Curious footnote: Legal Research at French Law Firms

Prof. Pierre-Yves Gautier’s book chapter ” The Influence of Scholarly Writing Upon the Courts in Europe” includes this curious endnote:

“It is the author’s understanding that in some of the major law firms in France partners prohibit junior solicitors from doing research mostly on the internet or databases. Research must always start on paper.”

See Pierre -Yves Gautier. The Influence of Scholarly Writing Upon the Courts in Europe in Mary Hiscock and William van Canegem (eds.). The Internationalisation of Law: Legislating ,  Decision-Making, Practice and Education. Edward Elgar, 2010. page 210.

Perhaps some  of our readers in France or those with experience in Parisian firms could confirm this. If true, I wonder if cost or research methodology is the primary motivation for restricting online resources?








The Ugly “P” Word

New on our shelves:

“Plagiarism and Legal Scholarship in the Age of Information Sharing:  The Need for Intellectual Honesty,” by Carol M. Bast and Linda B. Samuels, 57 Catholic University Law Review 777 (2008).

Thought provoking question from the article:

“While not usually viewed as scholarship, professors often develop teaching materials for use by their students, such as study guides, assignments, quizzes, and tests.  While some professors may draft the teaching documents from scratch, many borrow language from a colleague or from an instructor’s manual. . . .

Should these instances of copying teaching materials be treated differently from other academic work or should the same standards apply?  A conscientious professor writing a manuscript takes great pains to quote passages borrowed from others and to credit the original authors.  However, the same professor may borrow language from a colleague or an instructor’s manual for use in a teaching document without it occurring to the professor to credit the original author. “