Getting up to speed and staying up to speed on cutting edge legal information is an ongoing process. You may simply consume the information or you can contribute to it. With the advent of Web 2.0, and the increasingly familiar and trusted experience of participation and sharing on the web through social media, shared content sites that allow end-users to upload and share content, comment on other’s content, and gain recognition for contributions, has resulted in some very useful sites for lawyers.
Among other things, JD Supra allows lawyers and legal professionals to upload representative documents – briefs, articles, presentations, etc. to be freely shared – and searched. Large firms such as Bryan Cave and Fenwick & West, as well as many others, submit content.
The Social Science Research Network contains vast amounts of scholarly articles, from law, accounting, corporate, political science and much more. Scholars and academics submit research articles to SSRN before they go through peer review and the formal publishing process. This means the articles are often not the final version, but they are made available much faster than the traditional publishing procedure allows. Users can hone in on just legal articles, some articles are available only in abstract. SSRN has a Legal Scholarship Network, with research papers, faculty job openings, and a directory. You can submit a paper and interact with other legal scholars.
Wex is the Legal Information Institute’s community-built, free legal dictionary and encyclopedia. Wex content, unlike Wikipedia, is contributed by named, qualified legal professionals and edited by legal experts. Entries contain an overview and definitions, resources, examples, and in case law. While the site is not comprehensive, it is valuable.
Lexology brings together articles submitted by major commercial law firms. Anyone can go to the site to search for content on hot topics like Bring Your Own Device, Virtual Currencies, Merger Control and more through Navigator, or simply search by keyword then narrow results by jurisdiction, topic, or author/firm. Firms and individual lawyers can sign up to have their content published through Lexology.
International in scope, you will find the latest thinking on legal, accounting, regulatory and commercial issues supplied by the world’s leading professional advisors. Browse or you can search the database for articles by date, topic, firm, country, author, free text, etc. You can also subscribe to free news alerts (2 per week) based on region and topics/sub-topics. You or your firm can also become contributors.
Fee Fie Foe Firm USA is a search engine that searches on the websites of US law firms and international firms. Use the search box to search for legal experts, law firm bulletins, articles, press releases and more! Similar to Fee Fie Fo Firm is the Law Firm Search Engine, which searches more than 4,700 law firm websites around the world.
Bar associations and publishing powerhouses have long been both a source of content and a way for lawyers to get published. Don’t forget other options in the form of syndicated blogs like LexBlog, Slaw.ca and AttorneyatWork, as well as some of the options above as ways to learn and teach!