57 J. Legal Educ. 3 (2007)
Wikipedia and the Future of Legal Education; Noveck, Beth Simone

handle is hein.journals/jled57 and id is 11 raw text is: Wikipedia and the Future of Legal
Beth Simone Noveck
Law students are footnoting the publicly authored, online resource known
as Wikipedia in their term papers.' Courts have cited to Wikipedia in au-
thoritative judicial opinions.a Law professors are doing so in their journal
articles.3 Yet some members of the legal and academic communities are up
in arms, decrying the use of an encyclopedia that anyone can write and edit.
To allow students to rely on an online resource that might contain mistakes
encourages laziness and risks undermining the legitimacy of legal authority
and professionalism.
Originally, I had intended to allow members of the scholarly community to
contribute to and comment on this article-sharing experiences and know-how
about the use of wikis in teaching law via a wiki. I submitted the draft with the
link to a wiki and the invitation to participate via the Social Science Research
Network (SSRN), which has become the de facto means of communication
with colleagues in the field. But SSRN forbids the posting of links in abstracts,
thereby discouraging this kind of collaborative exchange of ideas. That might
be possible via a wiki. SSRN's failure to appreciate the important role that such
Web-based wikis can play in fostering legal scholarship is part and parcel of
Beth Simone Noveck is a Professor of Law and the Director, Institute for Information Law and
Policy (http://dotank.nyls.edu), New York Law School. She is the McClatchy Visiting Associate
Professor of Communication, Stanford University. She and her students blog at http://cairns/
Thank you to my colleagues at the Institute for Information Law and Policy, who practice the
true wiki-spirit every day by sharing, deliberating, and working together in the common pursuit
of great ideas.
1.  Scott Jaschik, A Stand Against Wikipedia, Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 26, 2007, available at
<http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2oo7/o/26/wiki> (last visitedJuly 18, 2007); Noam
Cohen, A History Department Bans Citing Wikipedia as a Research Source, N.Y. Times,
Feb. 21, 2007, at B8.
2.  See Noam Cohen, Courts Turn to Wikipedia, But Selectively, N.Y. Times, Jan. 29, 2007, at
C3 (more than ioo published opinions since 2004 cite to Wikipedia). See also Cass Sunstein,
A Brave New Wikiworld, Wash. Post, Feb. 24, 2007, at Ai9; Kenneth Ryesky, Letter to the
Editor, Downside of Citing Wikipedia, N.Y.L.J,Jan 18, 2007, at 2.
3.   Posting of Paul L. Caron to TaxProfBlog, 545 Law Review Articles Cite Wikipedia,
available at <http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof--blog/2oo7/2/545-1law-review--
.html> (545 law review articles cite Wikipedia; another 125 mention Wikipedia but do
not cite as an authority) (May 19, 2007, 11:15 EST) (last visited July 18, 2007).

Journal of Legal Education, Volume 57, Number i (March 2007)

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