Beyond Basic Searching: Tapping into Google's Full Potential for Legal Research

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Presentation at the 14th annual paralegal conference hosted by MCLE in Boston, MA on June 21, 2012

Presentation at the 14th annual paralegal conference hosted by MCLE in Boston, MA on June 21, 2012

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  • “The digital age’s most mundane act, the Google search, often represents layer upon layer of intrigue.”David Segal. “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search”. New York Times. February 12, 2011David Segal’s article is about search engine optimization and tricks that can be used to bring certain websites to the top of search results lists. Being aware that this happens and using the search strategies I’ll be showing you today will improve your search results – however, Google searching can still beIntriguing (more of an art than a science.)I’d like to help you peel away the layers of intrigue
  • Before you do anything else – ie: search, enter keywords etc.Check you Settings********Help for how to do this at: also go directly to:
  • Unfortunately you have to do a search before you can get to the Search Settings to change them.Main Google page only has an arrow next to your name which goes to options for Account InformationJust do any old searchThis will give you the GEAR icon which brings up a link to Search Settings when you click on it.
  • It’s important to know about your Safe Search Filter settings because they can affect search results. Here I’ve chosen Moderate filters, but I might want to select No Filtering if I am searching for a topic that might be filtered, for example for sexualcontent. Thisfilter mainly relies on algorithms that look at many factors, including keywords, links, and images. The default is Moderate.Google Instant predictions can also be turned off if you have a slow connection, or you just don’t like it. For those not familiar with this feature – what it does is try to predict what you want to search based on what you are typing in the search box. I leave it on because sometimes I can save myself some typing by selecting one of the predictions. I can mark the setting to only show these predicitions when I have a fast enough computer so my searching won’t slow down.
  • IF YOU DON’T CHANGE ANY OTHER SETTING CHANGE THIS ONE:Where results open: It defaults to being UNCHECKED. Check the box to have results open in a new browser tab when you click on them. That way you can easily go back and forth between your results list and whatever site you are looking at without having to hit the back button multiple times.Results per Page: You can change the number of results that display per page – I usually keep mine at the default of 10 Blocking Unwanted Results: You can also Block results from a particular sites by entering the URL here.Web History: The default here is for Google to remember what you’ve searched and then use this information to return results in the first pages that are more relevant to you based on this information. You can turn this feature off and erase your History. You can also PAUSE this feature for your account so it does not collect the history at all.
  • Google Search automatically returns results in the language you choose for Google product text.You can also request results in other languages. If you don’t select any other language you will not receive results if the page is NOT in English.
  • What you enter or what the computer thinks your location is makes a difference in which search results come up first.
  • For example if I enter my location as Baltimore, MD and do a search for Bakery then I get results for bakeries in the baltimore area first.This is mostly a useful feature, but it can also stop you from getting the results you want. When I changed my location to Providence my results showed Providence area bakeries first. NOTE: You can also change your location right from the left sidebar by clicking on Change LocationWe will look at other ways to refine our search using the left sidebar in just a minuteYour search settings should STICK or stay, once you’ve set them if you are signed in, but they may not if you are not at your “home” computer.
  • You could just type in a string of keywords and hope for the best.To be honest that’s what I do quite a bit of the time.However, it is good to know about Boolean Searching so that you can craft a more precise search when throwing keywords at the problem doesn’t get you the results you are looking for.
  • Google’s default connector is AND – Google automatically adds an AND between the keywords you type into the search box.
  • You can override this default by substituting one of the other Boolean connectors.OR connector returns results that contain one keyword OR the other as well as both keywords. Most often used to search for synonyms, or for combining two concepts.For example if I also wanted trust law as well as probate law I would use the OR connector.Remember to capitalize!
  • NOT excludes a keyword from your results. On Google you don’t use the word NOT, instead you type a – (hyphen/minus sign) before the word. Use to eliminate keywords from your search results.
  • Refers to a search-engine feature that allows for the automatic extension of a particular keyword to search other forms of the word.For example extending the word Constitution to include Constitutions and ConstitutionalOn some more sophisticated search platforms such as Lexis or Westlaw you have to specify that you want other versions of a keyword. Google automatically looks for other versions or stems of your keyword. On Westlaw it is the exclamation point and it’s called the Root ExpanderAs you can see from this example Google also un-stems words.This isn’t so much a Google technique as it is something to be aware of when you are searchingAntidepressant / Depressant example from Emma’s Health report
  • Google does not offer true proximity searching that you might be familiar with from Lexis or Westlaw – where you can specify that your keyword appear a within a certain number of words from each other, or within the same sentence. However, you can include an asterisk in place of one (or more than one) word as a wildcard. This can be another good way to search for people who may or may not be using their middle name or initial. However, Google often substitutes two words for the asterisk so results for names may include false hits.
  • This wildcard feature can be very useful for fill in the blank type phrase searching such as: Search: * clerked for Justice Souter orSearch: velcro was invented by *
  • Rather than searching for individual keywords, you can search for exact phrasesYou can also use it to avoid this Google word-stemming “feature” – or assuming you have spelled it wrong and suggested an alternate word.To do this put your phrase or word in quotation marks.You can also combine with other search operators.Phrase searching can also be useful if you are looI like to use the * for proximity searching for names.king for a term of art or a specific product name. This search gives you results that contain the words you’ve searching in that exact order.I used phrase searching quotation marks to force google to search only for the word or name BRAKS. Without the quotes Google was automatically correcting my spelling to BREAKS. I didn’t put ED in quotation marks because I wanted Google to look for alternatives such as EDWARD.
  • know how to navigate your search results effectively
  • I am looking for information on The Institute for International Sport. I entered the simple search: Institute for International Sport. Here are my first results. Notice the Sidebar or Column on the left.You can narrow your search results – thus bringing more relevant results up to the first several pages – by using the tools in this sidebarWhat if I really just want News articles? The search results default to EVERYTHING as you can see in red at the top. To do this I click on the word NEWS in the sidebar which limits my results to only News articles. [REMEMBER to click on the MORE or on the MORE SEARCH TOOLS to see even more options.]
  • Here are my results after limited to NEWSNotice that the options in the sidebar are a bit different. I can now further refine by TIME and change the SORT to by date if I like The current “settings” are in RED, but I can change them by clicking on the options below them.I have also reduced my hits from About 4,280,000 results to only 900 – much more relevant ones.
  • The options in the sidebar are different depending on how you have limited your search. For example if I limit my search by IMAGES I get options relevant to Images for further narrow my search.I can narrow by result type, size of image, color of image,type of image, or time image was posted.
  • Here I have limited my search to only blue chairs.
  • A few other things of note:ADS: sometimes these are relevant, but it’s good to recognize why they are appearing in your search results. Google has them lightly highlighted in yellowLINKS at the very bottom of the page to ADVANCED SEARCH and SEARCH HELP Note: Two great features are no longer available – search within results and Cached versions of the pages. (Similar is also missing/gone) Late breaking news: Apparently The "Cached" link won't appear for sites that haven't been indexed or for any sites whose owners requested that we refrain from caching their content.LINK TO ADVANCED SEARCH IS GONE NOW IN Google Chrome but is still in IE with exact same search whether signed in or out! (as of 5/30/2012)!
  • I confess that Iusually start with a basic search. I just type in some keywords and see what I get. If I am not seeing the results I want then I go back and either narrow my results using the sidebar or I go back and try a more precise search using Boolean search operators.
  • The other time I use Basic search is for simple fact look-ups. For example: Population Ecuador, or President Poland.Or Capitol of Massachusetts
  • You can also use a Basic search as a Calculatorsqrt 787 * 2 +4
  • Oras a dictionaryDefine: res ipsaloquitur
  • Keep it Simple: If you're looking for a particular company, just enter its name, or as much of its name as you can recall. If you're looking for a particular concept, place, or product, start with its name. Most queries do not require advanced operators or unusual syntax. Simple is good. The goal of each word in a query is to focus it further. Since all words are used, each additional word limits the results. If you limit too much, you will miss a lot of useful information. The main advantage to starting with fewer keywords is that, if you don't get what you need, the results will likely give you a good indication of what additional words are needed to refine your results on the next searchUse the vocabulary of the page writerA search engine is a program that matches the words you give to pages on the web. It is not a human. Use the words that are most likely to appear on the page. For example, instead of typing list of books about family law you could type domestic relations bibliography, because those are the terms a scholarly article on family law would use.  Choose descriptive words.  The more unique the word is the more likely you are to get relevant results. Words that are not very descriptive, like information, business, and store are usually not needed. Keep in mind, however, that even if the word has the correct meaning but it is not the one most writers use, it may not match the pages you need.
  • Now that I’ve talked about Basic Search Tips and Techniques let’s move on to Google’s Advanced Search: How to use it and when you should use it.
  • How many of you have used the Advanced Search page? A. Yes B. NoIf you haven’t used it why not? A. Didn’t know about it B. I’m not an advanced searcher C. I don’t need it.
  • This search page offers a collection of form based search options that allow you to easily create a more focused and sophisticated search without remember the Boolean operators or Google specific commands I covered in the Basic search sectionUnfortunately Google has Advanced Search hidden, but here’s how to get to it.Two options:FIRST DO A BASIC SEARCH for anything.1.) At top right hand side of page. Click on the GEAR icon to bring up the drop down box than select ADVANCED SEARCH
  • Boolean Searching Using the Advanced PageDon’t have to remember the specific terms and Boolean connectors.Even though it says to use quotations and include OR and AND you don’t have to in these boxesWe can do our earlier search for my classmate Anne Tyler who is not an author using this search page. We don’t want Google to unstem the word Anne and also look for Ann so we put it in the exact word or phrase box We also know she is not an author or novel writer so we exlude those words using the NONE OF THESE WORDS box. Google creates the search you see in the top box from what we’ve entered in the Advanced Search boxes – you could also have typed it that way in the search box in Google’s Basic Search. This is a simple example, but more complex searches are easier to do using the Advanced Search boxes since you don’t have to remember the commands or connectors.
  • If you scroll down the page you will come to this section where you can Narrow your search results by various critera.I’d like to highlight a few of these that I find the most useful.
  • Using the site search filter is great for searching a single domain or domain typeMany websites have their own search built in, but if they don’t then you can use this narrowing option.You can also use it to limit your results to a particular domain type such as .edu or .gov.
  • I often limit to a specific domain type. In this example I am looking for research guides on the law or other legal topics that are on academic library websites, so I used the words: library, research guide, law or legal and combined it with the domain type: .edu
  • The advanced search is translated into the regular search box as:Library law OR legal “research guide” site: eduMy results are below and contain links to many research guides from academic law libraries like University of Washington, Cornell, Universtiy of Maryland, Yale, and Georgetown.All the results are from .edu domains
  • These are just two of the other things you can limit by on the Advanced Search page. Another way to bring up more relevant results is to specify that your search terms appear in a particular part of a website. You can limit to: In the title of the pageIn the text of the pageIn the URL of the pageIn links to the pageLimiting by date a page was updated can weed out older and less relevant pages from your search results
  • Advanced Search is indispensable in refining searchesUse if you want to find:Results from a specific date rangeResults in a different languageResults from a particular website or domain typeResults in a specific file formatDon’t have to remember specific file commandsStart with a basic search and then refine with advanced search if you are not getting what you want.I have noticed that Google is moving features off of the advanced search page and I believe that they are in the process of eliminating advanced search in favor of using commands and the limiting features in the results page sidebar. This is too bad because the advanced search page is easier to use and prompts the searcher to think about ways to limit there search to get more focused and precise results.  
  • Google Scholar is a specialized search that retrieves results from a separate database than the regular Google Web searchGoogle Scholar aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature.It includes articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other websites.Most important distinction is that much of the content listed in the search results is NOT AVAILABLE FREE – however this is mainly for journal articles and not for case law.
  • This is the page I got when I first went to Google Scholar. It’s the old look and it has a link to both Advanced Search and the Scholar Preferences right next to the main search box.
  • Once I clicked to try the modern look this is the page that came up. Notice that the Advanced Search is gone and the Preferences are now at the top under Settings. At least for the time being you can go back to the old look, but once you’ve clicked over to the Modern look that will be your default unless you change it back.I suspect that Google will be fazing out the “old” look at some point so for this presentation I will focus on the New or Modern Look.
  • I recommend checking your preferences so you can customize the look of your search and results interfacesYou will probably want to change the default so that Google Scholar searches Legal Opinions and Journals, rather than articles.I also recommend clicking the box to open results in a new browser window.Unfortunately you cannot set a default jurisdiction.Then, don’t forget to click on Save Preferences to make these preferences “STICK” for all of your Google Scholar searching.
  • What’s there for legal researchGoogle launched it’s new database of federal and state case law and legal journal articles available via Google Scholar in November 2009
  • Text from Google Scholar Help page:Currently, Google Scholar allows you to search and read published opinions of US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791. In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available.Legal opinions in Google Scholar are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed lawyer. Google does not warrant that the information is complete or accurate.
  • Going back to the New or Modern Google Scholar search page we can enter our search. Don’t forget to check the radio button to search legal documents rather than articlesTo open the advanced search features click on the arrow next to the main search box
  • Drop down advanced searchI am looking for a Rhode Island case that will answer the question of whether an employee manual or handbook is considered a contract. I entered my main keywords (employee and contract) in the find articles with all of the words box. And then I have chosen to enter the two synonyms: manual and handbook in the with at least one of the words box which is the same as connecting them with the Boolean connector OR. I have left the default setting for where my words occurSince there are no other limiting options I can’t limit to the jurisdiction Rhode Island at this point.
  • Here are my search results Before limiting to RISearch results not limited. Legal documents is highlighted. To limit by jurisdiction chose the select courts button to chose the courts you want to search. Rhode Island courts is an option because it is the last court I limited to in a previous search.
  • Here are my results after limiting to RI:If I wanted to include other courts or change my jurisidiction just click on Select Courts which opens another window where I can choose another state or federal court.In addition to limiting by jurisdiction I can limit by date as well.
  • Here’s a close up of my first search result: Roy v WoonsocketIt is one of the key Rhode Island cases for this topic. The citation (in green) is immediately below the linked title of the case as is the court,date of the case, and source for the case Below that is a brief snippet of the text with our keywords highlighted. At the very bottom of the result are links to the 63 citing cases as well how this case is cited, and to other related articles
  • Full text of the case after clicking on the link from the results pageNote that our keywords are highlighted, but this can be turned off for printing or e-mail by clicking in the highlighted box on the top right.
  • Clicking on the How Cited link takes you to the How Cited page, shown in thisscreen capture. This page has three sections: How this document has been cited, (2) Cited by,(3) Related Documents. Google does not explain the difference between How this document has been cited and Cited by. There seem to be more documents in the Cited By section and the How this document has been cited takes you to the pinpoint pages while Cited By just takes you to the top of the case or journal article that cites to Roy v Woonsocket. As of March 8, 2012 Google has changed the way they present the citations in the Cited By section. They are now sorting the citing documents by the extent of discussion of the cited case rather than by their prominence. In other words opinions that discuss the cited case in detail are presented before ones that mention the case briefly. The extent of discussion is indicated visually– using horizontal bars – the more bars the more relevant. The idea is to help legal researchers quickly find the significant citations they are looking for. It is important to note that this is not the same as shephardizing or using key cite –it is not a way to quickly determine if the case is still good law. There are no red or yellow flags for example. Related documents lists related cases and journal articles that might have similar fact patterns. To view a list of all citations you need to click the all 63 citing documents link at the bottom of the Cited By section (2).
  • To search by citation, enter it into the Find articles with the exact phrase box on the advanced search drop down.
  • You must use the Bluebook citation form. For example: 67 Supreme. Court Reporter 1146 entered into this box will bring back no results, but a search for 67 S Ct 1146 will bring back the exact case and any other later case that has cited to it. Google ignores punctuation so you don’t need a period after the S or the CtThis is because you are doing an exact phrase search
  • These are the results for this citation search. Notice how our advanced search has been “re-written” as a basic google phrase search using quotation marks. Our case is the first in the list and the citation we searched for is highlighted
  • You can also search for the party name in the Find articles with the exact phrase box. Be sure to us just the letter v and not vs. or versus. Then limit where your words occur to “in the title of the article” then on the results page limit your search to Federal Courts, or State Courts.For example, we could put the keywords Roe v Wade in the exact phrase box to search for this case by party name. This search will retrieve the US Supreme Court decision and the Federal District Court decision, but not articles about the case Roe v Wade. For broader results select “anywhere” for where my words and do not limit to just courts on the search results page.
  • For example, we could put the keywords Roe v Wade in the exact phrase box to search for this case by party name. This search will retrieve the US Supreme Court decision and the Federal District Court decision, but not articles about the case Roe v Wade. For broader results select “anywhere” for where my words and do not limit to just courts on the search results page. This will also retrieve scholarly articles that mention Roe v Wade.
  • To force a search by judge’s name first enter the judge’s last name into the search box labeled Return articles written by
  • In this example I searched for Judge Vogel and then limited my results to Rhode Island where she is a Superior Court judge
  • This search will retrieve cases in which this judge delivered the opinion, concurred with it, or dissented from it.
  • Pros of Google Scholar for Legal ResearchCase citations are hyperlinked to the caseSearch results are fast and accurateRelevancy of search results to search queries are as good, and sometimes better, than those provided by commercial legal research services“How Cited” tab delivers every case in every state and federal appellate court that has cited the case being reviewed, as well as any citations to the case in scholarly articles (providing they are indexed by Google)This is a FAST way to find other cases directly on point with the issue being researched as well as a way to see how other jurisdictions are addressing the issue that makes the case important. You can set up Alerts for your search which will e-mail new results for your search query to you.You can send direct links to the case to someone elseBecause Google Scholar is FREE the links are accessible to all – not just those with a subscription to the legal research service you are using.Oh yes – and it’s FREE
  • Cons of Google Scholar for Legal ResearchSearch results are based on Google’s system for ranking search results, rather than the actual importance of the case. As legal opinions are not typically written for search engine optimization (may want to define this here – or make sure I did with the first quotation) this does not always return the best results first. The SEO value of a case does not necessarily equate to it’s value as legal precedentThere is no way to fully shepardize cases. The How Cited tab will return a list of every case that has cited the case being viewed as well as citations in scholarly articles, but it does not indicate whether or not the case is still good law. A researcher can only make that determination by reading the cases that cite to itGoogle Scholar lacks an index tool for spotting important legal issues. For example Westlaw provides Key Number results which provide an index of the issues involved in the case in a short summary. This allows researcher to quickly determine whether the case is relevant and a link to other cases involving this issue. HOWEVER, some of this can be done with by looking at the links in the HOW CITED tab.Statutes and rules of procedure are not hyperlinked and are not included in the search databaseCoverage – database lacks older cases for federal and state courts.
  • I know that you will find these search techniques useful in your legal and non-legal research using Google and Google Scholar. For more tips, tricks and information consult the resources and shortcuts lists in the attachments section.  “Have fun and keep Googling.” (Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founders in a 1998 note on the then new is made of the fact that google is a verb—this is often given as a sign that the search-engine giant has well and truly made it. Page 7 of "The Google Story" by David Vise and Mark Malseed tells us thatTo google means "to search". That the company's name has become a verb in English, German and other languages is testament to its pervasive influence on global culture.Well, sort of, but what Mr Vise means is that "that the company's name has become a widely known and used verb is testament to the company's pervasive influence." Because "Google" was a verb long before its pervasive influence. The evidence?  "The Google Story", p. 43Thanks to all the people who have sent us logos and suggestions. Keep them coming.  Have fun and keep googling. That was Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a note on the new, in 1998.(The logos is from June 21, 2011 celebrating the first day of Summer by Takashi Murakami) 


  • 1. THE PARALEGAL’S GUIDE TO GOING BEYOND BASIC SEARCH: Tapping into Google’s Full Potential for Legal Research
  • 2. Going Beyond Basic Search: Tapping intoGoogle’s Full Potential for Legal Research  Essential search tips and productivity tools for using Google’s basic search effectively  When and how to use Google’s advanced search  Finding legal materials using Google Scholar Thursday, June 21 Presented by Elizabeth Geesey Holmes
  • 3. Part 1Essential search tips and productivity toolsfor using Google’s basic search effectively
  • 4. Check Your Settings!
  • 5. How to Change Your Settings Do a Search FIRST! Click on gear to bring up search settings
  • 6. Search Settings: Search Results
  • 7. Search Settings: Search Results
  • 8. Search Settings: Google Search automatically returnsLanguages results in the language you choose for Google product text. You can also request results in other languages. If you don’t select any other language you will only get results if the page is in English
  • 9. Search Settings: Location
  • 10. My location is set toBaltimore, MD so my results arein that area Check & change location quickly by clicking here
  • 11. Use Boolean Searching(and/or other search strategies)
  • 12. Boolean Logic A system developed by mathematician George Boole during the 19th century that uses a series of connectors to define relationships between objects
  • 13. Boolean Connectors: AND Google Default All of the keywords are present  Search: probate law  Results: Both the term probate and the term law
  • 14. Boolean Connectors: OR One keyword or the other, or both keywords are present  Search: probate OR trust law  Results: will all have the term law combined with either the word trust or probate NOTE: You must capitalize OR otherwise Google will treat it as a stop word and ignore it
  • 15. Boolean Connectors: NOT (-) No results with this keyword are returned  Search: Anne Tyler –author -novel  Returns results with the keywords Anne and Tyler, but without the keyword author, and without the word novel  Use this strategy to find results for your former classmate Anne Tyler, but not for the novelist Anne Tyler
  • 16. Word Stemming (and un-stemming) Searching for constitutional will also find the words: constitution and constitutions
  • 17. Proximity Searching:Asterisk (*)/ Wildcard Search: Elizabeth * Holmes Results: Include:  Elizabeth Geesey Holmes  Elizabeth G Holmes, BUT also  Elizabeth Spencer, Amy Holmes
  • 18. Proximity Searching:Asterisk (*)/ Wildcard
  • 19. Phrase Searching: “ “ Use for searching exact phrases or words Use to stop Google from stemming Enter your phrase or word in quotation marks  Search: Ed Braks  Results: Ed, Edward, Breaks – not Braks  Search: Ed “Braks”  Results: Ed, Edward and Braks – NO Breaks
  • 20. Navigate your search results
  • 21. What if I just want News Articles?Sidebar fornarrowing yoursearch
  • 22. Results limited to NEWS
  • 23. Other Ads related to thissearches searchrelated tothis searchLinks to AdvancedSearch & SearchHelp
  • 24. When to Use Basic Search, and Some Other Tips & Tricks
  • 25. Use Basic Search As… Your starting point  Then narrow results, or use Boolean search operators to get more relevant hits
  • 26. Use Basic Search As… A tool to look up simple facts  Population Ecuador  President Poland  Capitol of Massachusetts
  • 27. Use Basic Search As… A calculator 7*2+4
  • 28. Use Basic Search As… A dictionary  define res ipsa loquitur
  • 29. Use Basic Search As… A weather forecaster weather 02806
  • 30. A few other tips and tricks Keep it simple Think how the page you are looking for will be written Choose descriptive words
  • 31. Part 2When and how to use Google’sadvanced search
  • 32. I’m Curious Have you used the  If you have not used Advanced Search it, why not? page?  A. I didn’t know  A. Yes about it  B. No  B. I am not an advanced searcher  C. I don’t need to use it.
  • 33. How to get to Advanced Search 2. Click on GEAR Icon1. Do a Basic 3. ChooseSearch Advanced Search
  • 34. Limiting Results to Specific FileFormats Enter your search words in the Boolean search boxes at the top of the page Scroll down to narrow your results by File Type Choose the file type from the drop down box  Example: Limit search results to .ppt to find presentations posted to the web by opposing experts.
  • 35. Click onthe arrowto bring upthe dropdown menubox
  • 36. Limiting Results to a Specific WebSite Search one site (like or limit your results to a domain like .edu, .org or .gov The command to do this in basic search is site:
  • 37. Enter your searchterms Limit to a domain or domain type
  • 38. AllResultsare fromdomainsending
  • 39. A few more Hidden Features Limiting results to where your search terms appear in the website  In the title of the page  In the text of the page  In the URL of the page  In links to the page Limiting results by date updated
  • 40. Two ways to limit by date Basic Searchupdated Sidebar Advanced Search Page
  • 41. Why Use Advanced Search Indispensable in refining your searches to bring the relevant results to the first pages  Use to find results:  From a specific date range  In a different language  From a particular website  In a specific file format Fill in the box format means you don’t have to remember specific search commands
  • 42. Part 3Finding legal materials using GoogleScholar
  • 43. What is Google Scholar? Specialized search that retrieves results from a separate database Includes: Articles, Theses, Books, Abstracts, and Court Opinions From academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other scholarly web sites
  • 44. How to get to Google Scholar Go to: ( OR In Basic Google type in the search: scholar  Your first result will be for Google Scholar
  • 45. Old “Look” for Google Scholar main page Link to Advance d Search is still here Click here to try “modern look”
  • 46. New “modern look” Google Scholar MainPage Settings are still here, but link to Advanced Search is gone Revert to “old venerable” look
  • 47. Important Preference Settings Default to search legal opinions and journals Set number of results per page Open results in a new window Don’t forget to Save
  • 48. What legal research material can I findhere? Federal and State case law Legal journal articles
  • 49. Where does it come from? Google’s own database Google also links to alternate sources for some cases, such as Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, Justia and
  • 50. Google Scholar Case CoverageU.S. State appellate and 1950-presentsupreme Court caseopinionsU.S. Federal district, 1923-presentappellate, tax andbankruptcy court caseopinionsU.S. Supreme Court case 1791-presentopinions
  • 51. Searching Google Scholar byTopic
  • 52. Click on the arrow to get to the advanced search boxesDo not forget tocheck the radiobutton to searchlegal documents
  • 53. Click X to close Advanced search boxesAdvanced searchboxes are the sameas those in regularGoogle. Notice thereare no boxes forlimiting yourresults, just forsearching
  • 54. Search results not limited. Legaldocuments is highlighted. To limitby jurisdiction chose the selectcourts button to chose the courtsyou want to search. Rhode Islandcourts is an option because it isthe last court I limited to in aprevious search.
  • 55. First result is one of the key cases for this topicSidebar withoptions fornarrowing yoursearch results
  • 56. Navigating Google Scholar Search Results
  • 57. Name & citation of caseNavigatebetween views.Current view isREAD
  • 58. 2 Navigate between views.1 Current view is HOW CITED 3
  • 59. Search by Citation Enter the bluebook form of the citation into the Find articles with the exact phrase box on the Advanced Search page Search for your words appearing anywhere in the article
  • 60. Searching by Party Name Enter the party names into the Find articles with the exact phrase box. Only use the letter v and not the whole word versus or the abbreviation vs. Limit where your words occur to “in the title of the article” On the results page limit by jurisdiction if relevant
  • 61. Searching by Judge Enter the judge’s last name into the search box labeled Return articles written by. On the results page limit by jurisdiction.
  • 62. Google Scholar for LegalResearch: PROS Hyperlinked case citations Fast and accurate search results Relevancy as good or better than commercial legal research services “How Cited” tab provides links to cases and scholarly documents that have cited your case Set up Alerts Send direct links to cases It’s FREE
  • 63. Google Scholar for LegalResearch: CONS Search results based on Google’s system for ranking search results rather than actual importance of case Cannot easily tell if case is still good law. No index tool Statutes and Rules are not hyperlinked Lacks some older cases
  • 64. “Have fun and keep googling.”~Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a note on the new
  • 65. Contact InformationElizabeth Geesey HolmesLibrarianPartridge Snow & Hahn LLPegh@psh.comEGHresearch@gmail.com
  • 66. Resources Official Google Blog ( Google Help Center ( Nancy Backman’s Google Guide ( Google for Lawyer’s by Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch Google Hacks by Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest
  • 67. More Resources Google Scholar Help ( ml) Advanced Scholar Search Tips ( arch.html) Google Scholar Advanced Search ( arch?hl=en&as_sdt=2,40) Google Scholar Advanced Search Help ( arch.html)
  • 68. Even More Resources “Google Scholar Advanced Legal Research Tips” by Josh Camson on legal-research-tips/ “Advanced Search in Retreat” by Greg R. Notess in Information Today Online ( Net-Advanced-Search-in-Retreat.shtml) My website: