Book Published! Finding and Managing Legal Information on the Internet by David Whelan A project that had its start the summer after I moved to Canada has finally seen sunlight! I have for some time wanted to write something longer, more in-depth, and covering a lot of the research tools and concepts that I use myself for legal research. It turned out to be timely, given that a lot of lawyers are using Google as a research starting point!
Finding and Managing Legal Information Book from Canada Law Book
There are plenty of books on legal research proper, that will walk you through types of law, and the relatively academic process of learning how to perform research. Similarly, there are a wealth of Web sites that seem to all contain the same hackneyed lists of legal information resources online, let alone the tomes that print those lists to create reference volumes that are unnecessarily duplicative of free online tools.
Since I’m far more focused on what lawyers in practice do, neither of these directions fit my own practical viewpoint. My book is geared towards someone who wants practical tips and recommendations for Internet-oriented research. Lawyers, paralegals, and librarians in any kind of library will find it accessible. While I discuss some of the fee-based research resources and have some suggestions for purchasing or licensing access to them, for the most part this is resource agnostic. If you are interested in finding information online and then keeping track of it and using it later, you will hopefully find much to help you in this book.
The book was originally conceived as an electronic book (in PDF) with a companion Finding Legal Information (FLI) blog. But Canada Law Book, my publisher, excels at print-on-demand so a perfect bound version was also made available in print. The print version was on display at this year’s Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference and over the last 8 weeks promotion for the book has started.
It’s been an interesting experience, one which I’d always wondered about. First, I wanted to see if I could write something longer than the articles I often write for magazine publication. I’d been piqued a few years ago when someone told me, in essence, “You’ve done a lot of writing, but it’s all short.” It was meant disparagingly and taken so, and I’ve had it as a challenge ever since then to surmount that perception.
But I’d also been curious about what was necessary, both as an author creating and as an author participating in the publishing process. This was a great opportunity and I was lucky to work with some wonderful people at Canada Law Book who didn’t appear to mind answering what were probably obvious questions.
Check out the blog and feel free to buy a copy of the book! I’d be interested in your feedback on what’s helpful and what can be improved if I ever get the opportunity to update the text in the future.