Why Google Search is Not a Reliable Tool for Legal Research

If you're a lawyer, that's a huge warning sign that you could be putting your legal investigation in jeopardy. To start with, the coverage of your case is not comprehensive and often does not include the most recent court decisions. Despite this, many good lawyers (sometimes secretly, at the risk of being embarrassed) begin their legal research projects with a simple Google search. There are several valid reasons for this.It's usually the most practical place to start when dealing with complex issues or topics that the lawyer has only limited knowledge of.

You can use broader search terms and still get useful information, since algorithms are smarter and Google has access to a wider variety of data. I'm not suggesting that Google or other search engines should replace traditional legal research. Google Legal Scholar is a free legal research platform with an easy-to-use interface that is ideal for many individual and small law firms looking to supplement their existing legal research tools.Google search results usually show the keywords, case law or statutes that enable a lawyer to more effectively embark on the deeper investigation offered by more traditional legal search techniques. I don't mind saying that I have a strong interest in lawyers using search engines and non-traditional sources of information to facilitate their investigations.

But this only works if lawyers use non-traditional legal research methods to educate themselves. However, many law firms are looking for alternatives such as Google Legal Scholar as a free supplement to their existing legal research tools when lawyers need to do basic research.A Google law search can find legal cases dating back to the 1650s, state appellate cases since 1950, and cases from federal trials, appeals, taxes and bankruptcies since 1923, and more. A legal search on Google is an excellent way for any lawyer to investigate their case while avoiding the costs associated with more established legal research tools. Search engines can be used to find summaries, technical documents and treatises that summarize dense or complex topics.

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