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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

Ontario School Libraries to Benefit

There was a small victory for literacy this week when the Ontario government announced it will be providing additional funding for school libraries across the province (link and link). The funds are apparently enough to hire 160 new library staff. An interview on CBC’s Metro Morning today with a school librarian can be listened to here.

I’m not sure how great an effect 160 people can have in a province with millions of students, but any steps to increase kids’ familiarity with libraries is a step forward. After making it through an undergraduate degree with friends who . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information


Apart from a glancing mention by Ted Tjaden in his recent post, Ozmosys – An E-mail, Website and RSS aggregator, we haven’t talked about Lexology on Slaw. That may well be because everyone already knows about it. But just in case there are one or two of our readers who are unfamiliar with it, I’m going to give you a brief description.

Lexology is a free (upon registration) re-distribution mechanism for law firm publications on particular topics. Some hundreds of firms are shown as being involved. This in itself would be handy, but what makes it an even more . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

Do Wikis Belong in Law Firms?

Tuesday night I gave a presentation to Toronto Wiki Tuesdays about the use of wikis in law firms. On Monday, to get some additional ideas, I posted a message to Slaw asking for any new examples of wiki use in law firms since I wanted to present more than just wikis I had a hand in myself. The next day a very interesting discussion ensued on Slaw about whether wiki use is suitable for firms. This was a fantastic discussion, starting to really get at the heart of whether a firm should be using wikis and what really works. So . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Technology

Legal Vertical Search Tool Unveiled

The world’s largest legal vertical search engine launched yesterday according to a press release. The Public Library of Law (pLoL) has partnered with legal research provider Fastcase, Inc. It may be more of a directory than a search engine, even though Fastcase CEO Ed Walters claims it makes”first-time legal research as easy as using Google.”

What is available on PLoL?

* Cases from the U.S. Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals * Cases from all 50 states back to 1997 * Federal statutory law and codes from all 50 states * Regulations, court rules, constitutions.

“Unlike other free resources,

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

The Visigothic Code

I have prided myself from time to time on introducing Slaw readers to fairly arcane resources, but this may take the cake of abstruseness. The Visigoths, famous for sacking Rome, spread throughout Western Europe in the second half of the first millennium, reaching as far as what is now Spain and Portugal in what is known as the Kingdom of Toulouse. I confess I’d always thought of Goths as folks who wouldn’t bother much with law. Turns out I was wrong.

You can examine the Visigothic Code (in an English translation) on the Library of Iberian Resources Online, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Harvard Adopts an Open Access Mandate for Faculty Publications

As reported last night in The Chronicle of Higher Education,

Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted a policy this evening that requires faculty members to allow the university to make their scholarly articles available free online.

The policy is described by the University Librarian Robert Darnton here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Law Library Leadership Institute, Help and Ideas Wanted

2008 Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference

The Academic SIG Chairs are very pleased to report that all three proposals designed by the SIG for the 2008 Conference have been approved!

We had prepared two proposals for sessions for the 2008 Annual Conference, and one proposal for a preconference workshop.

The first session is:

“Military Law in Canada, What it Is and How to Find It.” We are pleased to announce that Brigadier General Ken Watkin, Canada’s Judge Advocate General, and Andrea Belanger, Library Manager, Office of the Judge Advocate General, will be presenting this session.

The second is: . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information

Wikis in Law Firms – an Alternative View?

A number of colleagues I respect remain excited about “wikis in law firms” (see Connie Crosby here and Doug Cornelius here as two examples).

I remain contrarian and cynical. Aren’t all major law firms with mature document management systems (DMSs) “wikified” to the max already? If everyone in the firm has online access to the “Smith file” or the “Jones file” and can edit documents, view calendars or other lists of information, access research memos, and post comments, isn’t this “wiki” personified?

This raises the question: what makes “wikis” different than DMSs? Is it simply ease-of-use and the fact that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Law Courses on iTunes U

One of the richest sources of podcasts is the iTunes Store and particularly its iTunes U, where universities can make their audio and video materials available generally. ((The user guide is available in PDF format here.)) Yale is here, MIT, Stanford and a couple of dozen more — and from Canada there’s Concordia and Queen’s, with at least York to follow, I believe. Until recently this was great for a history lesson or that shot of engineering you found yourself craving after a hard day in court. But now New York Law School is on the board. There are more . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Publishing

Lawyers and Wikis

I have been talking wikis with Doug Cornelius, KM and law blogger, senior attorney at Goodwin Procter and also part of their knowledge management team. He has been asked to put together a panel about wikis inside the law firm for the ILTA conference in August. He is looking for examples as well as panelists.

Tomorrow night I will be talking to my regular group, Toronto Wiki Tuesdays, about the same topic–the use of wikis (and other social networking tools) by lawyers. I, too, would love to hear examples. Or better yet, if you are in Toronto . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology

Proof Enough – the SCRs Online

As some of you know, I have another life in which I occasionally crank out more words (spill ink and post pixels, if you will) than people who are formally academic lawyers. One aspect involves writing about what “cause” means in Canadian tort law. (OK, so I’ve weird hobbies, but then it beats allowing people to shoot hard rubber objects at your body, on the understanding that, more often than not, you’ll try to make the object hit you rather than getting out of the way.) 

Anyway, the point is that I knew, anecdotally and from coincidental serendipity when looking . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing