Friday, September 19, 2008

Law Net's "Smart Headnotes"

LawNet is a smaller competitor to Westlaw and Lexis. I rarely read their e-mails just because they come several times a week. But today, they caught my eye with "smart headnotes" in the subject line. Here is their come-on:

SMART HEADNOTES (TM) Equalizer 7.0 introduces Smart Headnotes. Using computer algorithms we pin - in the search results, directly under each caption - the most relevant paragraph from each opinion based on your search term(s).

Outmoded West Headnotes were invented in the 19th Century to keep you from reading all the opinions in the library. Human Taxonomy was fine for book research. But, you don't use books do you?

With a Keyword Search you ARE reading all the opinions in the database. Yet, Westlaw still looks and feels like book research! How is it Westlaw is the Gold Standard but you're still wasting time slogging through 20 headnotes to find the one you care about?

The overwhelming majority of appellate opinions resolve three, four, five or more issues. Smart Headnotes from reflect the reality that with any given search you're focused on a single point-of-law.

--One Click To Most Cited Opinion
--One Click To Most Recently Cited Opinion
--One Click Sort By Relevancy
--One Click Sort By Jurisdiction

--Boolean Search: and, or, not, near, within
--Search By Statute, Rule, Regulation or Case Citation
--Natural Language
--One Click Citation and Multiple Citation Lookup
Has anybody used Law Net out there? I would be very interested in hearing about their "smart headnotes."

One of the things that intrigues me about this ad is that it aggressively contrasts their service as designed digital against the Westlaw model which still has deep roots in the print predecessors. I wonder how that sounds to practitioners, paralegals and firm librarians today? I value many of the print-born features of Westlaw and try to teach my students how to make the best use of them. Anybody willing to comment or blog about this?


bestonline323 said...

these are great!
Thanks for this, how generous of you to share!!! This is really helpful im going to save this for future reference if you don't mind!

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Terry said...

There are a lot of lawnets out there. Which one is this?