Do you watch video in your legal research?

Question of the Week

Video in legal research.



Lawyers watch video at work, and sometimes the occasion is not even connected to fantasy sports.

This month’s U.S. Senate testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey was arresting desktop viewing – “almost like a gladiator in D.C. event,” said Philippe Weiss, managing director of legal training firm Seyfarth Shaw at Work, in a Chicago Tribune interview. The June 8 daytime drama was a cable-news blockbuster, and the Bloomberg News livestream on Twitter reached an average of 129,000 viewers a minute, according to the New York Times.

Even so, video is rarely incorporated into legal research publications. When practice guide author James M. Wagstaffe recorded chapter introductions to explain federal civil procedure, the ABA Journal noted the format’s rarity. Video is employed much more widely in business tutorials and thought leadership.

That’s understandable in a profession built on written precedent. Nearly half the practicing attorneys surveyed in the 2016 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report said they never use online video as a resource “for current awareness.”

But those habits may change. “This is one way people are processing information,” Wagstaffe said. He suggested that the current generation of associates may take to a more visual format.

So this week we ask: Do you watch video in your legal research? What do you find most memorable in CLE webinars, training DVDs, Massive Open Online Courses or YouTube clips? What keeps you from seeking out less-than-viral video, or from consuming it more regularly?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: If money were no object, would you stay in your job?

Featured answer:

Posted by Goldcoaster: “I’ve been doing family law for 30+ years and I am very tired of dealing with angry, dysfunctional clients, jerks for lawyers on the other side, and a court system that doesn’t support lawyers and makes things far more difficult than they need to be. It’s nasty and mean, but the legal issues are sometimes very interesting. And I do make a difference in some peoples’ lives. I’m just getting really tired of it. Yes, if I won the Powerball, I’d shut my office. But statistics are what they are, and I’ll be in the office as usual on Monday.”

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