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1st Year Law Students & Technology

Here at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law, we recently compilted the results of th IT/Computer portion of the annual 1st year student survey. Here is a link to the three page survey.

Here are some highlights from the Survey:

  • 94% of incoming students own laptops, and 98% of those laptops are wireless.
  • 87% have high speed internet at home, and only 1% do not have any form of internet access from home.
  • The average purchase price for laptops dropped again to $1358 (down from over $2000 in 2004).
  • See the last page of the report for
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Podcast on How to Do Quick and Dirty American Legal Research

The ABA’s Litigation Section’s website has a number of useful resources, but I hadn’t noticed its podcasts, including one that could be usefully shown to law students of young associates on how to use the web intelligently for American legal research.

It’s billed as follows:

Quick and Dirty Research

What happens when you need an answer right away, and you can’t bill for the research? No need to panic. Christina DeVries shares some techniques for finding the law in 30 minutes or less.

Lots of practical tips, which might just steer a student to use Google more intelligently. I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Award to Court Database

The Google Enterprise Search Superstar Award highlights people and companies using Google enterprise search products in innovative ways to improve the search experience and obtain better business results. Today the award was given to Justia Google Enterprise Search Superstar for its innovative use of the Google Mini for providing search results for its US Supreme Court opinion database.

Justia was selected for excellence in its approach to helping legal researchers search U.S. Supreme Court opinions online. “The Google Enterprise Search Superstar Award is great recognition for how we use the Google Mini to search U.S. Supreme Court opinions and other . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Book Search Update

For those of you following the debates around Google Book Search:

The January 2007 issue of Walt Crawford’s newsletter Cites & Insights has a great perspective piece on the past year’s developments related to Google Book Search. The developments discussed include:
-University of Michigan’s portion of Google Book Search
-the Google Librarian Newsletters
-improvements to Google Book Search (“Find this book in a library” and “Find libraries” links)
-University of California joins Google Library Project
-Google’s usage guidelines
-some publishers admitting that Google Book Search is helping sales
-value of using Google Book Search at the library reference desk . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Simonarcher.ca

If you can tolerate yet another Simon (and who couldn’t, I ask?) take a look at Simon Archer’s blog at simonarcher.ca. It’s not strictly a blawg, but Simon has a lot on the site of interest to lawyers. There’s a “law” category of posts; and a whole lot of interesting pages under the headings of “projects” (e.g. a regional network of labour lawyers, involving North and South America) and “research” (patterns of corporate finance). . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Multilingual Legal Glossary

Vancouver Community College and the Law Foundation of BC have produced a multilingual legal glossary. It is:

an attempt to respond to an issue identified by the Law Courts Education Society of B.C. (LCES) and the Vancouver Community College Certificate Program in Court Interpreting (VCC) – that of a lack of consistency in the comprehension and use of legal terminology among unaccredited court interpreters working in the courts of British Columbia. This issue is particularly significant in areas outside the Lower Mainland, where accredited interpreters are virtually non-existent.

I imagine this will be of interest to a wider audience, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

McGill Conference on Charter’s 25th Anniversary

The McGill Institute for the Study of Canada is hosting a conference from February 14 to 16 entitled The Charter @ 25.

“Our goal is to assemble a broad cross-section of people who can offer unique insights into the changes that have been effected by the Charter and offer a glimpse into the future. The Institute’s approach is unique such that the conference is not designed as a mere celebration of the anniversary of the Charter but rather as a ‘cerebration’, a reflection on the past, an analysis of the present and an anticipation of future developments.”

Further details: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Breakthrough in Search? Is the World Ready for a Wikisearch?

I stumbled on an interesting set of interviews with Jimmy Wales in Wired and Searchengineland, about an experiment to apply the Web 2.0 spirit of collaboration to the building of the platform to develop a new open source search engine with user-editable search resultsIt seems as if the project went public after a premature story in The Times.. Here it is – in its own words:

Search is part of the fundamental infrastructure of the Internet. And, it is currently broken.

Why is it broken? It is broken for the same reason that proprietary software is

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Research Training Tools – Your Comments Please

The Project

The Priestly Law Library at the University of Victoria, Faculty of Law and the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC recently received funding from the BC Law Foundation to further develop a legal research website and a legal research software tool (a downloadable program that runs locally on Windows). The project is at a point where we are interested in receiving comments from the readers of Slaw.

Background

Approximately 3 years ago one of the Law Foundations major funding initiatives supported a project called “Online Learning for Lawyers and Law Students”. The CLE Society of BC, the University . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Introducing the 2006 CLawBies – Canada Law Blog Awards

In the spirit of the Blawggies and the Blawg Review Awards, our own Steve Matthews has instituted the CLawBies (the Canada Law Blog Awards).

There are eleven CLawby categories:

1) Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award
2) Best Practitioner Support Blog
3) Legal Culture Award
4) Non-Legal Audience Award
5) Friend of the North Awards
6) EuroCan Connection Awards
7) Practice Management Award
8) Law Librarian Blog Award
9) Best Legal Technology Blog
10) Best New Law Blog Award
11) Law Professor Blog Award

How many SLAWyers can you find in his list?

Great job on this, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous