SOME NOTABLE LIBRARY NEWS
There's been a lot that's happened from the last report until now, March, 1999. Unforunately, most of it involved us being so busy we haven't been able to update this file.
We promise to do so soon. Maybe.
We wish all of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
It's been more than six months since we've updated this file because
absolutely nothing has happened!!
Well actually, we've been constantly revising the Library, puttering
here and tinkering there. We added a new Topic Area to the Reference
Room with the full text of major historic court decisions going back to
Marbury v. Madison and we're just about ready to unveil another one --
The International Law Topic Area.
Our visitor numbers have increased dramatically despite doing no
promotion in the last 6+ months. However, we somehow doubt the number
in this excerpt from our usage stats file:
"Important Announcement -- After exhaustive analysis and application
of "previously unknown einsteinium algorithms", our allegedly expert
technical staff has determined that the Library's total number of
visitors from its May, 1995, debut through mid-December, 1996, exceeds
Despite the fact that legal sites, including some by the big guys, have
been springing up like turnips, the Library continues to gather awards
and cudos, further reinforcing our doubts regarding the existence of
intelligent life... at least in this solar system.
Here's a SAMPLING OF RECENT REVIEWS:
The 'Lectric Law Library is the latest and greatest entry into the
consumer legal market. Their Web site is slick, entertaining, and the
market leader in attitude.... informative and entertaining. Who could ask
for anything more from a Web site?... the Wired Magazine of the consumer
legal market. It's a first-rate Web site that should be in the bookmark
file of lawyers and non-lawyers alike. -- Eric Heels, in the ABA's
Nov/Dec '96 "Law Practice Management"
NOTE: Strangely enough, about the least enthusiastic review we saw was
from Wired Magazine's HotWired that called us "Quixotically designed."
However, we'll pass on any "pot calling the kettle..." remarks since they
said very nice things about us in their magazine.
[M]ost [legal] sites are about as thrilling as municipal-court-library
files. One exception is the entertainingly eclectic 'Lectric Law Library.
-- MacUser Web Edition / Nov. 1996
The deserving recipient of an armful of best-of-the-Web awards, the
L.L.L. is chock full of well organized legal resources, for professionals
and lay folks alike, and is put together with some real flair -- and a
terrific sense of humor. -- Excite Reviews
A gazillion content-rich pages...Not your father's law library. Ralf
Rinkle has amassed everything you can't find anywhere else. A "10"
-- LynxOfTheWeekList 9/13/96
The 'Lectric Law Library provides a different look at the legal web. The
tone is casual, to say the least... an in-depth, thoughtful set of
resources beneath the conversational approach. -- MicroSoft Network
One of Lycos/POINTreview "Top Ten Sites of the Week" of Nov. 16, 1996
Definitely the most bizzare of the bunch, but beneath all the humor and
wit this site offers a vast and often valuable collection of legal
resources and original content. -- MN Journal of Law & Politics, Oct. 1996
Check this one out. It's a must see. -- The Raven's Nest
Injected with wit and sarcasm throughout, the 'Lectric Law Library offers
a resource for lawyers, students, and laymen that will help them without
putting them to sleep... Well-organized, truly useful, and, dare we say
it, fun. -- McKinley Reviews
And The Library of Congress included us as one of the few non-govt sites
in its "Guide to Law Online" saying: This quirkily humorous but useful
Web site is unique among those offering extensive links to legal
information. More than any other "law site." it appears designed for a
generation brought up on computer games. The abundance of sites listed,
the sense of humor shown in the commentary, and the rare orientation toward
lay users make it well worth visiting.
We now have a search engine -- The 'Lectric Law Looker-Upper --
installed in various Library rooms and areas.
The red-hot dispute concerning domain names between the Library and
Interlaw Limited has been settled to all sides satisfaction.
On 5/20 the Library has its first online birthday!!!
Since the last update we've added literally 1000s of files in almost
every part of the Library. The more important new items include:
* Created the "'Lectric Legal Links" area with hot-links to the net's
best legal indexes and search engines.
* Created new Reference Room Topic areas for Environmental and Sex Law.
* Greatly expanded the free software offerings in the Bookstore.
* Greatly expanded the Legal Terms area. Its 3+ MB may make it larger than
Black's Law Dictionary.
We moved to a much more powerful server with a T3 pipeline to the net
and lots more space for expanding the Library's offerings. And good
thing too, since our usage has risen to 220,000+ hits a month with more
than 1.2 gigabytes of traffic. And its still rising despite the almost
total lack of any self-promotion [which will soon change].
Because of the confusion created by our ever-expanding collection's size
we've been developing a search engine for finding the Library's
material. The "'Lectric Law Looker-Upper" should be on-line any day now.
AWARDS and PLAUDITS PRINT
The Library was included in a number of books including "The World Wide
Web Top 1000" published by New Riders - Macmillan Publishing and is the
Featured Legal Site in "The Internet Yellow Pages." We've also been
favorably written up in numerous hardcopy magazines including "Wired"
and "Net". And the ABA's magazine "The Compleat Lawyer" spring's
"And, now for relief. Let me make one contribution to your quality of
life. Published by law schools or the government, many legal websites
are really boring. Here's one which I can heartily recommend: The
'Lectric Law Library at http://www.lectlaw.com. Rated the most complete
law library on the Web, its 2000+ eclectic, useful and admittedly
bizarre collection of legal outlines, software, forms and consumer
protection materials mixes idealism with humor and practical
information. This throwback to the sixties made me value our
profession. And it'll make you proud to be a lawyer." [Whatever the
hell that means. We're not sure whether to be pleased or insulted.]
In addition to the many awards and commendations previously received, we
were awarded April 1996 Lunar Law Links Award, a monthly recognition of
outstanding legal sites on the World Wide Web.
We've been named a featured site by all sorts of 'Netizens' including
Counsel-Connect, LJXtra, and the ABA. And on Feb. 5th, CNN's Wonders of
the Web discovered us and said:
"This is quite simply the best legal resource that we, as lay people,
have come across on the Web. Everything is written in easily digestible
prose (no legalese here), the depth is staggering and it's all free. The
stacks in the virtual reference room -- the Lawcopedia -- are jammed
with treatises on everything from bankruptcy and banking to employment
issues and securities law. Budding capitalists can stop in at the own
lounge and check out dozens of articles (tips to help small businesses
avoid lawsuits, help with understanding capital formation, and details
on laws covering incorporation and regulatory issues). Consumers and
others have their own lounge, with data on tax laws and contract issues
and investor rights and landlords' obligations. There's even a news area
to keep abreast of the latest rulings and regulatory changes. This one
definitely deserves a bookmark."
We've been busy lately adding new topic areas covering Medicine and the
Law; Historical Legal Documents and Environmental Law the last month.
We've also just finished greatly expanded many of the Lawcopedia's Legal
Terms. And we have literally hundreds of assorted files and other
features about ready to load.
We're in a transitional period regarding our domain name (see the
section off the News Room for more). Our name has been changed to
"http://www.lectlaw.com" - that's LECTLAW.COM (but lower case). Both it
and "inter-law.com will be functioning for awhile with the complete
changeover planned for Feb. 1.
As shown by our usage stats file, Visitors to the Library are still
increasing at a very rapid rate... and it's still by word-of-mouth...
we've still not started our publicity campaign.
Here's another award for the Library... When we looked we were one of
only 5 Net Sites (not just law sites) to receive the Creative Award.
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 04:36:18 -0600
From: [email protected] (Greg Galcik)
Subject: SpinnWebe Creative Award
To: [email protected]
Hello. This is a form letter. Sorry. I generally detest the things, but
I have to send out about 30 of these, and I don't have the time to send
Your page, , have been awarded a SpinnWebe
Feature Honors Award in the Creative category. You can see the Awards
page at . . .
Greg Galcik [email protected]
Besides being given the top 5% award described below, Point
(http://www.pointcom.com/) has given the Library a great review:
The 'Lectric Law Library 11/02/95
Content: 45 / 50 Presentation: 40 / 50 Experience: 40 / 50
Perhaps the most complete law library on the Web, The 'Lectric Law Library
includes statutes, case law, legal forms, and the Library's own 'lectric
Lawcopedia. This is no musty, dust-filled citadel: at the homepage you're
greeted by Ralf, the head librarian, who can lead you to either a "tour" of
the library, or directly into the heart of the site, The Rotunda ("Its
dome, as you can see, is covered with frescos by Michaelangelo and my
brother Randy"). And it's not just for the pros: the "Law for Business
Lounge" and "Laypeople's Law Lounge" cover everyday legal matters like
taxes, traffic tickets, and leases. Don't let the topic of the site fool
you into thinking it's boring; don't let its sense of humor fool you
into thinking it doesn't mean business. A fine resource.
Review category: * Law (c) 1995 Point Communications Corp.
And Point's main competitor Mckinley's "MAGELLAN"
(http://www.mckinley.com/ - we think???) reviewed two of our rooms in
November - The Legal Professional's Lounge and the Periodical Room and
gave them their highest 4 star rating Summary as well as specific
ratings of - Coverage: 3; Organization: 4; Up-to-date: 4; Ease of
Access: 4 - which, as far as we can tell, appears to be the highest
rating of any of the legal sites they have examined.
On August 21, 1995 we received this:
From: InfoQuest Business Services
To: [email protected]
Subject: Business Law Lounge featured
'Lectric Law Library's(TM) "Business Law Lounge" has been featured this
week by "A Free Launch", a collection of bookmark-quality links
presented weekly by InfoQuest Business Services.
Cordially, Kathy Casper
InfoQuest Business Services
On Aug 13, 1995 this came in the e-mail:
To: [email protected]
From: [email protected] (Chris Kitze)
Subject: The Lectric Law Library is Rated in the Top 5%
Your home page has been rated among the top 5% of all sites on the
Internet by Point Survey.
Point is a free service which rates and reviews only the best sites on
the World Wide Web. We provide surfers with a standard of excellence: a
catalog of the most lively, useful, and fun sites on the Net. If you
haven't already seen Point, you can visit us at:
Point has since expanded their reviews to include 95+ legal sites -- and
The Library is THE HIGHEST RATED OF ANY OF THE COMMERCIAL LEGAL SITES!!!
(We were told that our rating places us in the TOP 1% OF ALL NET SITES.)
WOW!! What more can we say?
On May 29th Chicago-Kent Law School's internet site - "Kentlaw" - one of
the most respected legal resources on the planet, named the Library it's
"LAW LINK OF THE WEEK"!!
That this happened only 8 days after opening makes us feel especially
proud. We sincerely thank kentlaw (http://www.kentlaw.edu).
Note: We're so good -- or Kent's people are so spaced out -- (we're not
sure which) that we remained their Top Pick for all of June and at least
part of July. (Since we haven't looked recently we may still be their
Pick... In which case someone should check to see if they're still
The Library has since received lots of additional publicity -- some of
it even good!
This includes being chosen as "NetWatchers" best internet site of the
week. (Marshall Dyer's great - considering its done by an Okie lawyer -
legal e-zine at http://www.ionet.net/~mdyer/netwatch.shtml).
Also, a snowbound attorney wrote that the St. Paul, Minn. newspaper
mentioned us in yesterday's (Sun. 8/6) paper. He didn't detail what was
said but did advise us against opening any packages with an Minn.
postmark. We assume that the reason for this is his concern that we
don't get a swelled head from all the neat gifts.
Finally, since everyone knows about the NY Time's front-page story we
won't rehash it here. ;-)
On 9/26, The Library FINALLY announced it's advertising products,
policy, rates, etc. In conjunction with this we've opened a virtual
website devoted to legal industry Internet marketing and promotion.
9/11 We reopened the Library's Bookstore that had been shut down for
about a month. Not only is it totally remodeled, but also greatly
expanded... and offers on-line disk ordering.
September 1 saw the creation and announcement of an area in the Newsroom
dealing with Internet domain name and trademark issues. The idea for
this came from a dispute we are involved in over OUR domain name. The
page was an immediate hit with hundreds of visitors and lots of comments
and advice generated.
During August we added lots of content files and a number of new
"Rooms", started our project to greatly expand the definitions in the
Reference Room, and graphically updated the entire Library.