Posted on November 19th, 2009 No comments
I know this blog is geared to Children’s law issues, but I wanted to pass this along because I understand that most lawyers in this field do not have the funds for expensive legal research services (Lexis and Westlaw). I have been playing around with Google’s legal research function on Google Scholar and I have found it to be very helpful. Google scholar (http://scholar.google.com) looks very much like the traditional Google search engine page. It allows you to search scholarly literature, just like Google Images allows you to search picture s on the web. You can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.
Now, Google Scholar has added legal research to the mix. Under the search bar, you can click on “Legal opinions and journals.” Then, using traditional Google search terms you can search for case law. An advanced Scholar search will allow you to narrow your search to federal or state courts. I have done a number of searches today and found it fairly easy to use. This may be in large part because I am used to performing Google searches for other subjects.
The cases show the pagination for the Northwest reporter series. One interesting feature is the “How Cited” tab, where you can see how individual cases have been quoted or discussed in other opinions and in articles from law journals.
Overall, it is a very nice free legal research tool. I have added a link to Google Scholar on my links page under legal research.
Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com