Google + iPhone = Free Legal Research!

iPhone user? Lawyer? Or simply interested in the law? Remember last week’s Studio post about Google Scholar’s Advanced Search and legal authorities?

Run, don’t walk, to Jeff Richardson’s great post at iPhone J.D. about using Google Scholar on your iPhone to track down free legal resources. Richardson discusses how to access, set up a bookmark to Scholar search for a specific jurisdiction and other tips, with screenshots and examples of how the results will appear. Check out his take on the new Wexis killer and take Scholar out for a legal spin.

Will Big Two Soon Become Big Three? Bloomberg Law

Here is a legal research announcement of note: Bloomberg has announced a new search service called Bloomberg Law.

Billed as an all-in-one legal research and news content platform, Bloomberg promises a service that is fully customizeable and, “gasp” user-friendly. Even more interesting is the claim that Bloomberg Law is the “first and only real-time research system for the 21st century legal practice.” The single search engine taps legal, news and company information from one location. It also offers an aggregation of content under the heading “Points of Law” – combining lead cases with subsequent related cases and statutes, regulations and rules by topic. “Law Reports” appear to be another content aggregator, focused on current events connected to source documents, legal expert opinions, and related financial and curent news, legal and regulatory opinions. “Law Digest” offer legal taxonomies by topic, with relevant legal content and analysis, with links to primary sources and the ability to set alerts for updates. “Dockets” are what they sound like – unlimited searchable access to case dockets, with the added bonus of real time access, often before formal publication. Finally, what legal research service could effectively function without its citation checker? Of course, Bloomberg Law offers “Citator” to “conduct issue-based research and validate your cases.” The pluses to “Citator” are  inclusion of case extracts pertinent to the cited point of law and side-by-side comparison features.

Full text database search. Alert functionality. Analytical reports. Litigation research tools. Competitive intelligence profiles. Westlaw and Lexis, I would be scared. Although the features definitely speak to business researchers more than traditional legal researchers and lawyers, it certainly sounds like Bloomberg Law is gearing up to provide legal research for the 21st Century.

Check out this PDF with details via Above The Law.

I am going to contact them and see if I can’t get a preview so that I can report back here on what BL is all about. Wish me luck!

Zimmerman's Legal Research Guide Free and Online

Andrew Zimmerman, Director of Library Services at Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander LLC in Baltimore, Maryland, has been compiling tips, tricks and tools for legal research into a “guide” over the past several years. He calls his guide, which started as a collection of notes and papers, a “work in progress.” Zimmerman’s “work in progress”, a/k/a “An Online Encyclopedia for Legal Researchers”, is now being offered online for free at LexisNexis InfoPro.  The guide offers alphabetical browsing by topic, as wll as keyword searching, and covers a broad range.

Just for fun, I hit the jump to “insurance.” Zimmerman offers this guidance in the first couple of introductory paragraphs:

Statutes, regulations, insurance department opinions, and other primary materials are published for all 50 states in the multi-volume National Insurance Law Service (NILS), or you can get them from each state’s statutes, administrative codes, etc. In addition, most insurance materials are available on Westlaw – either in the Domestic Insurance Compliance Materials database (MULTI-INS) or the individual state or practice area insurance law databases (see the Westlaw Database Directory or call Westlaw at 1-800-773-2889 for assistance).

The leading insurance law treatises are Appleman’s Insurance law and practice (Matthew Bender) and Couch on Insurance (West). Appleman is available on Lexis (INSURE;APLMAN). Couch is available on Westlaw (COUCH).

There are some full-text secondary source materials in a Westlaw insurance databases, notably materials by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and law review articles. To find insurance-related articles, search Westlaw’s INSNEWS database or the appropriate files in the Lexis INSURE library. Alternatively, you can search the abstracts of the Insurance Periodicals Index (Dialog File 169), which probably covers more periodicals.

The Davis Library at the School for Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (formerly the College of Insurance) in New York City is an excellent source for insurance-related materials. They do research and document delivery for students, faculty and members of the Insurance Society of New York; non-members can use the library only by coming in person and purchasing a day pass. For more information, visit the Library’s Web site or call the Library at 212-815-9263.

Ad you can see, the Guide also offers links to related materials.

I appreciate Zimmerman’s (and LexisNexis’) evenhanded recommendations regarding materials available on Westlaw – it encourages the feeling that the Guide is offering an objective  snapshot of where to find information. And while the entry is simplistic from the point of view of a veteren insurance law practitioner, I would find  entries on unfamiliar topics a great starting point for research in uncharted waters.

Thanks Andrew and thanks LexisNexis for another useful research tool at the right price!

Hat tip to Ross-Blakely Law Library blog

Zimmerman’s Legal Research Guide Free and Online

Andrew Zimmerman, Director of Library Services at Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander LLC in Baltimore, Maryland, has been compiling tips, tricks and tools for legal research into a “guide” over the past several years. He calls his guide, which started as a collection of notes and papers, a “work in progress.” Zimmerman’s “work in progress”, a/k/a “An Online Encyclopedia for Legal Researchers”, is now being offered online for free at LexisNexis InfoPro.  The guide offers alphabetical browsing by topic, as wll as keyword searching, and covers a broad range.

Just for fun, I hit the jump to “insurance.” Zimmerman offers this guidance in the first couple of introductory paragraphs:

Statutes, regulations, insurance department opinions, and other primary materials are published for all 50 states in the multi-volume National Insurance Law Service (NILS), or you can get them from each state’s statutes, administrative codes, etc. In addition, most insurance materials are available on Westlaw – either in the Domestic Insurance Compliance Materials database (MULTI-INS) or the individual state or practice area insurance law databases (see the Westlaw Database Directory or call Westlaw at 1-800-773-2889 for assistance).

The leading insurance law treatises are Appleman’s Insurance law and practice (Matthew Bender) and Couch on Insurance (West). Appleman is available on Lexis (INSURE;APLMAN). Couch is available on Westlaw (COUCH).

There are some full-text secondary source materials in a Westlaw insurance databases, notably materials by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and law review articles. To find insurance-related articles, search Westlaw’s INSNEWS database or the appropriate files in the Lexis INSURE library. Alternatively, you can search the abstracts of the Insurance Periodicals Index (Dialog File 169), which probably covers more periodicals.

The Davis Library at the School for Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (formerly the College of Insurance) in New York City is an excellent source for insurance-related materials. They do research and document delivery for students, faculty and members of the Insurance Society of New York; non-members can use the library only by coming in person and purchasing a day pass. For more information, visit the Library’s Web site or call the Library at 212-815-9263.

Ad you can see, the Guide also offers links to related materials.

I appreciate Zimmerman’s (and LexisNexis’) evenhanded recommendations regarding materials available on Westlaw – it encourages the feeling that the Guide is offering an objective  snapshot of where to find information. And while the entry is simplistic from the point of view of a veteren insurance law practitioner, I would find  entries on unfamiliar topics a great starting point for research in uncharted waters.

Thanks Andrew and thanks LexisNexis for another useful research tool at the right price!

Hat tip to Ross-Blakely Law Library blog

More Free Legal Resources

This time, the “free and available” is brought to you by the Warren E. Burger Library at the William Mitchell College of Law. The site offers a tabbed window with primary legal materials by jurisdiction, topical materials, materials targeted to students, faculty and administrators, attorneys and non-lawyers, general information and research materials and secondary legal research resources such as blogs, citation and research guides, forms, journals and law reviews and portals and even a little international schwag.

There is a lot of good material to pour through. Consider adding it to your bookmarks, tagged “free”, “legal”, “resources”, and “research.”

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What? Law Schools Not Teaching Legal Research?

Can it be true? Well, Arthur Miller, the King of Civil Procedure, says so. The Legal Writing Prof Blog has this entry about a recent Town Hall Meeting held in Portland Oregon sponsored by none other than West Publishing / Thomson. Apparently, law schools are sacrificing the practical for breadth of course selection. In Mr. Miller’s opinion, the pure practice apparently is suffering as a result.

Here is part one of the interview:

Here is part two of the interview:

 Mr. Miller believes that the deficit in research and writing skills begins in early elementary school and may not be rectified at the higher levels of schooling or on the legal job. This is particularly true if the new attorney ends up in somewhere other than the largest law firms, where there is some commitment to a certain level of basic research and writing training in-house for new attorneys.

Never fear. Even if you suffer from the deficits described by Mr. MIller, you can always find the best quality research and writing right here at Advantage Advocates!

What? Law Schools Not Teaching Legal Research?

Can it be true? Well, Arthur Miller, the King of Civil Procedure, says so. The Legal Writing Prof Blog has this entry about a recent Town Hall Meeting held in Portland Oregon sponsored by none other than West Publishing / Thomson. Apparently, law schools are sacrificing the practical for breadth of course selection. In Mr. Miller’s opinion, the pure practice apparently is suffering as a result.

Here is part one of the interview:

Here is part two of the interview:

 Mr. Miller believes that the deficit in research and writing skills begins in early elementary school and may not be rectified at the higher levels of schooling or on the legal job. This is particularly true if the new attorney ends up in somewhere other than the largest law firms, where there is some commitment to a certain level of basic research and writing training in-house for new attorneys.

Never fear. Even if you suffer from the deficits described by Mr. MIller, you can always find the best quality research and writing right here at Advantage Advocates!