Sunday, February 12, 2006

Leading Law Firm Websites Rich in Legal Materials

As we discovered in redesigning LawPundit and adding useful links to law publications (alerts, newsletters, articles, etc.) in the left column of the LawPundit page, many of the websites of large law firms around the world are a rich repository of useful and often quite current legal materials.

The absolute winner in terms of "state of the art" law firm publication technology is WilmerHale, which has RSS feeds to their major publications in numerous fields of law. That this law firm leads the field in internet publication is really not surprising. WashingtonDC-based Wilmer Cutler Pickering, one of the leading corporate law firms in the USA, merged in 2004 with Boston-based Hale & Dorr, one of the leading law firms in the USA in the science and technology sector. Hale and Dorr formerly produced Internet Law Alerts to which we were subscribers.

The WilmerHale RSS feeds are:

Antitrust and Competition
Aviation
Bankruptcy and Commercial
Communications and E-Commerce
Corporate
Defense, National Security and Government Contracts
Environmental
FDA
Financial Institutions
Intellectual Property
International Arbitration
Labor and Employment
Litigation
Private Client
Public Policy and Strategy
Real Estate
Securities
Tax
Trade

Close behind WilmerHale are Baker & McKenzie and firms such as New York City based Paul Weiss, where yours truly was an associate after graduation from law school. Paul Weiss offers the option of e-mail or snail mail subscription to the following publications:

Current Telecom Developments
SEC Updates
Focus: Investment Funds Newsletter
Next: Intellectual Property and Technology Newsletter

Baker & McKenzie is hard to beat in the sheer number of subscription newsletters available by e-mail as follows:

Annual UK Budget - Employee Share Schemes and Related Changes
Apunte Medioambiental - España
Apuntes de Actualidad - España
Baker & McKenzie WTO Monitoring Report
Business Newsletter - St. Petersburg Office
Business Opportunities Alert - Prague Office
Cartel Watch Newsletter
Circular Informativa Sobre Novedades Normativas (Spain)
Commercial Newsletter - London
Commercial Property Newsletter
Employment Law Update - London
Employment/Labor Law Alert - Prague Office
European Financial Services Practice Group Newsletter
European Law Centre EU Monitoring Report
European VAT Newsletter
Global Clean Energy and Climate Change Newsletter
Intellectual Property Newsletter - London
International Litigation & Arbitration Newsletter
Legal Alert - Prague Office
Novedades Laborales - España
Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Newsletter
Philip Marcovici's Private Banking Newsletter
PRC/Hong Kong/Vietnam IPG Newsletter
PREPARING BUSINESS FOR THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION 1
Swiss Private Banking Developments
Tax Alert - Prague Office
Telecoms Newsletter
The Global Employment Law Newsletter
Trade Marks Newsletter - London
UK ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH & SAFETY LAW NEWSLETTER
UK Pensions Update
Warsaw E-law Alert
Warsaw Office News
Warsaw Tax Advisors

Sidley Austin has had Sidley Cyberlaw online for numerous years and, as noted by Robert Ambrogi, its daily offer of Internet, IT and IP news has made that website a popular legal destination on the web.

The absolute champion for use of internet presence to get its legal message across is the law firm Mayer Brown which has FORTY mini-websites for separate legal areas:
e.g. at ipcounsel.com one finds
the Corporate Primer for Intellectual Property (a 96 page .pdf file, 2002).

Not all law firms offer publications online to the public. It surely is a discretionary matter of law firm policy. One example is the historically prestigious US law firm Cravath, which does link to firm news in a pop-up box but otherwise provides no public access to firm publications.

We examined about 50 websites of the largest and most prestigious law firms. Except for law firms headquartered in England or Germany, our selection was based largely on the Vault.com list of top law firms in America.

What orders of magnitude are we talking about here? According to a study of Legal Services just published by First Research (January 23, 2006):

"The US legal industry includes around 165,000 law offices that generate annual revenue of $180 billion....The industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest firms hold less than 15 percent of the market. About 150 law firms have annual revenue over $100 million."

The law firms that we examined are among the largest in the world, sometimes comprising more than a thousand attorneys. Such law firms generally offer a full range of legal services to their clients, far beyond those which we mention in our law firm links. Indeed, many of the larger firms have extensive publicly accessible publications covering many diverse fields of legal practice.

Nevertheless, we have selected a few areas of publication which appeared - solely to our own subjective judgment - to be particularly useful for inspection at each law firm website. We think that anyone in the legal field looking at these websites will profit greatly by what they can read there, not just in the areas we have selected.

Our general impression after looking at these many law firm sites is this:

If you really want to know what is going on in the world, turn off your television set and read instead the websites of the world's leading law firms. There you may just get a better and more balanced idea of the workings of our modern world than is presented by the sensation-seeking mainstream media.

Here are the law firms on our publications link list:

Allen & Overy (Global Law)
Arnold & Porter (Telecoms, Consumers)
Baker & McKenzie (Trademarks)
Bird and Bird (Media)
Cleary Gottlieb (Competition, M&A)
Clifford Chance (European Union)
Cooley Godward (IPOs, Tech)
Covington & Burling (Life Sciences, IP)
Debevoise & Plimpton (Private Equity)
Faegre & Benson (Legal Developments)
Finnegan Henderson (IP, Patents)
Fish & Richardson (Patents, T-marks)
Gibson Dunn (Tech, Corporate Trans.)
Gleiss Lutz (Cross-border Competition)
Hogan & Hartson (Antitrust, Bio, Food)
Kirkland & Ellis (Biotech, Outsourcing)
Latham & Watkins (International Trade)
Mayer Brown (EU Competition)
Munger Tolles (Bankruptcy)
Norton Rose (Tech, Patents)
O'Melveny & Myers (Antitrust, China)
Paul Weiss (Media, Tech, Telecoms, IP)
Pepper Hamilton (Construction Law)
Perkins Coie (Internet Case Digest)
Pinsent Masons (IT, E-Commerce)
Ropes & Gray [Fish & Neave] (IP)
Seyfarth Shaw (Employment Law, IP)
Sidley & Austin (Health Care, Cyberlaw)
Simpson & Thacher (Corporate Alerts)
Shearman & Sterling (Capital Markets, IP)
Skadden (Corporate Law)
Weil Gotshal (Bankruptcy)
White & Case (Global, Data Security)
WilmerHale (Tech, IP, Venture Capital)
Wilson Sonsoni (Technology)
Winston & Strawn (Advertising)

Added to this list can be "niche" law firms such as were featured in a recent article by Robert J. Ambrogi, Law Technology News, Law.com, January 27, 2006, entitled "Package Your Message in a Mini-Web Site":

Keller & Heckman (Packaging Law)
Preston Gates & Ellis (Electronic Discovery Law)

With such a wealth of legal material available online, it is to be expected that we would find a few websites or web pages devoted to law firm publications, e.g.

LawKT.com offers links to over 60,000 law firm publications and articles online by topic. There is also a search function, although the last publication available through this service that we could find was October 2005, and only the news function is current up to the present date of February 12, 2006.

RR Donnelly RealCorporateLawyer.com links to the publication pages of the following leading law firms:

"Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, Alston & Bird, LLP, Arnold & Porter, LLP. Bailey Cavalieri LLP. Baker Botts, LLP, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Baker & McKenzie, LLP, Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, Bryan Cave, LLP, Buchanan Ingersoll, PC, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, LLP, Chapman and Cutler LLP, Cooley Godward, LLP, Covington & Burling, LLP, Cozen & O'Connor, LLP, Day, Berry & Howard LLP, Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP, Dechert LLP, Dewey Ballantine, LLP, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, Duane Morris LLP,Dykema Gossett, PLLC, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, Fenwick & West, LLP, Foley & Lardner, LLP, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, LLP, Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, LLP,Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Haynes & Boone, LLP, Heller Ehrman LLP, Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, Hogan & Hartson, LLP, Holland & Knight LLP, Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, LLP, Jenkens & Gilchrist, LLP, Jenner & Block, LLC, Jones, Day, Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP, Kaye Scholer, LLP, Keating, Muething and Klekamp, PLL, Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, King & Spalding, LLP, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP, Kirmayer PLLC, Latham & Watkins, LLP, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP, Littler, Mendelson P.C., Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP, Lord Bissell & Brook, LLP, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, LLP McDermott, Will & Emery, LLP, McGuire Woods, LLP, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Morrison & Foerster, LLP, Nixon Peabody, LLP O'Melveny & Myers, LLP Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelley, LLP, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, LLP, Pepper Hamilton, LLP, Perkins Coie, LLP, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Piper Rudnick, LLP, Pullman & Comley, LLC, Preston Gates & Ellis, LLP. Proskauer Rose, LLP, Quarles & Brady, LLP, Schiff Hardin LLP, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, Shearman & Sterling, LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, Snell & Wilmer LLP, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP, Sullivan & Worcester, LLP, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP, Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP, Thelen Reid & Priest, LLP, Thompson Hine, LLP, Vedder Price Kaufman & Kammholz, Vinson & Elkins, LLP, Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, White & Case, LLP Williams Mullen LLP, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, LLP, Winston & Strawn, LLP, Womble Carlyle, LLP"

As one can see from the sheer number of law firms and law firm publications online, there is truly a rich supply of legal material available at the websites of the world's leading law firms.

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