Helpful Resource: Confessions of an Internet Researcher

Take a look at this Squidoo lens on Internet researching. Written by the publisher of the Research Owl website, the lens features recent commentary and news on search engines, tips for formatting your search request, a list of books to help you learn internet researching, and much more.

This gets me thinking about the costs of legal research engines. I spent a lot of time wrestling with a choice between Westlaw, Lexis, Fastcase, nothing … I had a hard time making up my mind. I eventually went with Lexis. But I think I could have done just as well with the “nothing” choice – I get free Casemaker access through my bar association (though it’s nowhere near as robust as Westlaw or Lexis, it does provide national case law and statutory access for all states and federal), and with a resource like this lens, I could potentially have made it work. However, I elected to go with Lexis simply because as a solo, time is money, and time is short. I have so many roles to fill as a solo that I need to simplify and “cut to the chase” as much as possible. A focused legal research database like the big players is part of that solution for me.

But for someone else, it might not be necessary. I’d love to hear from solos who provide for their legal research needs using this type of “home grown” approach. How do you make it work? Are there any gaps in what you can do? Or has it worked out perfectly for you and your clients?

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