Saturday, July 26, 2008


The students around me are absorbed in studying for the bar exam, so it's a good time to prowl the Web for cool sites making news. If you haven't seen HealthMap yet, take a look when you have a chance. HealthMap tracks the latest infectious disease outbreaks throughout the world by gathering and filtering masses of information from news and other web sites, including health organization and government sources. Using Google Maps, it creates a real-time graphical presentation that helps predict and monitor infectious diseases, from the flu to salmonella and plague, sometimes before official agencies have announced a problem. Displaying information by disease, by geographic region, and by level of urgency, with news feeds and alerts, HealthMap is fascinating to explore. For more about HealthMap, I recommend an article in Discovery Channel's Discovery News (Eric Bland, "Web-Crawling Program ID's Disease Outbreaks," July 18, 2008).

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quick Study break

For those studying hard for the bar exam and needing a quick break, try Hangman . It has topics like American Presidents, cartoon heroes and Reasons to Stay Inside on a Sunny Day. I just played a quick 2 minute game and had a bit of fun.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Official U.S. Time

Anyone (especially busy and time-conscious students who are studying for next week’s New York State Bar Examination) who would like to set his or her timepieces to the official U.S. time will find the solution here.

Just click your time zone on the map. The online clock is generally accurate to within 0.2 - 0.4 seconds.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Multijurisdictional Practice

Attorney multijurisdictional practice is an increasingly important topic for attorneys. Thus, it is essential to be aware of topics such as, admission by motion, reciprocity, and pro hac vice admission. The web page of the ABA's Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice is a great place to start. The page includes ABA reports, recommendations and charts containing information on state rules. It is a very useful site!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Westlaw and Lexis Directories

Law students often have trouble transitioning from the "free" (flat-rate) Westlaw and Lexis access they receive in law school to using these systems at firms where charges must be justified and clients don't like to see large bills for online research.

A common problem clerks and new attorneys who use these systems have is spending too much time looking for the right database (this can be especially costly if your firm is paying for access by the minute), and searching in the wrong database before finding the right one (assuming there is a right one).

Both Westlaw and Lexis offer free searchable directories of their databases, which can help you reduce your searching costs by finding the right database before you've even entered your ID or password.

They are:



Of course, over-reliance on Westlaw and Lexis is a problem too, when so much legal information is available online for free.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat