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Are LIIs Making Lawyers More Competent?

The question is now being asked in Western Africa. The International Development Research Center of Canada (IDRC) has engaged in an assessment of the outcome of free access to law initiatives in four African countries – Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

The evaluation will be focused more specifically on the impact of free circulation of legal information on the competence of lawyers.

In all those countries, where access to legal information is limited, if any, the local Bar Associations supported by the IDRC are involved in free access to law projects. In two of the countries, free . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Slaw Error Message

Some of you may have encountered this ugly message instead of the Slaw you were expecting:

It seems that we’re a victim of our own growth in popularity, and the more readers we have who are commenting or otherwise asking Slaw’s php scripts to do their thing, the more we encroach on cpu limits we didn’t even know we had. I took steps last week, when this began to happen in earnest, to upgrade us to a server at our host, Bluehost, that gives us something like three times the cpu capacity. We’re on their list and I’ve been bugging . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

How to Find the Most Important Case in the Common Law

Maybe this will help us all. TALL has started a Quicklaw tips wiki. Considering the recent posts about the level of service provided by publishers, and the availability of one jurisdiction’s law in another, I wonder if I’m alone in wondering why it remains so difficult to find a copy of Donoghue v Stevenson in QL. We all know about the case, and some of the excellent resources available online, and in video. However, as a prelude to our annual eFair, where we are asking students to complete their prize ballots by finding information related to the . . . [more]

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

AmLaw Tech Survey Released

A few links to the 2007 survey released this morning.

It covers:

Collaboration tools
Web conference software
Wikis and extranets
Instant messaging
Wireless devices
Automating Processes
Tech Support

Don’t overlook the detailed data either at
CIO’s Pleased as Punch

Communications Chart

Software Chart

Financial Stats Chart

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Technology

Mysore Is Waiting to Do All Our Work

Catching up on my reading of The Hindu, a piece on Legal Knowledge Outsourcing should be read by everyone.

Even if you discount the ambitions massively, the challenge is still quite amazing.

A few quotes:

The majority of legal services in the West can and should be sent offshore, says Mr Russell Smith, President and Chairman, SDD Global Solutions Pvt Ltd, a Mysore-based legal services KPO (knowledge process off-shoring). “And we are talking about services that now fetch a price tag of $250 billion per year and growing”

. ((Mr Smith, a Columbia Law School graduate and former partner . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Technology

Millennials – Watch This Space

At Saturday’s Annual Meeting of the College of Law Practice Management in Philadelphia, Susan Raridon Lambreth lifted the curtain on the first global survey of law firm associates and their attitudes and aspirations. It builds on the UK survey from earlier this year, but reaches far deeper – 20,000 lawyers worldwide.

As soon as Hildebrandt and Thomson release the results, I’ll flick the links.

But one teaser is that it upends conventional wisdom about associate dissatisfaction.

Watch this space. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Markers & Mileposts

This doesn’t have anything to do with any of legal research, legal information or legal technology, but there’s a marginal connection with legal miscellany.

I wrote the reflection, below, in July of 1991. I haven’t changed the text, just cleaned-up up the typing errors and added the image. The context? Last week, I went back to school – LLM grad school, so there’s my “legal miscellany” connection – for the first time in 32 plus years. Other than that it was a different school in a different millennium, it was as if I’d never left. I’m sure that means something. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Have You Registered Yet? NE2007 – Libraries Without Borders 2 – Oct. 17 – 20, 2007

Have you registered yet for the 4th Northeast Regional Law Libraries Meeting (NE2007)?? Time is running out!

Our theme is Libraries Without Borders 2, and it is gearing up to be THE outstanding law library learning, networking, must-attend event for 2007. Just a few of the many highlights:

  • A grand opening reception at the Legislative Building at Queen’s Park. This is home to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, and an impressive building built in 1893, surrounded by park and University of Toronto campus.
  • Keynote by Michael Ignatieff, internationally renowned academic, journalist, commentator, intellectual, and specialist in human rights
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Practice of Law


I have a Friday admission, I’m going to cheat on my Slaw post. This has been the first week of the new school year at the law school, and yes I have been busy. But I want to cheat because I found this post from Simon C. to be especially informative last year and I think it bears repeating. This is Simon’s post from last September on First Year law students from the Millennial generation. Up until that point last year I had sensed something different about the first year law students but couldn’t quite put my finger on . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

The Friday Fillip

Never let it be said that your intrepid reporter doesn’t dig deep enough for the story — even if, as in this case, he digs by proxy. What you are looking at (click on the image to see a larger version) is the drainage system that lies somewhere beneath the Supreme Court of Canada. This photo and many others of drains elsewhere beneath this fair land are the work of Andrew Emond and are gathered together in a subset, Underground, of his site Worksongs.

And just in case you think that Mr. Emond has a unique interest, I’m . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Ontario Court of Appeal Is Webcasting

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s first webcast is taking place right now (12:50pm EDT). You can see the argument in the case of Frohlick, Melanie et al. v. Pinkerton Canada Ltd. et al. by clicking here, and agreeing to abide by certain terms. At the moment there doesn’t appear to be any provision for archiving and streaming videos of hearings. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law