Integrated legal information retrieval: new developments and educational challenges


  • Kees van Noortwijk Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam


The amount of legal information, available digitally, has increased gradually in the past three decades. We are now approaching a situation in which practically all legal information a lawyer needs on a daily basis can be obtained from digital sources. At the same time, powerful retrieval systems capable of integrating these sources and performing more effective search operations have become available. In this paper, new possibilities are outlined that have emerged now that such a large proportion of legal resources have been combined in unified collections. Also, the need to incorporate more advanced 'legal information skills' in the legal curriculum will be discussed. It will be argued that these skills are required to ensure that all newly educated lawyers will be able to use digital legal information optimally, now and in the future.

Keywords: Legal information retrieval; content integration; semantic searching; search intelligence; relevance ranking; legal information skills