Forty-Two: The Hitchhiker's Guide To Teaching Legal Research To The Google Generation


Students are coming to law school increasingly dependent on computers to serve their research needs. And they expect that computerized legal research will be both more efficient and more effective than book-based research. These expectations place students in conflict with traditionalists who point to the inherent limitations of computer-assisted legal research and the dangers in relying on legal research conducted entirely in electronic databases. These traditionalists favor a “books first,” if not a “books only,” approach. This paper explores the cultural conflict between the traditionalists and the “Google generation,” evaluates the dangers associated with computer-assisted legal research, and proposes a pedagogical approach to research training that stresses a client-based approach over the more familiar medium-based approach presently employed by many law schools.


Internet Law | Legal Writing and Research

Date of this Version

September 2005