The Maryland State Law Library is pleased to announce a new tool for local legal research, Maryland Law Firm Publications Search. This new feature, simple in design and functionality, is comprised of a specialized Google search utility, which indexes the publications pages of the websites of the largest Maryland law firms. It is available from the “Maryland” link on the Library’s Databases page.
According to its collection development policy, the Library strives to collect as many Maryland legal publications as possible. In recent years, of course, the advent of the web has enabled corporate and individual authors the ability to publish their own law-related content. This seems to be especially true of area law firms, which have generated a copious number of articles, client alerts, and newsletters that contribute to an improved understanding of Maryland law. When one considers that the focus of many of these communications is the client, it is easy to see that these resources’ greatest value may be in the straightforward explanations and language the authors use. The difficulty for a library in collecting this useful material; however, is that its quantity makes cataloging and acquisition challenging. Because the Library presumes that these materials are copyrighted, digital archiving also is not feasible. Therefore, the Library chose to implement this search tool in an effort to better highlight these beneficial resources.
The search utility points to one or more pages of a website that contains links to individual documents. In some cases, a firm may include resources about the law in other jurisdictions, so while there is significant local content, Maryland materials are not included exclusively. The Library does not make any selections based on the firms’ online information offerings. Rather, the Library will update the lists of law firms and links frequently.
The Library appreciates any feedback or suggestions that the local law library community might have about this new feature. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org