A survey of law librarians was recently conducted by the Advanced Legal Research Instructors at Stanford Law School’s Robert Crown Law Library and was “designed to answer a few of our key questions: which database could be canceled?, what some of the effects might be from cancellation?, and what low cost or free legal research alternatives are available and recommended?,” according to the report.  It gives thought to the age-old question, Can you live without one or the other?  The survey addresses many issues that are commonly discussed among law librarians and legal researchers, and the comments in the appendices are particularly enlightening.

 

An executive summary can be viewed at the blog of Stanford’s Advanced Legal Research Instructors, Legal Research Plus, and the report can be viewed here: Law Librarians and LexisNexis vs. Westlaw: Survey Results. 

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You can now set up a feed to track new court filings for specific companies, writes Steven Cohen of Library Stuff at Justia – Be Still My Heart!  Corporate counsel can stay ahead of lawsuits and law firms can add to their client development toolbox with this new and free service.  Excellent!

The new Law Library Journal issue has an article by Mary Whisner about a blog she writes as Assistant Librarian for Reference Services at the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington School of Law.  The blog is Trial Ad Notes, and the article is A Blog’s Life, 98 Law Libr. J. 559 (2006).  It is a fascinating read!  We follow Mary from the concept of starting a blog as a way of providing a current awareness service to “an untapped market,” the law school’s trial advocacy instructors, to execution, evolution, and beyond.  Interesting to see that she faces the same challenges that we face in the law firm market. The brevity of a blog post is appealing; the challenge is getting the attention of your patrons…and keeping their interest.  By the way, Footnote 5 mentions a blog by Trevor Rosen at a Baltimore law firm: Maryland Law.

More on the generation gap…An article from the Akron Law Review, Forty-Two: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Teaching Legal Research To The Google Generation, discusses the legal researcher’s increasing reliance “on computers to answer complex questions ” and how that impacts legal research.  Issues dicussed include “balancing precision and completeness,” “the economics of legal research” vis-a-vis the cost of print materials versus Internet-based resources, and “teaching legal research as a client-based activity.” The preprint version of the article is available at bepress Legal Repository. The citation to the published article is:

Gallacher, Ian.  Forty-Two: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Teaching Legal Research To The Google Generation 29 Akron L. Rev. 151 (2006).

“Jurors are more complex in their decision making than their age portrays,” according to The Newer Generations in the Jury Box: Who Will Favor Your Cause? which is featured in the June issue of the ABA’s Law Practice Magazine.  The article, which compares Generation X and Generation Y jurors, is one of several articles in this issue on Closing the Generation Gap: What you need to know about managing the multigenerational law firm. Another article, Leading a Different Generation: Maybe Play is the Thing, discusses the characteristics of the newest generation of attorneys — the children of baby boomers — and how they differ from their predecessors in the law firm.  Thanks to WisBlawg from the University of Wisconsin Law Library for that.