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Disclaimer: Laugment is not intended to substitute for a lawyer but rather to magnify the powers of smart people and improve the lawyering process.
What's New at LawMoose?
- November 13, 2001: We've boosted our search results per page to twenty (20) instead of fifteen (15) so you can see even more of the Minnesota Legal Web more quickly than before.
We also introduced our listing of Minnesota law firms with web sites, grouped according to city. Now, you don't even have to leave home to find a law firm near you or near the place you are looking for a lawyer. The lawyer directory now fully mirrors that we originally began to publish on our Priweb.com site in June, 1998.
- October 9, 2001: We've made some usability and efficiency enhancements in LawMoose Search. We increased the number of search results per page from ten (10) to the current fifteen (15), and changed your optional choice to show twenty (20) results to a new maximum of twenty-five (25) results per page.
These changes mean you will see more results immediately and will not have to click to advance to the next page so frequently.
We lowered the maximum number of search results returned from four hundred (400) to three hundred (300). We doubt many of you scrolled through four hundred (400) results. (We doubt many of you scroll through a full three hundred (300) results very often either.) This change increases LawMoose's speed on larger searches and flexibility to accommodate more simultaneous searches.
- October 8, 2001: The Minnesota Supreme Court opened its attorney registration records to public access last week. We are the first site to take you to that new knowledge tool. Combine this feature with the attorney look-up feature of the State Bar Association to confirm information or find who you are looking for from two different angles. It's all on our home page directory under the heading: Minnesota Lawyers and Law Firms.
- October 1, 2001: We introduce saved search terms. Save your favorite search terms. Then re-run them, later with a simple click of your mouse next time you visit LawMoose or whenever you need them again. If you have to interrupt your research, save your search term. This our first personalization feature that persists from session to session -- forever if you want. It requires a cookie on your computer. So don't erase the LawMoose cookie if you want to keep your saved search terms. This feature is currently limited to ten saved searches.
Note subsequent: A couple of weeks after we introduced saved searches, a large lawyer directory trumpeted its own introduction of saved searches. But in order to take advantage of it, you have to disclose a lot of personal and corporate information, some of it sensitive, to the directory just to try it out. You don't have to do that at LawMoose! (Do you suppose they wonder how and why LawMoose! beat them to the punch on that one?)
- September 28, 2001: We introduce an experimental search collection drawn from the U.S. Department of Justice web site. The Department of Justice and U.S. Attorneys comprise far and away the largest single law department in the U.S. and cover an exceptionally broad range of legal issues and programs. This collection strongly complements our World Law Sites collection.
- September 19, 2001: LawMoose is officially one year old, precocious for its age, still evolving, becoming "smarter" all the time. LawMoose made its first public appearance last year at the Minnesota Law & Technology Show, held September 19-20, 2000. One presentation at that show immediately labeled LawMoose as the "Best Minnesota Legal Web Site." In the ensuing year, LawMoose has won not only statewide but national recognition. Happy birthday, LawMoose!
- September 11-12,2001: Pritchard Law Webs exhibits LawMoose at the 6th Annual Law & Technology Show. Two of the show presentations independently feature LawMoose.
- September 10, 2001: Minnesota Lawyer's special yearly technology supplement, Law Tech News, carries a cover story about LawMoose.
- September 10, 2001: We added a page on the site to let you know more about our various search collections. We try to make the title of a collection let you know intuitively what to expect. But sometimes, further amplification is helpful. Our "MN General" collection is an index of sites that do not fit into more specific collections or do not have enough pages and sites to warrant creation of a special collection.
Tip: If you are searching by collection, it's almost always a good idea to search this collection unless you are certain what you are looking for is in one or more of our other collections. It's the catch all.
- September 7, 2001: All our collections have been refreshed. Minnesota appellate cases are current through August 31.
- September 6, 2001: We published an updated home page main menu. The topical directory headings remain essentially the same, but you will find more direct links to more valuable sites than ever. For example, we have added links to the Hennepin and Ramsey County District Courts, added the capability to look up Eighth Circuit briefs by party or by attorney, added a link to the new Minnesota Supreme Court licensed attorney look up page (which, while posted, was still not actually returning results yet), added more links to law libraries, and substantially beefed up our Reference Tools section so that if you are using LawMoose as your browser's home page (as, we are pleased to confirm, some people are now doing), you will have even more power in the form of reference sites and online calculator tools.
Is it better than your other options for browser home pages? You be the judge! If you are a part of the Minnesota legal community, we think so. As librarian and attorney Bill Jack (note subsequent: formerly) at Dorsey & Whitney has just written, LawMoose "provides easy access to just about any Minnesota materials we need."
With our newest revision, we are not the least bit hesitant in saying that the LawMoose home page, combining as it does a topical web directory with powerful search, all leading to content that is 100% relevant to the Minnesota Legal Community, is the single most powerful, most comprehensive page you can find on any Minnesota law-related web site. Why? Because it truly is the "Home" of the Minnesota Legal Web.
September 5, 2001: Our beta now includes the first presentation of a collection we call "World Law Sites". This is arguably the best single legal research starting point on the Internet, even in its initial incarnation.
Why do we say that? In 1999, Pritchard Law Webs volunteered to be one of a handful of web publishers worldwide to save and preserve the former U.S. House of Representatives Internet Law Library. The World Law Sites collection emanates from the original vision underlying the U.S. House of Representatives effort to make legal knowledge and resources widely accessible across a wide variety of topics and jurisdictions.
We've used the same principles we have pioneered for Minnesota law sites and are now applying them to the most popular or best web legal research and reference starting points.
Using the World Law Sites collection, you can, from our central location, quickly connect to the legal knowledge you seek by searching across popular and quality legal research directory sites simultaneously and instantaneously. If you're not absolutely certain that one good site lists everything you might want to examine or whether it has the most current materials, starting with a search through our World Law Sites collection is just the ticket. Find what you're looking for, wherever it is located, whether it is in the U.S. or internationally -- much faster! If it is mentioned on any of the pages we index, you'll find it without trying to guess what portal site may contain links or content about the subject that interests you. Just enter one or more key words into the search bar, and you have many starting points of reference.
Do you need information, for example, about Argentina and antitrust? Don't know which site may help you explore that subject?
We sure didn't, but LawMoose told us in a second where to go, deep inside the often very large sites we index in World Law Sites.
Now, you need not roam aimlessly from portal to portal, hoping to find something, or find something better, on your topic of interest.
Hiearchical sites are wonderful (that's why we index them!) AND so is cross-site legal search capability.
With our World Law Sites collection, LawMoose technology expands from Minnesota to across the world, simplifyig access to law materials that literally may be scattered across tens of thousands of sites. We do not index those destination sites. We index the sites through which you can find them.
World Law Sites demonstrates that LawMoose can rapidly create new web-based knowledge ecosystems where none existed before.
We are considering various economic models for how we may deliver and extend our World Law Sites concept. If your organization may have an interest in underwriting or working with us on this, please let us know.
Visitors interested in Minnesota Legal Web content only should exclude the World Law Sites collection from their search. To do so, click the Options link on the search bar. Uncheck World Law Sites from the list of sites to be searched, leaving all the other collections checked. You'll be back to sites published in Minnesota.
- August 24, 2001: Our "Find out more about" feature at the bottom of each page of search results now offers you the choice to search Minnesota Public Radio broadcast archives. These archives begin in 1996. They include both Minnesota and national news items and feature stories.
- August 16, 2001: We're pleased to announce yet another feature -- saved links -- that further distances us from the garden variety search engine and further demonstrates the power of our "community knowledge server".
Every search result you receive now includes a new option: "save link". If you save a link, LawMoose puts it into your own web workspace in a new window. LawMoose will save the page title, page summary, web address (URL), and also save the search term that allowed you to locate the link.
Currently, you can "save" up to ten links per session. And you can return to your saved links workspace anytime by clicking "Show My Saved Links" on the menu at the top of every search results page.
Once you "save" a link, you can add to, or change, the link's description, turning it into anything you want. If you happen to be familiar with html code, you can write in html to format your text. If you just want to separate text into paragraphs, just use <p> to begin a new paragraph.
You might want to add the reason you saved the link or add a note about follow-up. Or use your browser's copy and paste features to copy text from the source page itself, then return to LawMoose, re-open your saved links workspace, and paste that copied text into your saved links report. You might, for example, locate recent Minnesota Supreme Court cases on, say, "summary judgment", copy quotes you need into your saved links workspace, and end up with a customized, personal research report.
When you are done, print your saved links report. Or E-mail your saved links report to yourself to keep it in electronic form. If you want someone else to have the benefit of your research session, you can also E-mail your saved links report to clients, colleagues, friends, or family.
Your E-mailed Saved Links report will be in HTML format. The links to the source documents will still work in your E-mail program, so you can revisit the source pages anytime you want.
Bottom line: At LawMoose, you can do much more than browse; you can research, think, and document your work, and distribute it to anyone you wish.
- July 19, 2001: Now, change search collections right from our search bar! We're sure you'll like this enhancement.
We've always made it possible for you to change and combine the search collections through our options page. But we also knew most people did not take time to do it or just missed it. Focusing your search in exactly the right collection (or collections) of web pages is a powerful way to find just what you're looking for. So we want to make it easy to find and use.
Solution: make it almost intuitive and put it right on the search bar.
Now, you can search all collections at once (the default choice) or pick one, then another, and another, etc. until you find just what you want.
You can (and should!) still use our "search options" link too. This link takes you to our search and display preferences page. There, you can build a custom group of two or more collections for simultaneous searching.
When you want a fairly wide search but you want to exclude one or more collections, search options lets you do it. When you set such a preference, the search bar will show you you are searching the "custom" collection.
- July 18, 2001: No, we're not on summer vacation. We're giving LawMoose! new power so you don't have to work so hard to find things.
We're pleased to announce our newest search collection -- the Minnesota Statutes Subject Index. Yes, you may already be familiar with the pages indexed in this collection. If you use the the official Minnesota Statutes, you already depend on the print version of this Index. The Minnesota Revisor of Statutes' office also publishes the Statutes Subject Index on the Web, where it is divided into several thousand subject headings pages. There are subject pages ranging from "Abandoned and unclaimed property" to "Zumbro River".
Now, on LawMoose, you don't have to wonder, for example, where you might find any mention of "veterinarians" (or any other key word) in the Minnesota Statutes Subject Index. Even though there is a "Veterinarians" subject page, the word appears on other index pages too. We put every one of them a click away.
What does this mean? This: Via LawMoose, and the Revisor's office's great work, you can get a nearly instanteous statutory briefing on pretty much anything you want.
We merely help you use the Revisor's index as your research guide.
Remember, we do not prepare or publish the Statutes Subject Index.
You'll see these pages in search results listed with titles beginning with the Subject Heading and ending with the designation the Revisor's office uses, MnIx (for Minnesota Statutes Index).
We recommend searching our Minnesota Statutes Subject Index separately. That is typically the way you would use this resource if you were using it in print.
Remember, while LawMoose is gaining power, we're not advocating abandoning your traditional means of legal research or relying on LawMoose to the exclusion of any other tools. Notice you are using LawMoose for free! We do not accept responsibility for your research results or the accuracy, timelness, or completeness of anything you find through LawMoose!
- July 10, 2001: We added more forwarding links to our "Find out more about" feature at the bottom of each page of search results.
You can now submit your LawMoose search term to a search engine containing the contents of forty U.S. city business journals, including CityBusiness, covering the Twin Cities.
You can jump over to the American Bar Association web site (where you have to re-enter your search term).
Finally, if you are a member of the American Corporate Counsel Association ("ACCA") (or even if you are not), we hope you'll like the fact that we provide you a link that will send your search term directly into the American Corporate Counsel Association web site's search function.
For example, enter the search term "antitrust" into LawMoose. You initially receive results drawn only from the Minnesota Legal Web. Submit the same term to "ACCA Virtual Library" and you'll find special resources by and for corporate counsel. ACCA members can sign in if necessary to retrieve the materials you see in the ACCA search results. Non-members cannot get too far, but can view search results and navigate to some but not many of the resources ACCA lists. Regardless, you will get some good ideas for follow-up or off-Web research.
We've made so many improvements to LawMoose, we've had to break our What's New page into sections.
For the rest of the story, review What Was New at LawMoose from August, 2000 through June, 2001.