Teaching cost-effective research skills: Have we overemphasized its importance?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Surveys of law librarians show concern with the lack of cost-effective research skills of law students and new associates. Some commentators call for greater emphasis on the subject in legal research classes. To explore whether the subject merits increased instructional attention, the author surveyed second- and third-year law students at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law about their summer research experiences. The purpose of the survey was to find out how much importance summer employers placed on containing online research costs. The student survey results contradict the commonly expressed view that employers are greatly concerned with containing online research costs. The author posits that law library surveys generally reflect the experiences of large firm librarians, whereas the great majority of students and practicing attorneys do not work at these organizations. The concerns of these librarians might not be as relevant for students who work at smaller firms and government organizations. The author notes that the survey results suggest that there is no need for increased emphasis on cost-effective research at schools that do not have a large percentage of students who go on to work at large firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-163
Number of pages15
JournalLegal Reference Services Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Cost
  • Law students legal research
  • Online services
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Law


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