An introduction to Google Scholar case law search
1. Google Scholar stores and indexes appellate court opinions.
2. Google Scholar offers advanced Google search options.
3. Google Scholar will send you email alerts when new opinions matching your search criteria are added.
4. Google Scholar knows that I am located in Kentucky. You may not be so lucky.
5. You can select any state or federal court in any jurisdiction.
Google Scholar menus are flexible. The advanced search option can appear in at least two different places on the main page.
The Google Scholar advanced search option is the standard Google advanced search option . . . very powerful.
As far as I can tell, all of Kentucky's appellate court opinions through the end of March, 2014 are indexed and available. The decisions rendered by the Court of Appeals on April 4, 2014 are not yet available.
- Maryland State Law Library - Using Google Scholar for Maryland Case Law Research
- Library of Congress - How to Locate Free Case Law on the Internet
- Wisconsin State Law Library - Case Law Research with Google Scholar
- University of Texas School of Law -How to Use Google Scholar for Case Law Includes the criticism of Google Scholar that it lack a feature allowing search within an opinion, once it is found. However, the basic "find" feature included every major web browser fills this need quite adequately.
- UCLA School of Law - Introduction / Google Scholar
- Thomson Reuters - Googling the Law: Apprising Students of the Benefits and Flaws of Google as a Legal Research Tool - (PDF)This article shifts back and forth between discussing standard Google search as a legal research tool and using Google Scholar. The main complaints about Google Scholar is that the cases lack editorial annotations, there is a lack of trust regarding currency and completeness and that access to secondary materials, such as law reviews and scholarly works, is limited or nonexistent.
- Using Google Scholar to Conduct Free Legal ResearchThis confirms what I had suspected. The high subscription costs of Westlaw or LexisNexis often makes these platforms unpalatable for solo practitioners and small firms.
- Google Makes Free Caselaw Search Available in Scholar