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Jan Copley
Certified Practice Advisor
Atticus, Inc.

530 South Lake Avenue, Suite 250
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 696-3145
(626) 421-6747 (fax)

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Efficient Googling

May 4, 2012

Filed under: Searching in Google — @ 12:45 pm

You know, I wonder how we used to practice law without the Internet. Actually, I do remember — it was slow and laborious and you had to use casebooks and digests. You couldn’t just look up your opposing counsel on your state bar website or Avvo; you had to pull the big, heavy Martindale-Hubbell books off the shelf (if your firm had them, that is).

It’s a lot easier to find information than it used to be. I remember complaining to a customer service representative at an insurance company about how they didn’t have a fillable beneficiary designation on the insurance company website. You don’t have to do that very often anymore.

However, even with the Web, sometimes I still have trouble finding stuff. Assuming you occasionally encounter a similar challenge, I pass along a recent Los Angeles Times article, “Ways To Get Better, Faster Search Results” about searching in Google. The article suggests five ways to improve your Google searches:

    1. Exclude terms from your search.
    2. Limit your search to a specific site.
    3. Use an asterisk for a wildcard search (it sounds what I used to use for Boolean searches on Lexis).
    4. Use it to solve math problems (although I’m not sure why this is better than Excel) or convert currencies.
    5. Use shortcuts.

The article tells you how to perform each of these tricks. I’m going to play with these techniques and see how they work for me.

Please let me know how this helps you!