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Survey of Law Libraries: Best Practices in Docket Searching

Survey of Law Libraries: Best Practices in Docket Searching

Extent of Use of Pacer

We asked: how extensive is the use of PACER by attorneys and others conducting online searches in your organization?

We gave five potential answers to this multiple choice question, which were: A great deal, a lot, A moderate amount, A little, and None at all. Close to 10% did not answer the question and 18.06% did not use PACER at all and 22.22% used it only a little. However, 19.44% used it a great deal and 12.5%, a lot, while 18.06% used it a moderate amount. Law firms were by far the heaviest users; 30% used it a great deal while 23.33% used it a lot while only 3.33% did not use it at all. Also, younger librarians tended to use it more than older ones; for librarians under age 45, a third used it a great deal while this was true of only 10% of those over age 55.


The study looks closely at the applications and programs that librarians and others in law firms, university law schools and other organizations in the legal sector use to search and navigate court dockets. The report helps its readers to answer questions such as: what kind of programs and applications are law librarians using to search dockets? How much are they spending? How and to what extent do they teach docket searching skills to their organizations attorneys, law professors and other patrons? What do they consider best practices? The report presents detailed data on the use of a broad range of docket searching applications such as PACER, CourtLink, WestLaw Dockets, Bloomberg Law Docket Searching and FastCase. The report lists details on annual spending on PACER. It relates the extent of specific information literacy measures in docket searching for PACER, state courts, the US Supreme Court and much more.

Table 1.1 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization?
Table 1.2 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by type of law of law library
Table 1.3 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by library staff size
Table 1.4 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by personal age of the survey participant
Table 1.5 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector

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