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The Importance of Legal Research Skills for Practice

 

To uncover how newer attorneys conduct research in this emerging legal marketplace, an independent survey was conducted by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG) and funded by LexisNexis.  Author Steven A. Lastres, director of Library & Knowledge Management at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP drew conclusions on what they may mean for the future of legal research instruction:

Key findings from the survey included the following:

  • Newer attorneys spend more than 30% of their time doing legal research
  • Approximately 50% of associates think legal research should be a larger part of the law school curriculum
  • Over 80% of associates use an extensive range of content from traditional primary law and secondary materials to News, Court Transcripts, Verdicts, Dockets, Public Records and more.
  • Legal Classification systems are rarely used (only 12% begin with a legal classification system)
  • Attorneys use free online research resources but spend most of their time, over 8 hours per week, using paid-for online research services.

Key recommendations from the author on what law schools and employers can do to update and enhance legal research instruction:

  • Adjusting time allocated to hard copy vs. online research
  • Reducing emphasis on legal classification systems
  • Mastering use of treatises and other highly used sources such as legal news, regulatory materials and public records.

See the full article here.

 

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