This is my hundredth Slaw posting and rather than post on legal information, research and the Technologies of access and knowledge analysis, I’d like to think about slaw as a community of knowledge and where we’ve come from since those trans-mondial postings about taxonomies of legal knowledge back in June en route to India.
Funnily enough what strike me this morning are not so much the innovations or the extraordinary Technologies of web-enabled collaborations, as much as the continuities.
We have in some sense been here before, but with tools of community that were less sustainable and more enclosed.
First precursor was CLIC which has been referred to a few times on SLAW, the Canadian Law Information Council. Gordon Henderson’s extraordinary vision in his year as President of the Canadian Bar Association. CLIC brought together lawyers, law teachers, librarians, legal publishers, government lawyers, and early legal technologists to work through the issues of how Canada could build a robust set of legal information structures collaboratively. The full story of CLIC and its frustrations and achievements remains to be written
Second continuity was a venture announced at TechShow (I think in ’89) which was a connected email backbone just for lawyers, on DIALCOM, called ABAnet.
When Simon F referred last week to lawyer collaboration cross-firm, and the possibility of legal community, I smiled and thought back to Counsel Connect, an extraordinary visionary venture announced on March 26, 1993 at TechShow that year – it sprang from the fertile mind of David Johnson
What was extraordinary about Counsel Connect was that you could have an almost real-time discussion on substantive legal topics with experts from around the continent (and a few techies in Australia). We actually got some legal work from it. Folks were generous with time and information. And a real community
These are still early days for Slaw – much has changed since CLIC, ABAnet and Counsel Connect, but the need for dialogue endures.