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There are many exhilarating things about being a young lawyer, but slogging through books and databases for statutes, precedents and legal theories is not among them. In my early days in the profession, I spent many long nights and weekends devoted to finding data that could be used for discovery in big cases or in a legal brief or litigation.

Today, the amount of information available to lawyers is practically unmanageable. Because of the digitization of data and the ever expanding reach of the Internet, we now have easy access to an ocean of unstructured information: news stories, academic essays, technical documents, blog postings, Facebook pages, Twitter tweets, Flickr photos and YouTube videos. This abundance can help us do our jobs better — if it doesn’t overwhelm us.

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