The Law: Consulting the Computer

Like most lawyers, John Horty hates the drudgery of legal research. Several years ago, while preparing a manual on laws governing hospitals in all 50 states, he and six other lawyers had to peruse more than 26,000 law tomes. The job took almost three years, and Horty recalls: "I got damn sick, sore and tired of indexes." By the time he was through, Horty was convinced that only the computer could rescue his profession from such dreary tasks.

Horty, 41, now directs one of the most ambitious efforts yet undertaken to computerize the nation's...

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