Current Awareness in the Law: Legal Listservs

By Ebbinghouse, Carol | Searcher, March 1997 | Go to article overview

Current Awareness in the Law: Legal Listservs


Ebbinghouse, Carol, Searcher


In my January 1997 column, I discussed current awareness services for legal periodical literature: Tables of Contents and selective dissemination of information services, as well as the databases that support them.

The next logical progression is to discuss listservs (also called discussion groups, newsletters, and news digests) in the legal field. In this article I will explain listservs and describe how to locate a listserv in your field of interest, how to find archives (databases of previous listserv communications) so you can search for previously-raised issues without bothering current subscribers, how to subscribe so you can keep up or even ask a question yourself, and how to avoid onslaughts of irrelevant messages flooding your e-mailbox.

Listservs are basically collections of electronically mailed correspondence or discussions and broadcasts of information in response to requests for information. Each listserv is topically limited to a particular subject or directed to a particular type of correspondent. Listservs exist covering agricultural law, the death penalty, and trademarks, to name but a few. There are law related listservs for trial attorneys, attorneys in a specific state, law professors, law librarians, paralegals, Westlaw and LEXIS-NEXIS users, etc.

How to Use Listservs as a Current

Awareness Tool

Simply by subscribing to a listserv you will get a flood, a stream, or (on little-used lists) a mere trickle of information from others interested in your field of interest.

If the current discussion threads (the subject lines in the e-mail headings) on a particular list do not interest you, you can customize this current awareness tool by asking a question of the members of the list. I did just this to prepare for my last article -- asking one listserv's readers to complete a survey of what current awareness tools they and their organizations use to keep up-to-date. The response alerted me to one table of contents service I had not heard of On inquiring I discovered that it was going out of business, so I did not include it in the article. However, having conducted that listserv survey of many law librarians gave me confidence that I was providing you with the best and most thorough information.

For one of my articles on copyright, I searched the archives of the CNI copyright listserv quite easily using their BRS search software. I located others who had already posted requests for the information I needed and communicated with them directly to discover what they had learned from their respondents. That got me lots of recent information without needlessly bothering the current subscribers.

These "customizable" features of listservs allow you to get the exact information you need, almost immediately. Few other services give you such immediate gratification coupled with the opportunity to make new friends online.

How to Find Listservs

"Law Lists" by Lyonette Louis-Jacques

This listing constitutes a specialized lists of listservs, electronic mailing (e-mail) lists, and Usenet newsgroups that cover law and law-related subjects. This law list also provides information on discussion groups, electronic journals and newsletters, news digests, and every conceivable kind of law list. The service omits listservs on CompuServe, ABA/Net, America Online, Prodigy, Lexis Counsel Connect, GEnie, and other such commercial services.

The list explains all about the different newsgroups and how to subscribe (and unsubscribe) to lists. It describes how to manage information overload by requesting a "digest" of list messages, how to locate and search Web and gopher archives, and how to observe the rules of "Netiquette." It provides cross references in English, Spanish, and French.

My favorite list of law-related electronic mailing lists and Usenet newsgroups is called "Law Lists" and is compiled by Lyonette Louis-Jacques at the University of Chicago. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Current Awareness in the Law: Legal Listservs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.