So I started hearing about it yesterday. And quite frankly, I dismissed it as not being that big. However, now that I'm looking at it, I have to say I'm sort of blown away.
And yes, this is a geeky thing.
So what am I talking about? Google has gone and added legal opinions to its Google Scholar options. Now, big firms, and even not so big ones, usually spend an exoritant amount of money on Westlaw or Lexis. And for good reason. Westlaw and Lexis do give a good product. They also include a number legal treatises.
However, for smaller firms and solos, the cost is pretty high. Especially when you don't need it that much. At the times I really need the information, I tend to go to the law library (yes, its a hassel and yes, its ludditey) but its more cost-effective (barely) than paying what Westlaw and Lexis demand.
On the other hand, there are a lot of times when I just need a case or two. And there has been a few other sites that give you the cases. However, their search engines are well... kinda sub par. And their version of sherphardizing is, well, lousy.
But from my little test this morning, Google seems to have improved on all that.
Now I just wonder how long its going to last before they start charging for it.
The downside to this is that more people will think they can be their own lawyer now. And yes, it is true what they say about someone who is their own lawyer. They do have a fool for a client.