Ernie expands on a point I started yesterday — that searching the Internet should be a skill taught in school. I couldn’t agree more. I frequently give seminars on searching the Internet, and I am constantly amazed at the lack of basic knowledge many have about conducting simple online research (for example, I find that only about 25% of the people I speak to know that quotation marks can be used to narrow your search results). Ernie’s also correct about why we don’t have more classes like this in schools: not enough people know how to teach the subject.
I am also surprised at the lack of education law schools give their students in conducting Internet legal research. I spoke to our summer associates a few weeks ago, and not one had received any training on how to effectively search the Internet for legal information. I know there are some law schools teaching this stuff, but I think they are the exception rather than the rule. One example of a great class on Internet legal research is provided by Mark Steiner at South Texas College of Law. More law students should be exposed to information like this during school.