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General Legal Research: News & Current Awareness Tools

Information on basic primary and secondary legal sources.

Guide Contents

Hot Topics in the Law

Below are the top 5 stories from Above the Law.

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Staying Current

What are current awareness tools?

Current awareness tools or services help keep you informed of new information and issues in a specific area of interest.  When you sign up for a service, you receive regular emails advising you of updates, interesting developments or news stories about a certain topic.


Why is it important to stay current?

The law is always changing and it is important to stay on top of new developments in your area of speciality.  There is a ton of legal information out there and current awareness tools can help you easily sort through the material without being overwhelmed.  These services usually allow you to specify exactly which types of information you want to be notified of (e.g. new legislation, court opinions, news, etc.) and which specific subject area you are interested in. 


Specific Current Awareness Tools

Legal News

The LRC has a great collection of law-related news resources available both in-print and online.  You can also find relavant legal info in general news sources.

Legal Blogs (Blawgs)

Why Blogs?

Blogs, or blawgs for law blogs, are a great way to keep current with contemporary legal issues.  Many practitioners set up blogs and regularly update the content with things like breaking news stories, new or upcoming legislation, and insightful commentary.  You can usually join or follow a blog, which will allow you to get emails whenever new content is posted so you will always stay informed.  


Evaluating Blogs

You can evaluate a blog as you would any other website.  Check the authority, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and currency to make sure you are looking at a reputable source.


Finding Blogs

You can check out the ABA's top law blogs for 2012 here.

Here are just a few popular and authoritative law blogs: