Hat tip to Lauren K at Legal Research Rescue, a useful (if occasional) source of information about new techniques for legal research. We’ve referred to her site here before, but not for a while. It has many quick tips to help the non-tech savvy find what they are looking for, like this simple one about Google.
Google is okay for rapidly getting to all kinds of information, including law. But, like all search engines, it’s inclined to produce too many results or none (that you want, at least).
While there are a seemingless endless number of ways of trimming the number of relevant responses to a navigable figure, I’ve found Lauren’s suggestion of using AROUND(*) increases the chances of finding what I’m looking for when all of the results are off-topic.
negligent AROUND(5) criminal
will get you sites with negligent within 5 words to either side of the word criminal. And of course you can choose the proximity of words closer in or further out, or add extra AROUNDs, depending on the number of responses you’re getting.