The Invention of Legal Research

Company News, Legal Education, Librarianship Ben Boron

The past three decades have witnessed a revolution in legal research methodology. Legal databases have transformed research from an entirely print-based process to one dominated by online methods. This online revolution is not unprecedented, however, and it is not a stretch to think that law practice was transformed during the period from 1870 to 1890 as much as it has been the past thirty years. The Invention of Legal Research by Joseph L. Gerken is the story of those “golden decades”.

The late 1800s saw the development of U.S. case reporters, digests and citators from the early days of the republic to the emergence of the West National Reporter System, West Digests and Shepard’s Citations. This history also includes stories on the enterprising, interesting individuals who took it on themselves to forge new research sources and approaches.

This book is an expanded version of the author’s award-winner paper, which received AALL’s Call for Papers Award (Open Division) in 2013.

About the Author Gerken pic

Joseph L. Gerken is a reference librarian at University at Buffalo Law Library. He previously worked as a legal advocate for people with disabilities and for state prisoners, and as confidential law clerk for U.S. District Judge M. William Skretny. Mr. Gerken authored What Good Is Legislative History? Justice Scalia in the Federal Courts of Appeals (William S. Hein & Co. 2007) and several articles on legal research.

Joe will be presenting The Invention of Legal Research at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) convention in Chicago, IL. Come see Joe at Booth 319 on Sunday, July 19 at 11:10am, as well as Monday, July 18 at 9:30am. This is a presentation that you do not want to miss!

Order your copy today! 

Price: $95.00
Item #: 1000287
ISBN: 9780837739762
Published: Getzville; William S. Hein & Co., Inc.; 2016

*AALL Publications Series standing order customers will automatically receive this title.

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