Canada’s online legal magazine.

We Do Love Our Lists: Best of the Blogs

The WebLog 2005 Awards have closed nominations for the best web logs, and now we can vote. The blogs are put into categories, including law blogs, and international (including Best Canadian blogs). Here’s the link to the top 15 law blogs you can vote on: And, for voting on the best Canadian blog (none of which appear to be blawgs): . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Oxford Companion to Law

A couple of weeks back Simon Chester referred to the value of the Oxford Companion to Law, which I endorsed in a comment, but it occurs to me that it is worth highlighting on the ‘main’ page. A copy of this wonderful book sits very close to me at all times. I answered my first reference question from it, way back sometime in the early 1980s – one that’s always stuck in my memory. Someone wanted to know when Jack the Ripper
did his horrible deeds. Sure enough the Oxford Companion has an entry that gives the details. Now of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Personal Library and Scholarship

In my earlier posts, I mentioned the contribution that lawyers have made to libraries and to our understanding of the law. Speaking of a personal library, the prime example must be the Ess Collection, which was the largest individual contribution to the Harvard Collection. There is a delightful essay by Ess which describes the library of a Sixteenth Century English Lawyer at .

Ess was an interesting chap – I found it fascinating that his collection was largely stored at Sullivan and Cromwell – see
And there is a nice summary of Ess’ place among Harvard benefactors at . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

This reporter had no axe to grind. Thought this was a nice piece on the next generation of law students, who are tomorrow’s practitioners. You need to read the full article.
I quote without comment

A component of Pitt Law’s foundations of legal research class sends first-year students flipping through the wood pulp for legal information. Called “scavenger hunts” or “search and destroy” for their effect on the library stacks, this exercise requires law students to learn cross-referencing methods in the profession’s most antiquated medium.

First-year student Yvonne Messeih added, “If you are working for someone who is old-fashioned,

. . . [more]
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Windows at Twenty

Bring out the trumpets and the drums!

While we are all out there rushing around dealing with our regular day to day rush, Microsoft Windows is celebrating its twentieth birthday. Can you imagine that. I can recall having staff playing with early versions (1.0 and 2.0) before the product took off with version 3.

Eweek devoted much of a recent issue to reflections on the last twenty years and prognostications for the future. The real questions are: have we really progressed? does the MS Windows standard encourage or stifle innovation? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Connie’s Top 5 Lessons for Neophyte Intranet Managers

These are the top 5 lessons I learned at the recent KM World and Intranets 2005 conference, for someone (like me) just setting out to create an intranet:

1. Don’t jump into buying a system right away. Spending only 3 months finding and picking a content management system, it could take a year or more to prepare your content. Better to spend 9 months gathering together content and cleaning it up, and then buying the system. Otherwise you pay for something that will just sit there. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Most Cited Legal Periodicals

The Most-Cited Legal Periodicals Database hosted at the Washington and Lee University Law Library measures the citations of law journals over the past 8 years (this time period was chosen in order to prevent a bias in favour of long published journals and to measure the most recent legal scholoarship). Although the methodology is not flawless, I find the information contained in this database to be interesting and instructive nonetheless.

Rankings are according to Impact Factor and Immediacy. The Impact Factor shows the average number of citations to articles in each journal (citations to a journal divided by the number . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

No to Legal Information – Yes to Work Process

In an interesting profile in the Star-Tribune for November 15, entitled On Business: Thomson West becomes the go-to firm for online legalese the company’s strategy is clearly away from simply being in the information provision business. Indeed it’s so wedded to content and process, that Thomson West is more like an integrated information and software company. Some of this was becoming clear in its early and ambitious Westworks, whose birth is lauded at The ASP Approach: Experience Equals New Products and whose obituary can be found at WestWorks Melds Into ProLaw

The new West vision is shown at On Business: . . . [more]

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Getting Spoiled by Google

At December’s Toronto Knowledge Management lunch, there was a brief discussion of how user expectations (particularly non-expert searcher expectations) have been raised by the ease and seeming reliability of the Google ease of interface. So I was interested to see how Freshfields developed their user interface for KM.

The article is called
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Launches Next Generation Knowledge Management System

International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has launched ‘Athena’, a fully integrated legal know-how system.

The new application will standardise knowledge management (KM) working practices, enabling even faster client service delivery by providing access to the latest legal expertise . . . [more]

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Law Books and Development

What to do with core legal texts? One English charity has a good idea

Legal Profession and Publishing Industry Launch International Law Book Facility

The International Law Book Facility, a unique charitable and publishing industry initiative, has been launched by the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice John Thomas, Judge of the Court of Appeal and ILBF Trustee.

With the support of Book Aid International, this important new initiative has a simple goal: to provide printed core legal texts to legal professional bodies, pro bono groups and law schools involved in access to justice in common law jurisdictions of Africa, Asia and . . . [more]

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