal computers and comprehensive online databases for legal research are affecting not only research methods, but the way in which legal researchers analyze problems. To study this issue, the authors measured differences in analogical reasoning in briefs and decisions written before computers were used for legal research, and now. This study employed textual analysis of a number of briefs and judicial decisions from the 1955-1965 and from 1993-2003, from the same court system. This textual analysis was aimed at pinpointing any difference in legal reasoning and analysis between the two time periods. The authors argue that the changes found in legal analysis mandate changes in legal education. The suggested changes include teaching students (1) careful reading and analysis, (2) how to use advanced online database tools, (3) effective use of secondary legal sources, and (4) how to find the appropriate online database for their research.

Keywords: Computer-Assisted-Legal Research, Law Schools, Legal Research and Writing, Empirical Research

Suggested Citation

McKenzie, Elizabeth and Vaughn, Susan, PCs and CALR: Changing the Way Lawyers Think (September 18, 2007). Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 07-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=969078 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.969078

Elizabeth McKenzie (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

Susan Vaughn

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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