Google Scholar Adds Legal Opinions

At times, I’ve wondered why they hadn’t already done this. I guess they were waiting to get it right. My initial impressions are very positive—this is a great resource, and I look forward to its expansion to cover other kinds of legal materials.

Two things that I hope Google immediately adds to this amazing new resource:

  1. Disclose exactly what sources are included — or, at least, which levels of courts. That way we lawyers can be sure we’re searching comprehensively enough.

  2. Explain at least a little bit about the search algorithm. The current Lexis/Westlaw search function is inelegant, but wholly transparent, since it basically looks for text matching. I think Google is doing some sort of “relevance” search, but it’s not clear to me what that means.