Google Scholar and Google Search are probably my two most-used resources for finding starting information. For some reason lawyers, especially law students, have an aversion to using the internet as a basis for research. I remember working with a summer intern and explaining that it’s okay to use Google, Wikipedia, or other internet similar sources to find starting points to narrow the scope of your research, or even define particular terms — I love using Wikipedia to find answers to definitions or particular case summaries.
I guess when we’re in law school, we’re conditioned to believe that the only credible place to start legal research is with the ALR or some law review article. (Let’s not even mention the Holy Grail of legal research tools, LexisNexis and Westlaw.) The truth is, there are plenty of internet sources for great, free information, which you can find using a simple Google search. In fact, I’ll regularly turn to legal or technology blogs to help minimize my learning curve on certain matters.
But understanding how to use Google properly is one of the more difficult processes to learn. Fortunately, I found this great infographic with some tips and tricks to make your Google searches more productive — note that most of these tips also work for other search engines.