US Courts Website now does RSS

Monday, 29 September 2008

Just recently every other article or post we read on a blog seems to be about RSS so it was no surprise that we read this post about the US Courts Service Website.

The use of RSS by Government Departments, Associations and Commmercial Organisations can only be a good thing and the addition of RSS Feeds to the US Courts Website might make a few Law Librarians working in UK based US Law Firms very happy.

[Hat Tip - Abstracked]

Posted by James Mullan at 12:38 0 comments  

Justis does RSS

Friday, 26 September 2008

Justis have unveiled a new addition to their flagship product RSS Feeds. There is a detailed FAQ with all the information you need on how to subscribe to and start reading RSS Feeds and more information on what RSS Feeds are.

There are even some example feeds on the support page including:

Good work Justis!!

Posted by James Mullan at 16:33 0 comments  

Law Firm Libraries and Information Services in the 21st Century

Thursday, 25 September 2008

If you haven't already you may be interested in completing this survey, which has been compiled by Rachel Brett at Lovells. Rachel is currently undertaking a Master’s dissertation at City University and is conducting an online survey of law firm libraries and information services in the UK and Ireland.

The survey is aimed at legal information professionals working for law firms in the UK and Ireland with the aim being to gather statistics about the services, staffing and resources of law firm libraries and information units and to identify what legal information professionals see as the key trends affecting the sector.

Posted by James Mullan at 13:05 0 comments  

City Business Library...still in business

Friday, 19 September 2008

Following a consultation period which included a response from BIALL a decision has been reached about the future of the City Business Library. The full decision is available here and a summary follows:

"City Business Library: service as normal in Brewers’ Hall Garden premises until late 2009; Library moves to refurbished Guildhall Library in January 2010. We will alert you to any changes in our normal service through our monthly Newsletter and the City of London website.

Guildhall Library Printed Books: reading room available throughout but some collections unavailable at various times; letter and e-mail enquiry service temporarily suspended.

Guildhall Library Manuscripts: letter and e-mail enquiry service as normal; collections remain in store in Guildhall Library; reading room operating from London Metropolitan Archives from March 2009 for 4-6 months, with 48 hour notice required to order documents.

Guildhall Library Prints and Maps: letter and e-mail enquiry service as normal; reading room service permanently at LMA from early 2009 (some material unavailable before and during the move)."

Posted by James Mullan at 10:30 0 comments  

BIALL re-structures

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Earlier this year BIALL council undertook a new structure, with the President of BIALL (this year Jackie Fishleigh) leading BIALL Council for a tenure of one year, supported by the President Elect (Daniella King) and the Past President (Jennefer Aston). The three roles have a number of responsibilities including leading the Association and representing it at the American and Canadian Conferences (BIALL President) and Chairing the Strategy and Finance Committee (BIALL President Elect)

There is also a Vice-Presidential role (not to be confused with the President Elect!), which is an advisory role to the council. Currently there is no Vice-President and the Hon.Secretary and Treasurer roles remain.

The roles of BIALL Chair and BIALL Vice-Chair are now a distant memory as the new governance structure took effect from the AGM at the Dublin Conference.

Full details of the changes to the BIALL Governance structure are available on the BIALL Website.

Posted by James Mullan at 17:12 0 comments  

Is free research catching up with the big two?

The 2008 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report has just been published by the American Bar Association, this report discusses in detail the use of technology within the legal profession and would be an interesting read for anyone involved in this area, unfortunately the report isn't available for free, but there is an interesting summary available on the ABA Journal website entitled "Web 2.0 Still a No-go"

This discusses how Lawyers are slow to adopt cutting edge technology like RSS Feeds, however things are beginning to change with Social Networking sites like Facebook beginning to catch on and of most interest to anyone working within an Information Unit the number of lawyers using free online legal research services.

According to the article in 2003 72% of Lawyers used free online legal research tools and 82% used subscription based services. Now those figures have been reversed with 89% using free online legal research tools and 87% using subscription based services. Another interesting statistic included in the report is that since 2003 there has been a 17% increase in the number of laywers conducting legal research online.


LexisNexis have released a new website called LexisWeb, this is a federated search tool that searches across a wide range of websites.

There is a short user guide which contains more information on the site, including the following:

"The LexisWeb product includes important, legal-oriented Web content, selected and validated by the LexisNexis editorial staff. The current beta version combines content from thousands of web sites and millions of Web pages, with more being added each day"

  • Governmental agency information (federal, state, local)
  • Informal commentary on legal issues (blogs specifically for lawyers and legal professionals)
  • General web information about legal topics"

The search includes options to "narrow" or filter your results by Topic, Subject, Geography, Industry, Citation, Companies, People, Keyword and Source. For an example of a search on LexisWeb have a look at this.

Searching the site is currently free and all in all it looks quite useful although heavily US biased and with some strange search results!

[Hat Tip - Slaw]

Posted by James Mullan at 11:12 0 comments  

The Free Legal Web

Friday, 5 September 2008

Nick Holmes of Binary Law and Internet Newsletter for Lawyers has started a new initiative called "The Free Legal Web", from the website of the The Free Legal Web:

"The Free Legal Web is an initiative designed to deliver a web service that joins up the law and legal commentary and analysis on the web and provides a useful service to both lawyers and the community at large"

"We already have a substantial free legal web, but it is not joined up. We have the resources and the technologies to join it up — now — for the benefit of lawyers and the community at large. Those of us who have an interest in access to the law and justice and the efficient provision of legal services have a duty to make this happen"

Does this all sound unachievable and a bit of a pipe-dream? Well it might well be achievable if enough people start living the dream but it is likely to take a lot of hard work to get there! More information on the Free Legal Web is available on the website.

Posted by James Mullan at 15:23 0 comments