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RSS Feed Use in the Legal Field
Legal RSS Feeds
By Sharon Housley
Lawyers have never been known as a technical
bunch, but more and more often you see a lawyer with
a palm pilot making appointments and a blackberry for
those urgent messages. Electronic gadgets are now common
in the courthouses across the US. Lawyers have increased
productivity by utilizing technology so it should come
as no surprise that lawyers are using RSS feeds as a
means to grow and manage their practices.
Lawyers are using RSS feeds a number of
different ways to increase efficiency and productivity.
Common RSS feed usage in the legal field include:
1. Ego Feeds
First and foremost, lawyers want to know what is being
said about their firm. It is easy enough to monitor
search engines and news searches using RSS. Lawyers
create what is commonly referred to as "ego searches".
These are essentially keyword searches (the keyword
is the firm or lawyer's name). Each time the keyword
appears in the news article or search engine a new item
will appear in the feed. Lawyers can click through and
view the source of the mention.
2. Current Events
Similar to ego feeds, lawyers use RSS to track current
events that are related to cases in which they are involved.
This might involve monitoring specific news agencies
Ego Search Tools - http://www.rss-tools.com/ego-search-feeds.htm
3. Firm Public Relations
Won a big case, what better way to convey it than sending
a press release? Naturally, this release should also
appear in an RSS feed.to help increase the distribution
and reach of the press release. RSS can also be used
by large firms to announce press conferences at the
culmination of a case.
Law.com - http://www.law.com/service/rss.shtml
4. Court Cases
RSS can be used to monitor pending court cases, and
rulings that might effect a specific segment of law.
RSSGov - http://www.rssgov.com/archives/000036.html
5. Pending Legislation
Lawyers can use RSS to monitor legislation that relates
to specific cases or topics. Lobbyists can monitor votes
of politicians and follow their positions on important
GovTrack - http://www.govtrack.us/
6. Client News
Ego feeds can also be used to monitor the word on the
street about a client. Whether the client is facing
a criminal trial or a civil case, the press can undoubtedly
influence a trial. Monitoring the press for mentions
help lawyers prepare the best possible defense or prosecution.
Ego Search - http://www.feedforall.com/ego-searches.htm
7. Legal Calenders
Industry events can be followed using RSS feeds. Legal
conferences and events can be traced on public RSS calenders.
Law School Calender - http://www.law.uoregon.edu/cal/events/index.php?com=rss
8. Share Research Tools
Lawyers can use social bookmarking tools and RSS feeds
to share web research resources with colleagues. This
can reduce the amount of time spent researching issues.
del.icio.us - http://del.icio.us
9. Legal Employment
Job feeds are increasing in popularity in all industries.
Lawyers in search of employment openings can subscribe
to RSS feeds and learn about new employment opportunities
as they become available.
4 Legal Jobs - http://www.4legaljobs.com/show_content.php?id=1144741774
10. Court Rulings
Many courts are now publishing court rulings in RSS
feeds, making them available to the general public.
Court Rulings - http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/subscribe.html
11. Court of Appeals
Appeals courts are also adopting RSS feeds to allow
interested parties to monitor decisions coming out of
the court of appeals.
US Courts - http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?submit=rss_ops
12. Legal Organizations
The American Bar Association has an RSS feed and podcast
that discusses litigation. Lawyers can use RSS feeds
to stay connected to industry information.
American Bar Association - http://www.abanet.org/litigation/litigationfeed.xml
13. Continuation Education
Many legal courses have podcasts available, and lawyers
interested in expanding their education on a specific
segment of the law can listen to audio podcasts or subscribe
to video podcast lectures.
Education Feeds - http://www.educational-feeds.com
14. Legal Blogs
Many lawyers have expanded their practices by setting
up a blog offering legal advice. Often the contents
of the blog are syndicated using RSS feeds.
Law Professors - http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/
15. Cease and Desist
There is even an RSS feed that contains Cease and Desist
Letters. As cease and desist letters are added, clinical
law students can annotate them with questions and answers.
Chilling Effects - http://www.chillingeffects.org/index.xml
Lawyers have begun using RSS to stay ahead
and adapt to the needs of their clients. Members of
the legal profession are using RSS in very specific
ways. RSS is more than simply a communication medium
to lawyers, it is helping them filter information that
is relevant to their practice and case load. Through
RSS they are able to gain access to relevant information
in a timely fashion.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
audio recording and editing software.
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