Preparing law students for the legal research demands of the real world has long been a concern of law librarians. With the advent of the Internet, and its corresponding effect on the research habits and expectations of students, many librarians have wondered why law schools continue to allow Westlaw, LexisNexis, and the rest of the legal publishers of subscription databases to dictate the contours of the legal research experience. Finally, a step has been taken to counter the publishers' power over legal research training.
Late last month, a new online resource was launched: The Law Student Guide to Free Legal Research on the Internet (http://freelaw.classcaster.net/). As its title suggests, this online guide is primarily targeted at law students, although there is also a section for law librarians and legal research instructors. Sponsored by the Legal Information Institute (LII) and Justia.com and hosted by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), this guide aspires to help law students locate reliable, free, online legal resources and overcome their addictions to the big expensive publishers with a fun, fresh style. Although this is still a work in progress, it's a good first step and definitely worth checking out.