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Back to the Future of Legal Research Symposium - Librarian and Practitioner Legal Research Survey Results

At the mid-morning session at the Back to the Future Symposium, we learned about the results from various practitioner and librarian surveys regarding legal research practices. Speakers were Sanford Greenberg and Tom Gaylord of Chicago-Kent College of Law and Patrick Meyer of Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

There was a lot of interesting data presented, including recommendations by Chicago law firm librarians on what skills they would like to see from new associates:

  • Electronic Searching Knowledge - 28.57%
  • Print Materials Knowledge - 37.14%
  • Subject Area Knowledge - 20%
  • Online Cost Efficiency - 14.29%
  • General Research Strategies - 22.86%
  • Google/Web - 2.86%

Also interesting were the recommendations by law firm librarians on which types of information are better accessed online and which are better in print. The majority of librarians surveyed felt that cases and digests were better used online while legislative and administrative codes were better used in print. And it's no surprise that the vast majority felt that Shepards/KeyCite was better online. Over three quarters of survey respondents felt that secondary sources were better used in print.