I DO have a dependence on coffee. I DO NOT have a dependence on technology…or do I? This question requires some serious philosophical introspection on my part, which I will not make you suffer through. I hope that the more interesting aspect is why I write about this today.
It is the anniversary of Abe Lincoln’s birthday, and as the Smithsonian points out, he had an interest in technology. The US News agrees that Lincoln was a technology leader. Lincoln was even a communications technology leader with his use of the telegraph. A reasonable person may theorize that his success was partially due to dependence on technology.
Guest author Holly McCarthy at the Law Librarian Blog while writing on the pros and cons of online research suggests:
While using a sophisticated database system for examining and researching cases will come in handy for practicing attorneys, the fact of the matter is that these advances have caused a technological dependence with law students at universities around the country. No longer are students fully versed in case law, but rather they look to find the answers the easy way. Law school is about creating experts, not just people who can plug in search terms. There are nuances to the written law that don’t translate well in digital format.
Last week Ted Tjaden wrote about Risk and Innovation and one of the comments to his post, about not finding something because one product was used instead of another, is an interesting take on technological dependence. Is it technological dependence to only use one source. Is it technological dependence to only offer some easy access to the panoply of for fee legal information resources to library users?
The Canadian Bar Association Guidelines for Practicing Ethically with New Information Technologies has a section on electronic legal research. It makes no mention of online information literacy, using more than one tool, using free vs. fee based resources. The document also doesn’t address the reality of an observable phenomenon of lawyers turning first to their keyboard for the answer to a legal problem.
Is the Canadian legal community, or some part of it, dependent on their technology tools to practice law?