New search powers for in-house lawyers of the near future

A few years from now, perhaps, in-house counsel may benefit from new search methods when they want to ask a question about a legal issue. Imagine a web site that collects all the postings on a certain area from blogs and law firm sites and legal publications – candidates might include environmental or employment. When in-house counsel search that mass of material, the software tracks the searches and pages they visit. Second, the searching lawyers can tag items as useful or not. Third, the software will do what the online search engine Ask does, which is to group items by theme. Already there are search engines, such as Clusty.com, that display results in thematic bundles.

The more various lawyers in a specialty use that material and enrich it with their tracks, tags and themes, the more useful it will be for other users. The idea is to look not only at links between pages, but also between people, and use social search techniques.

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