Most lawyers and law firms incorporate such sites as Lexis and Westlaw to aid in their research efforts as they prepare for a case.  Memberships can add up quickly though.  Google Scholar remains a favorite, as well; it costs nothing and there are many excellent resources found there.  Many young lawyers transition from law school to their legal careers, bringing their comfort level discovered on Google’s scholarly function with them.  A. Harrison Barnes, LegalAuthority.com founder and president says another tool firms can incorporate is CiteStack, which goes hand in hand with Google in its entirety.

This useful site allows your paralegals and attorneys in the firm to incorporate this, along with Google Scholar, in their research efforts.  For instance, if you find a case that’s helpful in your current caseload, simply add it to your firm’s “stack”.  It automatically collects the complete citation, including the date, author and other relevant information.  Even better, says the LegalAuthority.com founder, is the highlighting option.  Quickly find those important points without having to scour the entire brief or body again.  Like Word, there’s also a place where you can post quick notes and references in the citation itself.   This is especially helpful when you’re attempting to gather information from several sources or if you’re looking for information that’s scarce.

There’s a good chance your firm’s paralegals and legal secretaries will find this most useful, says A. Harrison Barnes. There’s an impressive support section, an overview of how it works (along with tips to get you moving along) and a quick and frustration- free download process.  It’s a good investment at $69 per year.  The LegalAuthority.com founder suggests your firm opt for the thirty day trial before investing.  Fair warning – you must be using Google Chrome as your browser as this application isn’t compatible with Firefox, Explorer or any of the other browsers.  That’s not likely to change since again, it works with Google Scholar.

For anyone who’s familiar with Google Scholar, you already know the sheer volume of judicial opinions that are indexed in this database. The best part is that you have the option of viewing the case in its entirety, versus only the citation.  The only problem is that its indexing methods are different from those used in LexisNexis and even Westlaw.  Still, once you get the dynamics down, you’ll discover it’s quite useful.

Most who’ve incorporated CiteStack along with the scholar function on Google say the options are endless  and it is Google, after all, so you know you’re going to have options in everything from the way you view it to the way you sort it.  Google is clearly making waves in the online electronic information gathering process.  Then again, we would expect nothing less.  Visit the site at CiteStack.com and when you’re ready to begin your job search, be sure to visit LegalAuthority.com.

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