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Archive for April, 2012

SSRN Adds Research Network on Rhetoric

Legal argumentation is — or can be seen as — a branch of the age-old discipline of rhetoric, latterly “informal logic.” After all, people have been trying to persuade each other forever, whether in connection with rules or not. Though most lawyers rely on law school training, the discipline of actual practice and intuition as the instruments to guide and hone their rhetorical skills, some might wish to think directly about the art of persuasion itself. In which case, the new Rhetoric & Communication Research Network (RCRN) within SSRN’s Humanities Network should prove useful.

Law is more directly . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Law Libraries Are About Services

Greg Lambert crafted a well written and thought provoking piece at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog yesterday titled “The 3 Foot Radius of the Law Library“. Greg inspired my reflection on the law library as a place vs. the law library as a service.

After thinking about it, I believe that in my organization, the library has always been about service from the librarian perspective, but may have been about place from the lawyer perspective. My team and I regularly deliver “service bubbles” in many ways:

  • print based current awareness – compiled by others
  • email based current
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Privacy Please!

This column is already dated. Why? Because privacy – or the lack thereof – is daily news. Facebook just announced their privacy policy would be called a “data use policy”. Before that it was Google’s announcement that they would be combining all the data collected by their individual web properties (YouTube, Gmail, Blogger, Google, etc.) about you into one single place, covered by one single “privacy” policy. Security has always been in opposition with ease of use. The conflict between wanting the convenience and interaction of the free web and trading privacy for the privilege is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

One-Size-Fits-None

A rural property owner faces gun charges after firing warning shots over the heads of a group of thieves making off with his ATV. A goofy misfit faces three years in jail after posing for a Facebook photo holding a loaded gun in his hand. A father gets arrested and strip-searched after his kindergarten daughter draws a blocky picture of him shooting “monsters and bad guys”.

These three men are all victims of one-size-fits-all justice.

Whether it’s a “zero tolerance” approach to gun crimes or domestic assault, mandatory minimum sentences being applied to virtually everything, or blanket policies that demand . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Cloud Descends on ABA TECHSHOW 2012

One needs to do little else than glance at the ABA TECHSHOW 2012 conference schedule and exhibitor list to get a sense of how quickly and dramatically cloud computing is reshaping the legal technology industry.

Four years ago at my first ABA TECHSHOW, there was one or two companies doing what we today call “cloud computing” on the exhibit hall floor (I remember this fondly because this is where we launched Clio). This year I count over 30 companies on the exhibit floor that either provide cloud-based software or cloud-enabled applications.

In 2008 there were no conference tracks on the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Next Conference Experience

Spring is “conference season,” when a lot of business and law-related conferences take place. To maximize your conference experience, apply my “Before, During and After” strategy; instead of only focusing on the conference once you actually get there, begin your planning ahead of time and implement an after-conference strategy to make sure you get the most bang for your conference buck.

Before the conference

The first step is to identify your goals or purpose for attending the conference in advance. This will help you plan your overall approach. You may have several goals, but don’t try to do . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Introducing Google Really Advanced Search

We tend to focus a lot on Google on Slaw, and for good reason – it’s still the main search engine that people use to find information, including information relating to law and lawyers.

The Advanced Search function is indispensable in refining searches, especially if you’re looking for things like results from a specific date range, a different language, results on a particular website, and a certain file type. In late 2011 Google removed Advanced Search from the main search page, though it was still available through the gears tab or by direct link.

Jim Calloway lamented the move on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous