JURIST: Law Professors on the Web
JURIST: Law Professors on the Web is a unique and useful site. It was created in March 1997 by Professor Bernard Hibbitts. Many legal academics have web pages and other online resources but before this site there was no central listing. JURIST connects legal academics, law students and the public at large. The site contains home pages, online articles, course pages, a lecture hall, reference desk, mailroom and faculty lounge.
Seventy-four home pages are currently listed and whilst the majority are from US professors there are links to several legal academics in Canada, South Africa, United Kingdom and Australia. The content of these individual sites varies greatly; namely, from a simple statement about the individual to the full text of published papers and other materials.
A significant number of online articles are listed under Business Law, Cyberspace/IP, Law and Economic, Legal Education, Legal Process, Legal Research, Legal Theory, Private Law, Public Law and Regulation. Hibbitts makes a distinction between post-print and pre-print documents. The latter are articles which have not been published "on paper". Hibbitts notes "electronic legal journals (or "e-journals") provide law professors with a means of distributing legal scholarship electronically within the conventional framework of an academic periodical. It remains to be seen whether e-journals represent the future of legal publishing, or whether they will be a transitory electronic analogue to print journals, ultimately unable to offer neterate legal scholars the editorial control, the aesthetic discretion, the direct interaction with readers and the instant revisability already afforded by independently-produced pre prints in particular". Hibbitts has explored these ideas in greater detail in two recent articles: Yesterday Once More: Skeptics, Scribes and the Demise of Law Reviews which followed his earlier work Last Writes? Reassessing the Law Review in the Age of Cyberspace.
Courses which have resources online are also listed at JURIST and a separate page is devoted to sites where academics have organised links and materials on particular areas of legal doctrine or legal theory.
The Lecture Hall page enables academics to explore convergence technology and provide slide shows, recorded lectures and other dynamic presentations. Currently only three presentations are available.
The Reference Desk provides information on major scholarly or professional associations. Information concerning law schools, law libraries and law related listservs are provided.
The Mailroom section is currently under construction. Hibbitts intends to provide a simple email system for contacting legal academics by using a form.
The final part of JURIST is the Faculty Lounge. A selection of links to newspapers and other periodicals are listed.
JURIST is a valuable site on the Net. It brings together the formerly scattered activities of legal academics across the world. It is also a useful site for legal practitioners and law students since it provides a "snapshot" of recent developments in the Law. Above all JURIST will foster and encourage legal academics to take note of both teaching and research activities on the Net.
This is an IT Review published on 30 June 1997.
Citation: O'Brien C, 'JURIST: Law Professors on the Web', IT Review, 1997 (2) The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT). <http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/sw/97_2jur/>. New citation as at 1/1/04: <http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/jilt/1997_2/brien/>