Doing Legal Aid Research On The Internet

Sky Joe
July 19, 2011 — 1,596 views  
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Using the Internet, information on legal issues can be easily obtained. There are currently numerous excellent websites with the most updated and accurate legal information made available to the public. In the past, to obtain legal cases or statues, one will have to spend time going through legal books one at a time. Using search engines to search the Internet electronically, one will be able to find all legal cases or statues at once, cutting down on the time needed to gather information.

Nothing is prefect! Even with the convenience online search is able to bring us, there are still some disadvantages to it when it comes to legal search. Listed below are four commonly encountered disadvantages.

· Law came way before Internet was made available. In terms of age, the Internet is definitely a lot younger as compared to the legal world. The printed sources of legal law goes all the way back to the 19th century while online legal sources only started in the mid-‘90s. In order to obtain legal information before the mid-‘90s, one will still have to use the traditional method of research – Down to a library and read through legal books.

· Publishing on the Internet is so easy that it becomes a serious disadvantage when doing research online. Even though there are many good websites with accurate legal information, there are definitely bad websites with incorrect legal information. To ensure getting the correct answer out of your legal research, compare the information provided on a legal few websites to ensure consistency with the legal information gathered before using.

· Patience is a virtue when it comes to doing Internet search. When word(s) are keyed in the search engine, the search engine will have its own way of using the words. To ensure fast and accurate searches, it is good to know how the search engine uses the words. Remember that no matter how good your search is, the Internet is so vast that you will get many hits, and some of them will be of no use at all.

· When it comes to legal websites, there are some with information that is accurate but biased toward the point of view of the creator of the website. It is always wise to think about the reason behind why the creator put the information there before using the legal information you find on the website.


· Legal Information Institute

This site, frequently on Internet 10 best legal reference lists, has a complete collection of federal, state and international law including the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court opinions and the U.S. Code. The site also has sections about different legal topics like crime and employment.

· FindLaw for the Public

This commercial Web site was created for people who are not lawyers. (There is another site for people who are lawyers). The Web site has a wide variety of information on legal topics from adoption to wills. It also contains a dictionary of legal terms and a list of lawyers.

· Finding Information on the Internet

(from the University of California at Berkeley) - This guide explains how to use search engines to find any type of information on the Internet (not just legal).

· Legal Research Guide

This guide explains how to do legal and factual research on the Internet. The guide is divided into subjects and can also be searched by keyword.


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