Contrary to popular belief, keyword searching isn’t the only way to search for legal resources on the web. Google and other search engines have programmed us to keyword search for everything and for the most part we do. Don’t get me wrong, keyword searching is great and certainly has its place in legal research, but it isn’t the only way or often even the best way (gasp!) to do legal research online.
Remember way back to first year (or for you 1Ls back to last week) when we talked about Digests, headnotes, Indexes, Tables of Contents, etc, as ways to find the law. Well, don’t just give up on them now that most of your research has moved online. They still exist and there are even some new subject-based tools to use. You will even find that many times they work better than keyword searching.
In my next few posts I will talk about some of the subject-based searching tools available in Westlaw and Lexis that can improve your research skills. So, check back.
(As a side note, I was happy to hear today that someone actually reads this blog. At least now I know it’s not just my wife and I!)