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Nick Holmes

Nick Holmes is Editor of this Newsletter. He is a publishing consultant specialising in the legal sector and is Managing Director of legal web services company infolaw Limited. Nick is also co-editor, with Delia Venables of the Internet for Lawyers CPD courses. He manages the infolaw UK legal web portal at infolaw.co.uk, blogs on legal information issues at Binary Law and tweets at @nickholmes. Email nickholmes@infolaw.co.uk.

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch February 2017. Legal Web Watch is a free email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

I am a long-time proponent of RSS but am aware that it is declining in visibility. Many sites large and small are not offering RSS feeds any more. What’s up?

legislation.gov.ukBloomsbury Law OnlineICL Ronline

News from Legislation.gov.uk, Bloomsbury Law and ICLR.

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Thanks to those who have already completed our new Internet for Lawyers CPD 2016 courses and a reminder to those who have not that you can earn all the CPD you need with us online now.

The Bar Standards Board has finally come up with draft guidelines for their new CPD scheme, commencing 1 January 2017.

For 2017 there will be no requirement to complete a set number of CPD hours. You will have individual responsibility for what training you require and you will have increased flexibility in the types of CPD activities that you can complete.

The four required stages you should complete are:

The Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) has launched OBserving Law, the IALS Open Book Service for Law, being developed as part of the School of Advanced Study’s Humanities Digital Library open access book publishing initiative.

OBserving Law aims to provide a new open access monograph publishing service for legal researchers. Titles will be made freely available in PDF and epub formats, with single volume and separate chapter versions. A print on demand paperback purchase option will be offered as standard with a hardback choice for libraries and others that may prefer that format.

upgrading-law

On 6 October 2016 Professor Richard Susskind delivered the annual Society for Computers and Law lecture, entitled “Upgrading the Law”, marking 20 years since the publication of his The Future of Law. How had he fared in his predictions?

He was not shy about confirming his successes but did not gloat and admitted that his predicted expert systems solving complex legal issues hadn’t taken off as he’d envisaged. Whilst legal and compliance rules are increasingly built into systems, the artificial intelligence that has arrived is generated by brute force processing rather than elegant, encoded reasoning.

As to recent developments and his hopes and fears for the future, I pick two that have elicited further comment.

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch October 2016. Legal Web Watch is a free email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

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The era of traditional CPD “points” requirements for both solicitors and barristers is drawing to a close, with new continuing practice development regimes being introduced for the next practice year. Whilst there has been plenty of notice of this (for solicitors, not so much for barristers), it’s understandable that many practitioners, particularly those operating without centralised training support, are uncertain what lies ahead and how this differs from what they have known.

The purpose of this article is to clarify the position as it pertains now (in the 2016 practice year) and to summarise the new requirements that will be operative in the next.

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Twitter is a minority pursuit. Nevertheless, it is increasingly influential and likely to be used by many Newsletter readers as an important resource for latest news, comment and analysis.

This is not primarily an introduction to Twitter. Nor will I presume to tell you how to use it: there are more than enough self-proclaimed experts who will pretend to do that; in the end it’s entirely up to you. Rather I will try to explain the “mechanics” of Twitter. I’ve been using Twitter since 2008, so by any measure I’m an old hand; yet Twitter features change frequently and I was unsure enough of the exact effect of many of its features that I had to review my own experience quite carefully and consult Twitter’s (very good) Help pages before penning this. Below I will refer mainly to the experience on the desktop Twitter platform; many features are implemented slightly differently on mobile and some are implemented only on (Android) mobile.

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch June 2016. Legal Web Watch is a free monthly email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

It’s been a rum week, hasn’t it? There is huge uncertainty post the Brexit vote, not least because there is no political plan and no PM yet in a position to formulate one.

Lawyers will have their own specific concerns, so I’m here to help!

Egyptian spreadsheet?

Back in 1979 Apple published what is regarded as the first “killer app”, the spreadsheet program VisiCalc (a contraction of “visible calculator”), which turned the microcomputer from a hobby for computer enthusiasts into a serious business tool and prompted IBM to launch their PC.

VisiCalc’s mantle was soon wrested from it by the superior Lotus 1-2-3 which reigned supreme on the PC until the advent of Windows when Microsoft’s Excel started to outsell it. Today there can be no organisation which does not rely heavily on Excel or an equivalent spreadsheet application for its planning, budgeting and forecasting, accounting … and many other functions.

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch April 2016. Legal Web Watch is a free monthly email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

We all know the term "clickbait": content, especially that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page.