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If you spend any time online, you might have heard about a certain recent awards ceremony. On May 11, the 4th Annual Webby Awards were held in San Francisco. The Webby Awards recognize outstanding Internet Web sites in 28 categories. They are the “Net equivalent of the Oscar,” according to Wired (Webbys Spotlight Net Worthies). The Webbys are sponsored by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), and the awards have become very coveted in the years since their inception. Each category has two awards: The Webby Award and the People’s Voice Award. The Webby Awards are given by judges from the IADAS who are usually “luminaries in their areas of expertise: evangelists, visionaries, journalists, and top-notch Web developers” (from “About the Webbys”). The People’s Voice Awards are presented based on popular votes from the general online community. SO WHO WON? Enough introduction. Who were the big winners? The list of categories and winners can be found at www.webbys.com. The whole awards ceremony is also archived and can be viewed on that site, too. Watching the ceremony gives you a great perspective on the fresh flavor of the Webby Awards. For example, all winners are limited to only five words in their acceptance speeches. This makes for some very creative comments, such as “Technical innovation equals class war” (from the designers of Webstalker, winner of the Arts Webby Award). In order to be eligible for a Webby, a Web site is nominated by individuals according to the few rules set up by the Academy. Each site is then judged based upon its content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity, and overall experience. THE BEST LEGAL WEB SITES After watching the Webbies, I began to think about what makes a good legal Web site. There are some law-related Web sites out there that I use more than others because I find different Web sites helpful for different things. But this “quest for the best” shouldn’t stop with me. I’m going to provide my own personal list of some of my favorite legal Web sites, but I know that there are many more out there. So I’m going to ask you, the readers, to begin sending me some nominations for future “Best Legal Web Sites” lists. My e-mail address is [email protected] As you look over my nominees and winners, start thinking about other categories that could be included, and what Web sites you would nominate for each. BEST LEGAL REFERENCE WEB SITE Legal Information Institute — www.law.cornell.edu from Cornell Law School This Web site has been around for a long time in Internet years. Started mainly by Peter Martin in 1992, the Legal Information Institute (LII) has a great wealth of information. I mainly use the site for their easy-to-navigate U.S. Code. I used the Federal Rules of Evidence and Civil Procedure during my classes because I could jump to where I needed to be instead of flipping through pages. They also have some great starting places on the Web for legal topics. Honorable Mentions Hieros Gamos — www.hg.org FindLaw — www.findlaw.com Thomas, Legislative Information on the Internet — thomas.loc.gov BEST LAW NEWS WEB SITE Law.com — www.law.com I realize I’m running the risk of being called biased, but the truth will out. Since Law.com and the Law News Network combined forces not too long ago, the Law.com Web site has become the powerhouse in legal news and information. I like being able to hit the Law.com homepage and get the latest headlines in the legal world. And then I can dig a little deeper into specific subject areas if I want. Honorable Mentions CNN.com’s Law Center — www.cnn.com/LAW/ BEST GENERAL LAW-RELATED WEB SITE FindLaw — www.findlaw.com It just so happens that FindLaw won the People’s Voice Award in the Politics & Law category at the Webbys. And I whole-heartedly agree. FindLaw is a must-visit for anyone looking for law-related information. It’s set up similar to the Yahoo! search engine, and so everything is easy to navigate and find. Anything from law firms to state resources can be found here. Honorable Mentions Law.com — www.law.com Lawyers.com — www.lawyers.com BEST PLACE ONLINE TO PURCHASE LEGAL PUBLICATIONS Law.com Store — store.law.com Once again, allow me to indulge in a little home site promotion. Lawstuffusa.com used to be the main place to purchase every book and commercial outline you might need for law school — and it still is … just in a little different incarnation. It merged with Law.com a while back as well, and the new Law.com Store is the best place to get anything from software to flashcards. Honorable Mentions LawBooks.com — www.lawbooks.com BEST GENERAL LAW STUDENT INFORMATION WEB SITE Law Students Network — www.lawstudents.org A page created by a former NYU Law Student in association with the Global School of Law and the Student Bar Asociation. Many students come together at this site and interact at various levels. Honorable Mentions Law Student Resources — members.aol.com/dcingle/main.htm Law.com’s Law Students — www.law.com/students BEST HISTORICAL LAW-RELATED WEB SITE The Oyez Project at Northwestern University — oyez.nwu.edu EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know or learn about the United States Supreme Court. There’s a virtual tour of the Supreme Court building, and background information on every Justice. One of the best things about the site is that it has archived oral arguments whenever possible for cases argued before the Court. For example, while I studied for my Con Law final exam, I listened to the oral arguments for United States v. Lopez 514 U.S. 549 (1995) (requires the Real Player to listen). BEST LAWYER/LAW FIRM LOOK-UP WEB SITE Martindale-Hubbell — www.martindale.com Can anybody beat Martindale at what they do? The Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Locater still reigns as the best place to find a specific lawyer or law firm. And going online is better than grabbing those huge bound volumes off the library shelf. BEST LEGAL RESEARCH WEB SITE Tie: Lexis (www.lexis.com) and Westlaw (www.westlaw.com) Ok, so I had to take the easy way out on this one. I’ve found that it comes down to personal preference where these two are concerned. I like Lexis better myself, while many of my classmates prefer using West. It just depends on which one you feel most comfortable using. However, the importance of having to pick between the two is changing, since a lot of caselaw can now be found free of charge online — check out the Honorable Mention. Honorable Mentions Jurisline.com – www.jurisline.com I know that there are categories and Web sites that didn’t get mentioned here — so I’d like to ask everyone to do their part. I’ve been asking many of my classmates what their favorite law-related Web sites are, or what sites they have found most helpful. I would like to hear from all of you as well. Send any and all suggestions to [email protected] Below I’m providing some categories that are open for nominations: � Best Law Firm Web Site. Which law firm do you think has the best Web site? � Best Law School Web Site. Does your school have what it takes to be the best in cyberspace? � Best Law Jobs Web Site. Where’s the best place online to find that perfect law job? � Best Personal Law Student Web Site. We don’t have a lot of free time as law students, but some of us find a little time to establish an online presence. What does your site look like? What does it do? � Best Law School Class Web Site. Some professors use the Internet to supplement their physical classes. � Best Law Review Web Site. Many law reviews now have their own sites with archived articles and general information. � Best Court Web Site. Many courts at all levels are starting to put up pages that have a lot of information, and sometimes include their caselaw. � Lastly, I think there’s enough information out there to pick a “Best Of” Web site for every legal subject matter. I know that I have several great sites for CyberLaw, but there are a lot of pages for every topic — which ones do you use? I hope to hear from everyone soon. Be sure and give a reason as to why a particular Web site is helpful or useful to you. I’ll let everyone know how the nominations go and eventually write a column with the results.

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