There’s been a lot in the blogosphere about social networks exclusively for various professionals (see e.g., LawLink and Legal OnRamp for lawyers and Sermo for doctors). You can read more about them in my blog post Social Networking is Dead.
Now, from the “get’em hooked early” department comes a social network for law students called CasemakerX.
Here’s the press release about this first of it’s kind social networking site:
Lawriter, LLC a subsidiary of Collexis Holdings Inc. (OTCBB: CLXS) announced today the development of the first professional social network exclusively for law students. The site www.CasemakerX.com was showcased in Beta format at the American Association of Law Librarians Conference in Portland in July. A full launch is expected in early fall 2008 to coincide with the incoming class of new law students. Along with the social networking site, CasemakerX will provide free access to the Casemaker Suite of Applications for the U.S. law student community.
“CasemakerX is an exciting new legal information product that law students and faculty will find useful,” said Duncan Alford, associate dean and director of the law library at the University Of South Carolina School Of Law. “The social networking portion of CasemakerX is reminiscent of LinkedIn, but with the electronic content of primary federal and state law. The upcoming introduction of legal thesaurus searching will make the searching capabilities even more sophisticated and the success of the Collexis search engine and fingerprinting technology in medical research shows exciting promise for legal research.”
CasemakerX is a free service for law students supported by the Casemaker Bar Consortium and its 475,000 attorney members across the U.S. Law students, faculty and law librarians can sign up for the site and register from accredited Law Schools. Once a profile is created, users are networked by areas like corresponding law school, fields of interest, graduation year, etc. Users can also enjoy a host of social networking components including capabilities like blogging, instant messaging, photo sharing, job postings, video streaming via YouTube™, and iPhone plug-ins. Lawriter’s Casemaker suite of legal discovery products is available on the site and includes a library of over 12 Million documents in federal and state case law. The site also includes the recently released Casemaker Medical application, with full text search of over 15 Million biomedical abstracts.
“We are pleased to host this community for the next generation of attorneys,” said Steve Newsom general manager for Lawriter. “Our mission is to help law students succeed – connecting with their peers, their teachers, and the external attorney community to advance their education and career goals.”
Sounds interesting. And I like the idea that this is not just another Facebook-type site that is used primarily for having fun (although, Facebook is a great platform to make business connections, too). If this becomes popular, I think that it will add to the expectations of young lawyers – who will expect “Web 2.0″ tools at work. For more on that, see Attorney 2.0 – Generation Y in Your Law Firm.
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