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Law Library News for Nov. 5, 2007

Cheryl Nyberg, editor

Building a Better Legal Profession

Building a Better Legal Profession grades law firms based on self-reported data about demographic diversity, billable hours, pro bono service, and transparency. Based at the Stanford Law School, the site’s ratings are gaining national attention, including an article in the Oct. 29th issue of the New York Times, “In Students’ Eyes, Look-Alike Lawyers Don’t Make the Grade.".

Right now, the site ranks firms in Boston, Chicago, Manhattan, Washington DC, and northern and southern California on diversity. Users can view ratings of firms based on the percentage of Asian, black, female, Hispanic, or openly lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender partners and associates.  Only selected New York City firms are ranked on billable hours, pro bono service, and transparency.

Data is taken from the public directory of law firm employment statistics maintained by the National Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP).

Visit the site’s blog or review the list of recent articles about the effort, including articles published in the ABA Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the National Law Journal, and the New York Law Journal.

Find Missing Webpages

We have all encountered those annoying “The page cannot be found” error messages when using the Internet. Has the site reorganized? Has the document been deleted or moved to a different URL? Was the original URL or link accurate? Whatever the cause, the result is frustration.

Greg R. Notess—author of Government Information on the Internet (2003)and Teaching Web Search Skills (2006)—recently posted a short guide to Finding Old Web Pages.

The first source listed is a librarians’ favorite: the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine This great site has been capturing information from public websites since 1996. When you type or paste a URL into the Wayback Machine searchbox, you will find a list of dates on which the Archive took snapshots of the page. Entire websites have been collected. You can even compare pages from two different dates to see how the page changed.

Cached pages on Google and other sources are also mentioned.

Give it a try the next time a link lets you down!

Gallagher Guides: More Than Just Legal Research

The Law Library website offers more than 125 guides on a wide variety of legal and research-related topics. Sure, we have basic guides on finding cases and using secondary sources. And yes, we have advanced guides on researching legislative intent in Washington State and locating English-language translations of laws and cases from China and Japan.

But the reference librarians have produced a number of guides on subjects that you might not expect, for example:

Check out the complete collection of guides.

©2007, M.G. Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington