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Digital Course Books?
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Alternative Search Engines
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June 23, 2006 at 10:25 AM
The San Francisco Chronicle published an interesting story today about some embarrassing redacting errors made by federal prosecutors. According to the article, federal prosecutors filed a court brief relating to the government’s attempt to require two Chronicle reporters to reveal their secret source for confidential grand jury testimony. A redacted PDF copy of the government’s brief was available to members of the press with a portion of the text hidden by "black bars." A New York Sun reporter was able to reveal the redacted text by highlighting the redacted sections, copying them, then pasting them into a Word document, which revealed the blacked-out text. What did the brief’s author do wrong? Instead of removing the text completely from the document, the author just changed "the foreground color to . . . a black rectangle." The text was still there, and it didn’t take an expert to reveal it. Ironically, at least one federal agency has published a guide to redacting digital documents entitled "Redacting with Confidence." The guide dispenses valuable tips on how to sanitize electronic documents. You can also find additional recommendations on redacting digital documents in this Law.com article.
POSTSCRIPT, June 26, 2006: A few days after this post, LLRX published a helpful piece on "Controlling the Accidental Release of Digital Information" by attorney Conrad Jacoby.
Moving Beyond Basic Searching on the Internet
June 14, 2006 at 9:45 AM
I see that the "Google Cheat Sheet" has been making the rounds in the blogosphere and at legal conferences again, so I thought I’d feature it for a second time on Heafey Headnotes. For those of you who aren’t aware of it, the Google Cheat Sheet provides you with lots of ways to refine your Google searches, and it also gives you information about little-known functions, such as using Google as a calculator. Why should law students take the time to learn advanced search techniques? Because these features will save you lots and lots of time by giving you much more relevant, on-point search results. Law school gives you the opportunity to conduct legal research in a fairly leisurely fashion, but the luxury of having lots of time for research projects will disappear in practice, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these features now. These advanced features aren’t exclusive to Google. Advanced search tips and features are also available on Yahoo!, FirstGov, Ask.com, IceRocket, and A9.com, just to name a few. Search Engine Showdown’s search engines features chart is also a valuable resource for determining which search engine is best for your search.
Materials from Harvard's Bloggership Conference
May 01, 2006 at 10:45 AM
SSRN has designed a special page devoted to Harvard’s recent Bloggership Conference, which was held last Friday. SCU students and faculty can download papers presented by such blogging luminaries as Eugene Volokh, Orin Kerr, and Christine Hurt. As a bonus, this SSRN page links to Harvard’s webcast of the event, which should be up by this time next week.
New Site for Heafey's International Law Page
April 29, 2006 at 10:05 AM
We’ve just added a new site to Heafey’s page of international law Internet resources. The Project on Extrajudicial Executions is part of NYU School of Law’s Center for Human Rights & Global Justice. The Project’s website was established by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions and contains the Special Rapporteur’s annual reports, correspondence, and country visit reports as well as breaking news about international human rights issues.
Online Compilation of Selected Federal Legislative Histories
April 28, 2006 at 10:10 AM
The website for the Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, DC is known throughout the law librarian community as a great source for high-quality research resources. The Society’s Legislative Source Book contains all kinds of useful information for legal researchers. The Society has just introduced another new site, "Legislative Histories of Selected U.S. Laws in Electronic Format." The page is pretty self-explanatory; you can view the laws for which legislative histories are available by popular name or by public law number. For details about accessing the information on this site, see the Society’s explanatory notes. Thanks to beSpacific for highlighting this item.
Dealbook from the New York Times
April 10, 2006 at 9:45 AM
The New York Times recently revamped its website and the newspaper is also starting to experiment with different content delivery technology, including blogs. For the transactional lawyer or professor specializing in corporate law, the most useful of these new websites may be Dealbook. Launched last month, Dealbook provides updates about Wall Street deals and the business world. There’s not much in the way of opinion on the site, but it’s an excellent current awareness resource because it compiles news from several different financial news sources on one site. You’ll find the latest news on mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, IPOs, private equity, hedge funds, venture capital, and the legal community. Best of all, the site is frequently updated throughout the day.
San Francisco Chooses Google & Earthlink for Wi-Fi Project
April 05, 2006 at 8:50 PM
San Franciscans at SCU Law will be delighted to hear that the city has selected Google and Earthlink to furnish affordable wi-fi access to the entire city. As this SF Gate article states, if the project continues to move forward without any glitches, "virtually everyone within the city limits will be able to get online -- provided they have a compatible computer -- whether at home, in a park or at work."
Technology and Higher Education
April 03, 2006 at 2:40 PM
Meredith Farkas, a librarian and blogger (see Information Wants To Be Free), just announced HigherEd BlogCon, a web-based event that will focus on "how new online communications technologies and social tools are changing higher education." All of the resources on the HigherEd BlogCon site are available free of charge. The schedule of online events and discussions is:
Don't Be Google-Centric!
March 14, 2006 at 10:15 AM
It’s easy to rely too heavily on Google for all of your day-to-day searching needs -- that is, until you have to find something particularly obscure on the Internet. That’s when it pays to expand your searching horizons and try out a different search engine. I often turn to a meta-search engine when I want to save time by searching across several search engines at the same time. The search interface of most meta-search engines looks quite similar to the simple Google search box, but your search results will appear a bit different. For example, if you search on one of the better known meta-search engines, Dogpile, your search results will be a blend of results from Google, Yahoo!, Ask.com, and other search engines. If you want to view the individual search results from each search engine, all you have to do is click on the name of that engine at the top of the search results page. Not only will you be able to view individual search results, Dogpile will also highlight the results that appear exclusively from that search engine. You can even click on all of the individual search engines to view each engine’s results side-by-side. For an extensive list of search engines, visit Heafey’s search engines page or visit SearchEngineWatch.
Toolbars, Bookmarklets, and More!
February 22, 2006 at 10:00 AM
LLRX features a useful article this month on practical web strategies for attorneys, but these tools are really for anyone who spends a significant time doing Internet research. Frederick Faulkner IV describes how to maximize your web browsing experience by using toolbars, bookmarklets, and extensions.
Web 2.0 and Law 2.0
February 09, 2006 at 10:35 AM
The January 2006 issue of Law Practice Today features an excellent roundtable discussion about evolving Internet applications and their impact on the legal profession. If the terms "Web 2.0" and "Law 2.0" leave you scratching your head, you should definitely take a moment to read this discussion! As Stephen Nipper points out in the discussion, the next generation of legal technology tools emphasizes collaboration and interacting with colleagues online to achieve greater efficiencies. The reference librarians at Heafey have taken a step in this direction by using blogs to better communicate with each other and with our patrons. We maintain this blog, Heafey Headnotes, to reach out to our patron base. But we also maintain another internal, password-protected blog that we all use to create a permanent, searchable archive of the answers to recurring research problems, library policies and procedures, and time-saving tips and information for our colleagues. We’ve found that using our blog as a sort of online meeting place works particularly well, and it means that we don’t have to rely so heavily on a much more static and inflexible means of electronic communication -- e-mail.
A Client-Focused Blawg
December 19, 2005 at 11:05 AM
Study of Wikipedia's Accuracy
December 16, 2005 at 11:00 AM
It's Never Too Early to Focus on Your Practice
December 08, 2005 at 10:30 AM
When I started practicing law eight years ago, I must have thought "Wow, they never taught me about THAT in law school!" at least three times a day. While law school does a great job of teaching you the things you need to know to pass the bar exam, it won't necessarily teach you how to have a harmonious relationship with a difficult client, how to market your practice, or which legal technology is worth buying. Fortunately, today's recent law school graduates and newly minted lawyers have access to lots of valuable law practice management and client relations tips on the Internet, including the ABA's Law Practice Today, which features articles on legal technology, marketing, management, and finance. For daily free tips on a variety of law practice management issues, I highly recommend the law practice management blogs featured in the November 2005 issue.
--Posted by Amy Wright