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Library & Information Science Research

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The information-seeking behavior of lawyers has not been fully investigated empirically. Prior work has tended to focus on legal research as the central task performed by lawyers in their information-seeking activities. This analysis of more than 150 interviews of practicing lawyers showed that legal research should not be considered information-seeking. The lawyers interviewed identified other tasks, such as administration of their law practices, as constituting problem-solving, information-seeking activities. In solving their problems, the lawyers overwhelmingly preferred informal sources when seeking information. In addition, they preferred sources of information internal to their organizations rather than external sources, although this was less true for lawyers from smaller firms. Neither the lawyer’s gender nor the size of the center in which the practice was located influenced the type of information sources chosen. The model for the information-seeking behavior of professionals advanced by another author group is discussed and modifications are suggested that create a new model offering a fuller picture of the behavior of lawyers.

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