Submissions:2019/There is no needle: searching through the web’s haystack for reliable legal information

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2019.


There is no needle: searching through the web’s haystack for reliable legal information


Reliability of Information
+ Relationship Building & Support
+ Inclusion and Diversity
+ Editor Recruitment & Retention

Type of session:



Law libraries – in law schools, courthouses, prisons and county seats – used to be citadels of trustworthy legal information for the public. But as legal publishing has changed and consolidated, reliable legal information is increasingly available only behind expensive paywalls. This has left average citizens with precious few resources for accessing and understanding the law.

This presentation will describe how we implemented a Wikipedia article assignment into a traditional law school research course at Stanford Law School, how we worked to identify critical legal content gaps that could be filled, and how we motivated our students to contribute as a tool for social justice.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Beth Williams

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

Stanford Law School

Estimated time:

30 minutes

Preferred room size:


Special requests:

Display options (screen, etc.)

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)