Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association

A chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries.

April Link Roundup

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Our Search for the Best OCR Tool, and What We Found Many of us have come to expect that all documents are searchable, but some technologies that allow for digitization don’t possess that feature. Now there are web-based tools that use optical character recognition (“OCR”), which can “. . . transform a scan or photograph of a letter or court filing into searchable, sortable text.” Review this blog post for a “. . . comparison of the most accessible OCR options,” determined by running a “. . . handful of documents through seven different tools.”
Rita Young announced the final Lunch & Learn presentation for the 2018-2019 year: Gavelytics. It’s an “AI-powered algorithm to determine how a judge may treat your client’s case though -motion analysis, workload analysis, and a ruling database, along with biographical Information and A summary of a judge’s tendencies all in one place.” Justin Brownstone, SVP & General Counsel of the organization, plans to how they build the product and how the analytics product works, from 12:00-1:00pm on April 25th.
New Lawyers, Law Librarians Are Your Friends Let’s take a moment to toot our horns here: beSpacific links to an article discussing why attorneys should reach out to a law librarian (rather than assuming that aimless flailing on the internet will get them the research results they’re looking for).
Harvard Caselaw Access Project Search CAP Search, a major new data searching tool part of the Caselaw Access Project launched on 04/03/2019. It’s touted as a “. . . more human-friendly way to start working with this data,” so let’s take it for a spin and test it out!
How to deal with the top 3 causes of workplace stress If you stress out about (1) meeting deadlines, (2) your growth potential, or (3) interacting with the public, read this Fast Company article to identify a few ways to combat the frustration and anxiety.
here’s a real-life example of a fantastic cover letter In a recent Ask A Manager blog post, Alison Green provides a sample of a well-written, thoughtful cover letter. WPLLA member librarians who interface with anxious, job-seeking law students may want to give this one a read (or send it to the students in question)! WPLLA member Joel Fishman also included a note with his email alerting us to the article: check out the additional links at the end!
Fastcase Adds Expert Witness Content with JurisPro and Courtroom Insight Alliances Fastcase announced two new partnerships with “. . . Legal vendors in the expert witness space:” JurisPro and Courtroom Insight. Per a post by Jean O’Grady on Dewey B Strategic, “[t]he combined content from the two companies will provide over 100,000 expert witness profiles and integrate the Courtroom Insight expert witness knowledge management solution within the Fastcase platform.” Experts note these alliances will help Fastcase “. . . elbow its way into the full service legal research space” but at a much more palatable price point.
Review – ABA TechShow 2019 An interesting recap of the ABA TechShow 2019; it includes reviews of the programs associated with the “academic track” portion of the show, as well as opinions of a few AI and tech-related programs.
Law Library Lessons in Vendor Relations from the UC/Elsevier Split Republished from The Ginger (Law) Librarian, LLRX highlights the University of California’s goal of promoting open access. This post also reviews the amount public and nonprofit colleges spend on subscription services, and the constraints felt by law libraries across the U.S.
Where Have All the C.F.R.s Gone? Though the Code of Federal Regulations has traditionally been updated annually (“. . . the  updated Titles 1-16 are published on January 1 of every year, and the updated Titles 17-27 are published on April 1 of every year”), as of April 18, 2019, no titles have been updated. There has been no explanation for the holdup. This has resulted in “. . . a rather vast gap in federal regulatory information for the public.” Individuals or entities with any information on the delay can contact Matthew Timko of the Northern Illinois University College of Law (mtimko@niu.edu).
A “last call” from Rita Young regarding a “lunch & learn” presentation from Gavelytics, an AI-powered algorithm to determine how a judge may treat a case though -motion analysis, workload analysis, and a ruling database. Gavelytics also maintains biographical Information and a summary of a judge’s tendencies.
IS IT A “GOOD” CASE? CAN YOU RELY ON BCITE, KEYCITE, AND SHEPARD’S TO TELL YOU? Have you ever questioned the reliability of Shepard’s, KeyCite, or Bcite? Paul Hellyer, a Reference Librarian at William & Mary’s Law Library, “. . . looked at 357 citing relationships that one or more of these three citators labeled as negative.” He found that in 85% of those relationships, the services don’t agree on whether there was negative treatment. Kristina Niedringhaus, the Associate Dean of Library and Information Services and Associate Professor at Georgia State University’s College of Law, penned a thoughtful blog post on Jotwell detailing more information as well as repercussions.
Lawyers, law students’ signatures needed for SCOTUS amicus brief in favor of publishing the law Archivist Carl Malamud has both been sued as well as threatened with suit by four states and the District of Columbia for making state laws available on the internet (violating what states claim are copyright and paywalls). The “. . . State of Georgia wants to go to the Supreme Court to argue for its right to charge the people of Georgia to know which laws they are supposed to be following.” However, students and practitioners can sign an amicus brief by filling out a form.
From Joel Fishman: a link to the new Pa.R.A.P. (regarding citing authorities).
Rita Young sent out the first invite to WPLLA’s Closing Banquet: May 17th, we’re setting sail for a dinner cruise aboard one of the Gateway Clipper Fleet ships!
How to use Adobe Acrobat Pro’s character recognition to make a searchable PDF A quick, user-friendly blog post with detailed instructions on how to “. . . use Adobe Acrobat Pro’s optical character recognition to convert scanned documents into fully editable PDFs with searchable text.”

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