It is human nature to love free stuff! However, it’s not necessarily likely for people to recognize that what appears “free” often comes with a few caveats. In Free Legal Information is Not Risk Free Jean O’Grady succinctly unpacks a recently released report on the state of legal information. Important warnings abound regarding free legal information, especially as relates to State materials found on the Internet.
Take heed of just a few of the findings below:
- State provided legal information sites provide minimal search capabilities: citation retrieval and some basic searching
- Case citators are not provided by any State case-law sites
- Ambiguous dates for when many free State provided statutes were last updated
- Some States post disclaimers regarding reliability of the information
Legal researchers, the general public and especially attorneys using freely available legal information resources on the Web beware: “free legal information is not risk free”.
Click here for a full PDF of the State of Legal Information report findings.
It is apropos that 4 of my 5 top 2015 posts on the Bose Law and Technology Blog cover legal research, writing and technology, and 3 of them were in the top 5 for 2014 too.
Also, out of a total of 2,970 visitors in 2015, interestingly, India is the country from which I have the second highest number of visitors with 126 but not surprisingly it is dwarfed by the United States with 2233.
Here are my top 5 posts for 2015:
- 8 Great Legal Research and Writing Resources and Blogs
- 2 Apps Put Legal Writing in Your Pocket
- Siri Meet ROSS
- Part 1 Legal Research in Your Pocket: Fee-based Services
- 5 Quality Business Development Blogs
Feel free to give them another look now!
Thank-you for visiting the blog and I hope you will continue to do so in 2016.
Happy New Year!
Designed by University of Toronto students, ROSS, a Siri-like prototype app for legal research utilizes IBM’s Watson computer technology to help lawyers and legal research specialists “power through legal research.” Like Siri, but designed for lawyers, asking ROSS a legal question will get you an “instant answer with citations and suggested readings from a variety of content sources.”
Here is a sampling of what ROSS can do:
- Give you very relevant answers – not a list of results – to your natural language questions
- Learn from user’s questions – it learns and improves the more it is used
- Provide a consistent and easy to use experience no matter the device from which you access it
Although still in the prototype stage, ROSS is getting the backing of one large U.S. firm and shows great promise as an innovative legal research tool.
Posted in Legal Research, Technology
Tagged apps, Bose McKinney & Evans, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, IBM's watson, innovation, legal research, mobile, research, ROSS, siri, technology
It’s annual survey time and the results are in!
Law Firms [Slowly] in Transition provides a summary of the the Altman Weil review of law firms and the challenges they face. Sadly those challenges seem to have changed little over the years – price competition, commoditization of legal work, outsourcing, etc. However, most interesting are the results of the question asking “Can you envision a law-focused ‘Watson’ replacing any of the following timekeepers in your firm in the next 5 to 10 years?” and how this year’s results compare to the same question in previous years. Hint: the percentage of those who think it can are rising.
Highlights from the Just-Published ILTA 2015 Technology Survey reveals that security and mobile usage and mobile device management are top of mind for many firms. Surprisingly, the percentage of firms not using a knowledge management system is still high, but kudos to the high percentage (46%) of firms that are using enterprise social networking tools for internal or external communications.
Finally a pat on the back is in order for the first firm to pass the legal technology audit – A Firm Finally Passed The Legal Tech Audit. Perhaps others will follow suit! Not surprising that training was the key to passing.
Blogging is hard, albeit rewarding work! As a form of writing, it comes with all the same woes: writer’s block, time constraints, discouragement, and frustration. But don’t despair, there are many cool, easy to use online tools to help you keep going. Consider the following six:
- Feedly is an excellent RSS tool that provides a single place for you to monitor and quickly read the news sites and blogs you follow. It is available on both the desktop and mobile, thereby allowing you to access it while at the office or on-the-go.
- Pocket is a great app for saving articles for later reading that you happen to stumble upon while on-the-go.
- LinkedIn and LinkedIn Pulse are great sources for trending topics and leading edge ideas from your network of LinkedIn professionals and LinkedIn Influencers.
- Evernote is a free app for taking notes and serves well as a catch-all place for entering any those blog post ideas that come to mind anytime, anywhere. Simply launch the app from your mobile device and enter your idea for later retrieval.
- Unable to put into writing what you’re thinking? SpeakWrite lets you verbally record your thoughts, upload to the service, and receive a transcript of your thoughts to quickly edit and publish to your blog.
- Sometimes the best thing to break writer’s block is coming up with a good title. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator is a great resource for finding ideas to write about. Simply enter three terms, click on the Give Me Blog Topics button, and get a list of potential blog post titles hat can be swiftly turned into articles.
Posted in Technology
Tagged apps, bloggers, blogging, Bose McKinney & Evans, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, evernote, feedly, hubspots blog topic generator, linkedin, linkedin pulse, pocket, rss feed readers, speakwrite, Tools
PowerPoint has been around since the early 1990’s, and while it is sufficient for presentations, it’s popularity is waning. Myriad newer, cooler, and all around better applications (including one from Microsoft itself) exist making it easy to create, edit, and show your presentations using mobile devices.
- Keynote has been a mainstay presentation app for several years now. Designed specifically for mobile devices it has all the necessary features for making slick, professional presentations. Version 2.0 boasts a “stunning new design” that offers a unified file format across all devices making presentations “consistently beautiful everywhere you open them.”
- Haiku Deck available for the iPad and the Web, is an easy to use app for creating beautiful slides. Offering multiple text screen layouts and a variety of images, charts, and background colors from which to choose and many sharing options makes it a good tool if you want to create presentations with no training and little effort.
- SlideShark is for devotees of Microsoft PowerPoint, but who prefer the ability to present it using an iPad, iPhone or iTouch. Simply upload your presentation to SlideShark or utilize the option to directly integrate it with OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, or several other cloud storage providers.
- Prezi is a cloud-based tool that allows you to create, edit, and present on the go. It syncs across a variety of mobile devices so you always have the latest version of the presentation at your fingertips. Offering multiple templates from which to choose, a massive library of content that you can reuse, and a plethora of images, videos, and text to enhance your presentation make it worth the cost in your choice of three reasonably priced plan options.
- Google Slides a free app available for Apple and Droid devices, offers multiple presentation themes, hundreds of fonts, embedded videos, animations, and much more. Changes are saved automatically and converting PowerPoint slides is easily accomplished and the real-time collaboration feature is a plus.
- Sway profiled in my Microsoft in the Cloud: 2 New Offerings post rounds out the list and if well received will likely replace PowerPoint in the future. Designed to be more than a basic presentation app, it offers the ability to quickly design and share professionally looking presentation ready documents.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Apple, apps, attorneys, Bose McKinney & Evans, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, cloud storage, cloud-based, google slides, haiku deck, keynote, microsoft powerpoint, mobile, presentations, prezi, slideshark, sway