Tag Archives: Research

How Do You Organize Your Business Cards?

Over the years, I have amassed a box full of business cards from various professionals.  I do the traditional method which is to write how I met the individual on the back of the business card and a few key facts about them (or name pronunciations).  Then, I put them in this box that sits in my desk drawer.

I am thinking of converting these cards to an electronic format, but I would rather not add them to my mobile phone contacts.  What type of programs do you use to organize your business contacts and business cards?

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Massachusetts Land Court Documents Online

Three big cheers for technological advancement!  Hip-hip-hooray!  Hip-hip-hooray!  Hip-hip-hooray!

Massachusetts Land Court documents are now available online!  You can access the documents from the comforts of your own computer, instead of the clerk’s office, by going to this website.  This PDF explains instructions on how to use the public access site.  However, if you prefer a screen shot of the search, then read about the new accessible database and its changes here on the Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog.

This will definitely save me a trip to the Land Court!

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LegalZoom, the eLawyer, and the ABA’s eLawyering Forecast

Earlier this week I saw an advertisement for LegalZoom on television.  I suppose it was inevitable that companies would create a software program that converts lawyering to an electronic format without the lawyer (the “eLawyer”).

Do-it-yourself software programs are popular amongst bankruptcy attorneys and people filing for bankruptcy.  Why pay for an attorney when you can do it yourself with Turbo-Tax-like ease?  Just plug in the numbers and voila!

But, I have to admit that I am skeptical about these programs.  Where is the accountability?  Where is the human interaction?  If you use this legal software and it royally messes up your case, can you sue them for legal malpractice?  Can you report them to the bar association?  Probably not.

I have used lawyering software to help me Bluebook, Shephardize, cite check, and source check.  While the software was faster, I still had to go back through the briefs countless times to make sure there were no errors.  I preferred Bluebooking, Shephardizing, cite checking, and source checking without the automated programs.  While I am slower at compiling a Table of Authorities than my computer counterparts, at least it took me less time to go through the final brief.  Sometimes, it would take me longer to update the brief after the automated program had run.  I always had the strangest formatting issues.  When I used these software programs, I always had to worry about the style formatting getting messed up when last minute changes were inputted into the body of the brief.  Updating last minute paginations changes to a brief is always stressful and not very pleasant, but these last minute changes are inevitable.

If any of you have used eLawyering software that is meant to replace the human lawyer, let me know what your thoughts were about the program.  Was it helpful?  Was it effective?  Was it worth the investment?  Did you save a lot of money?  Did you miss having the ability to converse with someone with personalized questions or facts pertaining to your case?

The American Bar Association wrote an article titled, “eLawyering forecast: Six predictions on tomorrow’s law practice.”  It is an interesting piece!  Read more about it here.

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How to Research the Legislative History of a Massachusetts Law

Have you ever been given an assignment that requires you to research the legislative history of a statute or the background of a Massachusetts law?

Have you ever been confused and not know where to begin?  Fear not!

Harvard Law School’s Library has put together a step by step process that helps you trace the legislative history of a law.  I found it very helpful.  Here’s the link to access the page.