Last month, I focused this blog on the great online tool Google Alerts and how it offers a variety of ways to keep tabs on your business, your clients, and yourself. It is all about working smarter, not harder. Okay, maybe it’s a bit of both at times too, especially when you have an appellate brief due and are preparing for a multiple day trial in the same week.
Lawyers have a duty to maintain their competency. The evolution of the practice of law is in constant flux. Statues, rules, and procedures are changing practically daily, demanding attorneys “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.”
My rule today – just like my University of Illinois undergraduate business law professor engrained in us – is to find the most (1) relevant, (2) authoritative, and (3) recent sources. Whether it is recent caselaw updates or proposed statutory changes, here are some of the best sources I turn to for my legal news:
- Illinois Supreme Court E-Mail Notifications – Subscribe to a laundry list of topics from released opinions to jury instructions.
- Illinois Supreme Court Twitter Feed (@illinoiscourts) – Timely announcements, press releases, and appointments from the Court brought directly to the mobile device and desktop. Bonus: turn on “mobile notifications” to get notice every time a tweet is posted.
- Recent Appellate Court Opinions – Track the latest uploaded appellate opinions from around Illinois by date, docket number, citation, and case name. Bonus: find archived opinions as well. Also, don’t forget about the Seventh Circuit’s opinions.
- Recent Appellate Court Oral Arguments – Great for learning more about a case from the lawyers themselves before the court. Bonus: Never conducted an oral argument before? Listen to a few to get a feel for the process. You’ll do great!
- Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) E-Clips – Get your daily dose (or weekly, if you prefer) of legal news, plus Illinois and Seventh Circuit case digests, delivered to your inbox. (Member benefit)
- ISBA Bar Journal (online) – Published monthly and available in HTML or PDF online. Members also have access to archives of issues going back to 1998 online. (Member benefit)
- ISBA Daily Legal News – Find out what legal related new outlets across Illinois are reporting with article excerpts, sources, and links provided. Updated early each weekday. (Public access)
- ISBA LawyerNow – Statewide Illinois news source including the latest on people, events, practice tips, legislation, and more. (Public access)
- ISBA Statehouse Review – ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington gives you an easily digestible breakdown of the latest pending and passed bills in Springfield of considerable interest to Illinois lawyers. Bonus: easy links to the Illinois General Assembly included. (Public access)
- ISBA Member Discussion Groups (Listservs) – I had to include this resource on the list as these discussions have provided some excellent practice advice over the years from many veteran Illinois attorneys. (Member benefit)
- Chicago Bar Association (CBA) Newsstand by Lexology – Daily email with valuable and free practical know-how. This member benefit is designed to enhance the professional knowledge and understanding of CBA members confronting increasingly diverse and complex issues of law. (Member benefit)
- CBA Record (Online) – Published seven times annually for members of the CBA. (Member benefit)
- Chicago Daily Law Bulletin – Stay informed with daily delivery of the latest news. Chicago focused, but collar-counties and downstate content as well.
- Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) Flashpoints – Free monthly e-updates in Illinois law for 15 practice areas.
- Illinois Regulation (aka The Flinn Report) – On Fridays, see Illinois Regulation for a summary of the weekly regulatory decisions of State agencies published in the Illinois Register and action taken by the Illinois General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
- SCOTUSblog Email Digest– Digest of the latest case updates from the U.S. Supreme Court docket. Sign up in the right column box.
- NALP Industry News Weekly Digest – Each week (Fridays) NALP’s Executive Director provides a summary of news articles of interest to legal career professionals.
- American Bar Association (ABA) Top Stories of the Week – Weekly email summary of national legal news stories. (Member benefit)
- ABA Blawg List – A comprehensive directory of continually updated law blogs for legal related content in all kinds of areas of practice.
- 2Civility website – Shameless plug for our own org, bringing you relevant blogs (weekly) and legal news (as it happens).
It is clear that becoming conversant, if not proficient, in technology is now required for being an effective lawyer. (It’s even written into a comment to Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 that defines competence.) So, promoting professionalism includes promoting technology. We are devoting a blog in the first week of each month to an issue of technology. If I can learn it, so can you!