As law students at the Charleston School of Law, we are often tasked with completing a variety of research assignments and an upper level writing paper. As an attorney, staying up to date with current legal issues and occurrences is a very important aspect of practicing law. To assist with this, Law.com can be a great “go to” library electronic source! In accessing Law.com from the CSOL library database, users are provided with a variety of programs and publications covering breaking news, legal data, and legal analysis. Law.com also offers peer guidance for professional development, future preparation, and adapting to changes in the legal world.
Before dissecting Law.com, I would like to share with readers the mechanics by which it was created. Law.com was formed and developed by ALM Media (ALM), an information and intelligence company. ALM mainly focuses on providing assistance with complex issues arising throughout various industries. As of now, ALM’s work covers more than 6 million business professions.
In forming Law.com, ALM’s goal was to establish an effective business tool that provides research, education, marketing trends, and technological advances throughout the world. To achieve this, ALM put together a massive web of workers. A web that ranges from oversight committees of the entire website, to individual editors and reporters of different tabbed sections. These sections include litigation, culture, technology, regulatory, legal week news, business law, and legal brands/themes.
Now to the meat of what Law.com provides. On its face, viewers will automatically assume Law.com is just another website offering news articles about domestic and foreign legal issues. However, Law.com is actually a highly complex electronic resource with tabs comprised of many hidden components. In the websites tab section (on the far left or at the top of Law.com) users can find a variety of links to legal publications, law topics, insights and analysis, surveys and rankings, law firms, communities, verdict searches, legal newswire, and practice tools.
Additionally, there is an “all sections” tab with links to national legal leader journals, a legal dictionary, current legal events, a book purchasing center, expert witness searches (over 15,000), recruiter directory for legal assistance, and information on the best technology currently used in legal practices. Yes, this is a lot of information to navigate through . . . but have no fear . . . a search tab is near! At the top of Law.com, users can access a general search tab rather than going through all of the different sections. This tab can be searched via name, title, or keyword(s) – with the ability to filter all searches by date.
With the general tab descriptions given, lets briefly dissect their hidden components! Publications provides access to over 20 legal journals. Law Topics is an extensive list of legal topics broken up by law and industry; such as admiralty law, criminal law, law firm management, and legal technology. Clicking on a topic takes users to publications, journals, and expert analysis on that particular legal topic. Insight and Analysis gives users access to analyst reports, briefings, newsletters, and a compass; all of which dabble in legal industry trends, legal market intelligence, pressing issues facing the legal industry, and experts on current legal issues.
Survey and Ranking offers access to 6 different journals; ranking the world’s most powerful and sustainable corporations and law firms. Law Firms compiles a list of top U.S. law firms; providing law firm names, rankings, locations, and backgrounds. Communities compiles articles on different U.S. law schools, applying and researching jobs after graduation, women in law achievements, current corporate general counsel happenings, general counsel networking tools, and ongoing studies of corporate legal department environments.
Verdict Search gives users access to noteworthy case verdicts and settlements throughout the U.S. These verdicts can be narrowed to your relevant research area and provide details of awards given/received, injuries claimed, experts, attorney’s, judges, insurers, etc. Legal Newswire gives users access to a press release distribution network; which provides legal press releases and allows users to create their own press lease for distribution to over 1,600 legal communities and media.
Lastly, under Practice Tools, users have access to videos, checklists, training sessions, and in-depth information on insurance law. These tools can help attorneys and or law students with strategy, work plans, and communication. The insurance law section is compiled of articles and analysis on insurance experts, case law, policy coverage, legislation, regulatory, and insurance forms.
Overall, this website is a magnificent electronic resource! Offering not only news articles, but also tools for everyday legal practice, job searching, locating expert witnesses (over 15,000 listings), marketing your law firm, and so much more. Due to its complexity, I would encourage interested users to visit Law.com and maneuver through each tab. This will assist in your understanding of what Law.com has to offer and allow for smoother navigation.
To access the website, just simply go to the CSOL library database and click on the “On-Campus Access” link. Scroll down and you will find Law.com listed under “Legal Research Resources.” Luckily, as a law student at the Charleston School of Law, users have unlimited on-campus access to Law.com! However, there are some areas of the resource (such as publishing press releases, etc.) that may be restricted.
J. Vincent Cannarella
Class of 2019