Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The factors that influence a lawyer’s use of and ability to develop effective electronic information seeking behaviour

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posted on 2021-11-14, 05:03 authored by Lewis, Geraldine

Research Problem: The purpose of this research was to discover the factors that influence a New Zealand lawyer’s use of and ability to develop effective electronic information seeking behaviour. There have been no previous studies undertaken in New Zealand to understand the cognitive reasons and the reasons directly related to the resources themselves that impact on why lawyers do, or do not look for information effectively from electronic resources. Methodology: A phenomenological study design was used in order to understand an event from the viewpoint of the participants. Nine New Zealand lawyers participated, providing demographic information and taking part in semi-structured interviews. In addition two of these lawyers took part in a further participant observation. Results: The results indicated that factors personal to the applicant such as their previous training, electronic experience, personality and age have an impact on their ability to develop effective electronic information seeking behaviour. In addition external factors such as cost, time and lack of access directly related to electronic resources also have an impact. Implications: Based on the findings of this report it was found that electronic resources were considered to be an important part of a lawyer’s work and gaining increasing significance. However not all lawyers have the ability to make full use of these electronic resources. Therefore it is important that lawyers are provided with the opportunity to undertake appropriate training and to access high quality electronic resources. Further study needs to be undertaken to look at strategies and training methods required by lawyers and their employers to improve these skills.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Information Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Information Studies

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970108 Expanding Knowledhe in the Information and Computing Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Masters Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management


Chawner, Brenda