Posts Tagged ‘free’

A portal that has it all

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Throughout this course, I have learned of numerous websites providing information for free.  I was quite astonished to learn that there are so many of them out there.  We are truly blessed to live in a time where so much information is readily available (or too much perhaps).  But, having all this information readily available does not mean that research became correspondingly easy.  We have a new task now; sorting through flood of websites to find credible one that would stick around long enough.  I felt like I had to keep a long list of useful websites by their categories (caselaw specific websites, regulation websites, etc), track their existence (PreCYdent closed couple years ago) and evaluate new websites that seem to spring everyday and add useful ones to the list.  Of course there are websites providing comprehensive information at one spot, but most of these websites are fee based like Westlaw and Lexisnexis.  So, I was happy, yet overwhelmed of all these new websites I learned.   And there came lawyerexpress, a portal that made my research so easy.

Lawyerexpress is a website dedicated to providing legal research and news to attorneys.  This is a free web portal, but I recommend you to join as a member (also free) because you can customize the webpages and add/change contents.  Lawyerexpress really lives up to its name and understands what portal actually means; linkpage presenting information from diverse source in a unified way.  With lawyerexpress, you no longer need to keep track of all your favorites websites for research separately.  It’s all there.  Really, it is all there.  Also, If you don’t see it there, you can websites of your liking under tab you think the website belongs to, or put it under MyLinks tab.  After I browsed through this website, I actually made this website into my starting page.  The look of the website, contents, usability and some features it provides—note, planner and office tools—really got me.

Before going further, I will introduce who runs lawyerexpress.  lawyerexpress is powered by Ceoexpress, which was founded in 1998.  Ceoexpress was developed to organize the best resources on the web for busy executives and have expanded its reach on the internet with the launch of four new sites: Wired CEO, the first wireless portal for executives, as well as JournalistExpress, MDExpress and LawyerExpress.  From looking at ceoexpress website and later launched four sites, it looks credible with quite long history(considering it is webpage).

Now that we know who made this website, let’s go back to lawyerexpress.  It has 8 main tabs on top of the page and sub tabs under each of these main tabs.  These main tabs are law headlines, law blogs, legal research, news/journals, tools & travel, breaktime, practice areas, my links.  Also, essential law links and top law news are are fixated on the left side of the webpage, making research more convenient.  You should browse through all these main tabs to explore vast contents it provides in such an organized way.  For example, I found Practice areas to be really helpful in getting comprehensive news on your area of practice.  For example, if you set it as corporate law, it will give you corporate law news, M&A research, Antitrust, securities law, securities oversight, Delaware, blue sky, journals, etc all pertaining to corporate law practice.

Also, I’d like to introduce two features I thought were quite unique and distinguishes lawyerexpress from other legal websites.  Two features are Practice Support and Company Research under legal research tab.  Some of links under Practice Support includes Fact finder(background check website), National Association of Professional Server, Expert law, Technical Advisory Service for Attorneys and Jury Consultants.  For attorneys practicing in court, such information are critical for their practice, yet are not well taught at school (at least, I have not learned of these websites).  Also, I liked the Company Research, which provides links to Hoover’s, Moody’s, SEC Database, Standard & Poor’s, etc.  For corporate lawyer or other lawyers whose case is involved with corporate, it is essential that one does a background research on the company.  Company Research feature meets such needs of lawyer and provides some useful websites.  One suggestion I have for other users is to add Yahoo!Finance and Tip’d, two websites I learned to be very useful in class.

I dare say that this website is a must visit website for all attorneys.  There are just so much in this portal that I regret not being able to explain all contents it provides.  I hope other people find this portal as useful as I did and good luck to other researchers navigating through flood of information.

Caveat: Even though lawyerexpress is a free web portal, some links it provides are fee based.  So, if you want to do all your research for free, you should customize the webpage and remove all fee based websites and add more free websites you are aware of.  Also, I noticed that among MDexpress, JournalistExpress and CEOExpress, only CEOExpress is fee-based website (it does have free trial though).  CEOExpress is the first of Express portals so I am little concerned that rest of Express portals might eventually follow CEOExpress structure and change to fee-based at some point.  I am hoping that it stays as a free web portal, but if not, we will have to hope that new portal site springs up by then.  So, for now, let’s use it while it is free.