Online resources for lawyers

By Gloria Song October - November 2012

There’s a wealth of interesting online resources now available to lawyers. Law librarians and research lawyers recommend some of their favorites.

Online resources for lawyers Michel-Adrien Sheppard, court librarian in Ottawa

• Mark Pioro, health law researcher at Osgoode Hall Law School: “Many American court decisions are available through Google Scholar. Google Scholar also indexes most Canadian and American law journals.”

• Michel-Adrien Sheppard, court librarian in Ottawa: “I like to tell people about the wealth of information to be found in law reform commission reports. When studying an issue, many commissions, such as the ones in Ireland, England and Australia, often provide a comparison of what the law is in many different jurisdictions. So, you can get a quick idea of how other countries have tackled an emerging topic.”

• Susannah Tredwell, library manager at Lawson Lundell LLP: “I’m sure all of your readers have heard of CanLII, but one thing CanLII does that a lot of people don’t know about is the ability to compare two versions of an act. Being able to see the changes to an act in context is incredibly useful.”

• Yossi Schochet, Toronto-based criminal lawyer: “I am most impressed with Matthew (Oleynik)’s database Rangefindr (www. rangefindr. ca). It is a sentencing tool every criminal lawyer needs to access.”

5 apps for your smart phone or tablet

Got a lot of research ahead? Here are five handy apps to help keep it all under control. They might even save you a few minutes!

Time clock – Time Tracker: tracks your billable hours and generates invoices or spreadsheets from your time data. Android. $4.01

Cam Scanner: Turns your phone into a portable scanner, allowing you to scan, and save, and email files as images or PDF files. iOS and Android. Free.

Black’s Law Dictionary: Yes, on your app. IOS. $54.99

PaperDESK: Allows you to write notes on your iPad exactly like on a paper pad. Good for those who handwrite faster than they can type on a touch screen. iPad. Free.

LawStack: For anyone searching American legislation, this app functions “like a legal library in your pocket”, containing a number of major American legislation. iPhone. Free.

Gloria Song is an Ottawa-based research lawyer and freelance journalist.

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