Firm publishes big book free online

I’m just going to cut and paste this article from Legal Blog Watch, and hope that its author Caroline Elefant won’t mind. I have little to say on the topic which is not already pithily set out by her, but will draw your attention to one section of the book in particular, the bit on Cross Border Legal Ethics.

I’m sure we’ll see this sort of thing in Australia. It will start by smart firms bundling up all their newsletters into one booklet on a topic, distributing it in hard copy and then making it available online too. That will happen when people realise the design possibilities of publishing in .pdf format. I write this blog in large part because having to explain a case in simple language makes me remember it much better than if I just read it. I think benefits will come to firms who encourage their solicitors to write for publication, despite what marketing folk might say. It is necessary to consider the benefit to the knowledge base of the lawyers who write, as well as the direct marketing potential of the publication. Here it is:

Law Firm Puts Treatise Online

Bruce MacEwen shares this news about a comprehensive, online book introduced by Proskauer Rose and entitled “International Litigation and Arbitration: Managing, Resolving, and Avoiding Cross-Border Business or Regulatory Disputes.” The book, prepared by 50 Proskauer lawyers, provides 28 chapters of readily accessible and detailed information on international litigation. So why give away so much free material? MacEwen raised that same question to Proskauer lawyers, who described the benefits this way:

* Clients need practical, real-time advice;
* Proskauer lawyers need to write more;
* International practice is an area where Proskauer has genuine depth of expertise;
* Senior and junior lawyers need more opportunities to work together;
* The project could foster the development of mentor/protege relationships;
* Merely by producing this, Proskauer would be seen as strongly capable in this area;
* By offering valuable intellectual property for free, Proskauer predisposes prospective clients to come back for more (why does Zabar’s give free samples of cheese?).

The book cost quite a bit in the form of foregone billables, but the firm regards it as an investment. MacEwen describes the book as a model of law in the 21st century. And I’m aware of at least one other firm — Stoel Rives — that has produced a series of online books on the laws governing different types of renewable energy projects.

Are there any other firms out there that offer these types of online resources, freely accessible? If your firm has similar materials, let us know in the comments below where we can find them.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on October 5, 2007′

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