Continuously opining, intermittently publishing.

Google’s Tectonic Shift in Legal Research

Posted by oshane | Leave a comment at the end of this post.

Google has made federal and state trial level and appellate level opinions searchable on Google Scholar.

Laypersons may not understand how significant this is. Currently, unless a legal researcher (lawyer) is using public resources, which have not been easily organized or easily searchable until now, he must rely on licenses to services provided by Westlaw and LexisNexis, which are extraordinarily expensive.

I foresee Westlaw and LexisNexis continuing to provide value to cases with analysis and connective organization, but for general purpose legal research, they are being disintermediated, and it’s about time.

This new feature of Google Scholar will allow legal research to proceed more efficiently, more inexpensively, and makes the common law, most importantly, more accessible to the public by taking it out of the hands of the guild guardians and putting it into the hands of anyone who needs to see the common law.

This gives me great pride. Kudos to the knowledge workers outside of Google who helped the engineers create this search function. Kudos to the engineers. Kudos to Larry & Sergey and all Googlers, who continue to gather the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

4 Responses to “Google’s Tectonic Shift in Legal Research”

  1. Chevas says:

    This is very powerful.

  2. Marcia says:

    Congratulations Google! This is extraordinary and something for which I have been looking for many years.

  3. Roland says:

    If people knew the amount of money attorneys were charged for Westlaw or Lexis services they would all clammor for a significant reduction in the cost of a billable hour! Of course, I have to check and see if this is going to include Canadian legal opinions. It should, eh?

Leave a Reply