Texas Lawyer has started a new column called “Bookmarks.” In it, legal professionals discuss their favorite Web sites — the ones they’ve bookmarked and use regularly — and why.
NAME: Tom Mayo
TITLE: Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas
EMAIL: [email protected]
MIND-SET WHEN SURFING: I am generally looking for something very specific (an agency Web site, particular document, regulation, etc.) and want the most time-efficient way to find it.
NO. 1 BOOKMARK: Google
WEB ADDRESS: www.google.com
WHY YOU LIKE/USE THE SITE SO MUCH: It’s not a law-related search engine, but most of the legal world is only one or two clicks away with this fantastic search engine. The pages returned as search results are weighted based upon the number of other Web sites that link to that page (among other things), and this ranking technology places the most relevant and useful links at the top of the search results returned by a Google search. For example, federal and state agency Web sites usually pop up as the top couple of results based only on an acronym or a portion of the agency’s name. Plus, Google’s directory structure is incredibly efficient, its collection of government pages is second to none, and it has indexed millions of PDF files.
NO. 2 BOOKMARK: Thomas
WEB ADDRESS: http://thomas.loc.gov/
WHY YOU LIKE/USE THE SITE SO MUCH: Indispensable access to federal legislative information, including the daily Congressional Record, committee hearing schedules and witness statements, almost anything you could ask for.
NO. 3 BOOKMARK: Legal Information Institute
WEB ADDRESS: www.law.cornell.edu/
WHY YOU LIKE/USE THE SITE SO MUCH: There is a huge amount of material, usefully arranged, with good search capabilities.
NO. 4 BOOKMARK: Texas Legislature Online
WEB ADDRESS: www.capitol.state.tx.us/
WHY YOU LIKE/USE THE SITE SO MUCH: This is a great legislative site, with up-to-the-minute developments while the Legislature is in session and easy-to-use but sophisticated search engines to get access to a wealth of legislative information.
NO. 5 BOOKMARK: American Health Lawyers Association
WEB ADDRESS: www.healthlawyers.org
WHY YOU LIKE/USE THE SITE SO MUCH: In my field (health law), a lot of research can start and end right here. There’s a wealth of information and links to key documents from an incredible variety of state and federal agencies and courts.
NO. 6 BOOKMARK: (tie) The New York Times and The Washington Post
WEB ADDRESSES: www.nytimes.com
WHY YOU LIKE/USE THE SITES SO MUCH: Indispensable. I visit them every day, usually several times a day, for developments. They are searchable, and, to a limited extent, their archives are free.
There are treasures out there that I don’t necessarily use every day but would have a hard time living without, e.g. the Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register at the Web site of the National Archives and Records Administration: www.access.gpo.gov/nara. Any regulation can be tracked down and updated up through the morning edition of the Federal Register with only a couple of clicks of the mouse.
Also, Jurist http://jurist.law.pitt.edu is a favorite. Sometimes, it’s the best place on the Web for legal news.
And, to be completely truthful, I use my own Web page http://faculty.smu.edu/tmayo as my portal to everything, including all the above sites and much more. I’ve organized the material to suit my tastes and needs and can find almost anything in a jiffy.