A growing amount of legal information is in itself not a bad thing. Though quantity is not to be confused with quality, more data increases the chances of finding information that is applicable to one’s question. The challenge is, however, how to access this information.
Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready-made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified. The lawyer has at his touch the associated opinions and decisions of his whole experience, and of the experience of friends and authorities.
Vannevar Bush, As We May Think, Atlantic Magazine, July 1945, link
In my opinion, context will become more and more important, and my doctoral thesis is dealing with how to create context in a legal information retrieval environment. Vannevar Bush’s vision of associative trails guides us in the right direction.
Interesting to note that Bush already in 1945 considered social media and knowledge sharing, especially within the legal community, to be a valuable asset.
Let me know your thoughts!