The Invention of Legal Research


The Invention of Legal Research



The online revolution in legal research methodology over the past three decades is not unprecedented, and it is not a stretch to think that law practice was transformed during the period from 1870 to 1890 as much as it has been the past thirty years. This is the story of those "golden decades," which saw the development of U.S. case reporters, digests and citators from the early days of the republic to the emergence of the West National Reporter System, West Digests and Shepard's Citations. The book also explores the relationship between this revolution in legal research and two phenomena that occurred during the same period: courts' adoption of the doctrine of stare decisis in deciding cases, and the implementation of the case method of instruction in law schools. Ultimately, it is most of all a narration of the stunning accomplishments of a remarkable generation of innovators.

Publication Date



William S. Hein & Co.






Law | Legal History | Legal Writing and Research


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The Invention of Legal Research