Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Does Computerized Research Change How Lawyers Think and Analyze?

Elizabeth M. McKenzie, law professor at the Suffolk University Law School in Boston, has published the findings of an empirical study on how the use of full-text online legal resources has changed the way lawyers conduct legal analysis and how they write.

From the abstract of Computers in Law: Changing the Way Lawyers Think:

"Using textual analysis, the author empirically measured changes in legal practice brought about by the use of computers. The author compared briefs and decisions with an issue of first impression from a decade before computers entered the practice of law and again, a decade when computers have become ubiquitous. When a lawyer or judge must deal with a case of first impression, there is no precedent available. They either make policy arguments based on what would be the best policy or they use reasoning by analogy. The research found attorneys and judges in the pre-computer decade used reasoning by analogy much more frequently than they did in the recent decade. That change reflects the different way a researcher performs legal analysis when searching in books compared to creating a query for online research."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:45 pm

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