Google has announced that it has added a search facility for full text legal opinions and legal articles to Google Scholar.  At present this only covers judgments in the US courts but as, Outlaw points out, it opens up the US legal search market.   From the United Kingdom perspective, it provides a valuable research tool for searching legal journal articles.  Nevertheless, as the Goodson Blogson points out, when trying to find the full text of articles a “pay wall” often appears.   There is some helpful guidance on the Resource Shelf newsletter about how to refine searches.  We hope that, before long Google Scholar will cover all the free online United Kingdom case law which is now available. 

  In announcing this new feature, Google paid tribute to the existing “free legal information sites”:

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of several pioneers, who have worked on making it possible for an average citizen to educate herself about the laws of the land: Tom Bruce (Cornell LII), Jerry Dupont (LLMC), Graham Greenleaf and Andrew Mowbray (AustLII), Carl Malamud (Public.Resource.Org), Daniel Poulin (LexUM), Tim Stanley (Justia), Joe Ury (BAILII), Tim Wu (AltLaw) and many others. It is an honor to follow in their footsteps. We would also like to acknowledge the judges who have built this cathedral of justice brick by brick and have tried to make it accessible to the rest of us. We hope Google Scholar will help all of us stand on the shoulders of these giants.