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Sources of U.S. Legal News

Update: See also, Searching for U.S. Legal News, SearchDay, 26 August 2003.

22 May 2003. We received a question about sources of legal news in the U.S. The requester wanted something comparable to the U.K. site, PracticalLaw, and something other than FindLaw Legal News or Law.com. No one responded to the question, so I'll take a stab at it.

Editor: Based on what I can gather without opening a trial account, PracticalLaw does not provide general legal news coverage. Rather, on the home page, it lists titles and brief annotations about new legal articles that appear on the site. In fact, it offers a lot more, and looks like a useful site for legal secondary source material, especially covering U.K. law.

When I think of online sources of current legal articles, I think of FindLaw, Law.com and Nolo. The latter targets consumers, but can be a useful starting point for lawyers, who have to conduct research in an unfamiliar area of law. Of course, the subscription services, Lexis and Westlaw, also offer legal articles, but people use these databases more for research than for current information.

Martindale-Hubbell recently announced the addition of legal articles to its site. You can search the database by keyword or retrieve a list of articles by industry or practice area. It doesn't make finding newly added articles as easy as the PracticalLaw Web site, but you ought to be able to use a tracking service like TrackEngine to inform you of new articles. To do this, first run a keyword search or generate a list. This produces a unique URL, which a tracking service can check on a regular basis.

But if your question really pertains to legal news, and not to legal articles, and you don't like Law.com or FindLaw, then you have few choices remaining. You can try the Headline Legal News service at LexisONE. It provides an index of current legal news from a variety of sources, but you will have to dig deeper than the index to find sources devoted to legal news. In other words, the index mostly offers legal news stories from the Associated Press and the New York Times as well as stories from LexisNexis affiliated publishers.

While visiting the site, I happened to find two topical links. The one I followed lead to another index of news articles on family law issues. This index provided articles from a wider range of sources, including regional newspapers and American Lawyer Media publications. Alas, American Lawyer Media is the publisher of Law.com.

If you want to explore this question some more on your own, you might try Google's feature for finding similar pages. Use the syntax, related: (the word, related followed by a colon) and then enter the URL of a Web site or page that you like. Like this: related:www.practicallaw.com. Also try AllTheWeb's URL Investigator to find sites that link to the site you like. Some of these may provide similar information. To access URL Investigator, enter the URL without the transfer protocol in AllTheWeb's main search box. Like this: www.practicallaw.com.

Finally, check out the legal news sources available via Nexcerpt. Nexcerpt is a combination information gathering and publishing tool for current information. Therefore, there is no page of legal headlines you can browse. Rather, select legal news sources and devise a keyword search query that will retrieve the news you want. Then read the headlines it sends you. Nexcerpt is a fee-based service.



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Created: 22 May 2003
Revised: 3 August 2004
URL: https://www.virtualchase.com/ask_answer/legal_news.html
Suggestions: Genie Tyburski, editor [at] virtualchase [dot] com