Notable Web sites that will help you find law-related mailing lists (whether Web-based or not).
By Erik J. Heels
First published 8/31/1998; LegalResearcher.com; publisher: New York Law Publishing Company
Before there was a Web, e-mail based discussion groups (also called mailing lists) were very popular. Online communities were formed via the simple e-mail interface.
The Web and mailing lists have begun to merge, and there are now Web-based interfaces to e-mail-based lists, many of them law-related.
Simply put, mailing lists are a key component of major Web sites that are trying to build online communities. So today it makes sense to consider listserv lists as an interactive part of the Web.
Here are the notable Web sites that will help you find law-related mailing lists (whether Web-based or not).
– The latest “Law Lists” (http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/law-lists): is the definitive compilation of law-related lists by Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago – is the 02/98 edition, which weighs in at a hefty 603K (about 300 printed pages). Some of the lists in “Law Lists” are clearly dated (such as the 1996 United States Presidential Election list), but it is still the best place to start looking for a list on a particular topic.
– FindMail (http://www.findmail.com/) hosts lists in a variety of categories, and FindLaw’s LegalMinds site (http://www.legalminds.org/) is an interface to the 611 law-related sites that are hosted at FindMail. A sample list hosted for free by FindMail appears below (description courtesy of “Law Lists”):
9TH-CIRCUIT@makelist.com (list for discussion of issues related to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; federal appellate court practice; lawyers; California, etc.). To subscribe, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
– Washburn Law School provides listserv lists on a variety of topics, including state-specific lists for attorneys from Maine (MaineAttorneys-L@topeka.wuacc.edu) to California (CaliforniaAttorneys-L@assocdir.wuacc.edu). Their Web-based interface (http://lawlibdns.wuacc.edu/archive.html) includes access to 108 lists.
– Essential Information has Web-based archives of 57 of its lists (http://www.essential.org/listproc/). Essential Information is Ralph Nader’s lobbying organization (I’m sure there’s a more politically correct name, but “lobbying organization” covers it pretty well, I think). Many of the hosted lists are related to current events, such as the WorldCom-MCI merger.
– Cornell Law School archives the last 1000 messages (or so) from 9 popular lists (http://www.law.cornell.edu/listservs/).
– OneList (http://www.onelist.com/) has six law-related sites (http://www.onelist.com/searchlist.cgi?cat=4&sub=13), and users can create their own free lists.
– eScribe (http://www.escribe.com/) archives lists on the request of the list owner, but there appears to be no way to create your own lists. Three law-related lists are hosted by eScribe (http://www.escribe.com/public.html#law).
– My Favorite List. My favorite list is the LawMarketing list (firstname.lastname@example.org). See the Web-based interface for details (http://lists.inherent.com/…).
Why is this my favorite? Because its participants include law firm marketing personnel who understand the power of the Internet as a marketing tool.
Recently, I was looking for an employment attorney for a friend in New York State. Yes, I could have searched Martindale-Hubbell for employment attorneys, and I would have found lots and lots of them – – none of whom I would have known. Let’s face it, when shopping for new professional services (medical help, legal help, or even a mechanic), most of us prefer to get a referral from somebody we know. My request for a referral to an employment attorney lead me to friend-of-a-friend who was ultimately able to help my friend. Networking. It’s what the Internet is all about, and it’s what lists like LawMarketing enable.