Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Blog notes on open law

Liveblogging the CALI Conference 2008: Open Access to the Law, Law School Innovation, June 21, 2008. Blog notes from the Conference for Law School Computing (Baltimore, June 19-21, 2008).

Open access law is here (or coming soon), but law schools aren't big players in advancing it, or more importantly, doing interesting things with all that law. These new players are all different birds: they have different motives, are decentralized, are administratively independent, differently funded, and operating in a wide variety of national settings. And they are not going away, nor federating under one banner. So Tom Bruce at Cornell Law School is building OAI-PMH, a framework for querying and harvesting from these repositories to enable some technological federation. ...

And using this standard should allow educational efforts like eLangdellŪ to tie materials to caselaw.

John Joergensen at Rutgers is experimenting with one Open Law initiative,, and has integrated it into the library's own federal law search page, with features enhancements to the results display and associated metadata. This is leading Rutgers to consider dropping Lexis to cut costs down the road, though doing so would sacrifice the Lexis database of secondary, non-legal materials. Furthermore, law schools are worried about the future of Hein Online: many no longer receive paper copies of journals and are entirely dependent on Hein. A backup, owned by law schools themselves, presents more safety.

It looks like [the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction] will be jumping in to provide some leadership and coordination of future, joint efforts. Stay tuned.