Tip Round Up: Keeping Receipts, Cheap Legal Research and More

I’ve been so preoccupied with big picture issues that I’ve neglected the other aspets of this blog that make it useful: the practical tips.  I’ve been compiling a bunch over the past few weeks, so here they are:

Ernie the Attorney offers two great tips, one one using FedEx’s print online service in lieu of a purchasing a high cost copier for occasional color copies, and another on Shoeboxed.com‘s iphone receipt app that makes it easy to keep track of those one dollar here and there charges for parking or public transit. (If Ernie’s post convinces you to use Shoeboxed, buy it through his affiliate link.  Though I’m not a fan of affiliate links for myself, if you read this blog and are willing to provide as detailed a product review as Ernie, submit it to me and I’ll include your affiliate link for the product).

A perennial question that this blog has already addressed in some detail is how can I find reliable legal research tools that won’t bust my budget? Of course, legal research is always changing, with new, low cost tools, most recently Google Legal emerging.

So how do they stack up?  Check out this article on unbundling legal research by Corinne Tampas, a lawyer who runs What’s Your Authority?, a legal research and writing firm.  Corinne focuses on LoisLaw – a service which to be fair, I haven’t revisited since 1994 when it was hardly what you’d call ready for prime time.  These days, it seems more robust, at least according to Corinne’s write-up.  She also mentions Versuslaw, which I used for years until the purposes for which I used it were displaced by Google (though as Corinne points out, it covers tribal law and tax law, a plus for some practices) and Fastcase, another sentimental favorite for its free iphone app.

And by the way, if you’re interested in LoisLaw, you can get it free with a a New York state library card available to New York barred lawyers who reside in the state.  The card will give you access to journals also, but my hands down favorite for that is Hein Online, which comes with a $150 per year subscription to Jenkins Law Library, along with Fastcase and 20 minutes of LEXIS a day.  So go, feast yourself on a cornucopia of free research!

A while back, I posted on using live chat.   Now seems that many lawyers are doing that, according to a Lawyers USA Online story.

I don’t usually post about fee events, but I will, once more, make an exception for my colleague Victor Medina’s MiloFest 2010 (Macs in the Law Office) because I love Macs and because I heard great things about last year’s conference.  Check out the link for more information.


  1. Corporatejunk on September 22, 2010 at 4:25 am

    One of the cheapest legal research tools can be found by interning a local law student. They have access to LexisNexis and Westlaw and can use it at will.

  2. Manwaringlaw on September 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Carolyn, I took your advice a few weeks ago and purchased a Jenkins Law membership. I listed your name as my referral when I signed up, but I wanted to let you know that the membership cost right now is discounted to $110, not the $150 listed on Jenkins' website. I was pleasantly surprised by the discounted price and have been impressed with the databases I have access to through Jenkins. Thanks for the recommendation.

    –Dustin Manwaring

  3. Carolyn Elefant on September 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I'm happy to hear that Jenkins is even cheaper now – that's great. Granted, Jenkins is not perfect, but to be able to access law review articles, ALL of Fastcase and 20 minutes of LEXIS a day for $110 a year is simply amazing.

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