I wrote here in August about the planned launch of JD Supra, a new legal site with the premise, “Give content, get noticed.” A preview site has been up ever since, but now the site’s founder, San Francisco business lawyer Aviva Cuyler, tells me the site will launch in full operating mode in December. She also plans to launch a blog soon to track the site’s development.
Based on the preview, the site is part legal networking, part lawyer directory, part document repository and part legal research service. The basic idea is that lawyers use the site as a place to post court filings, favorable decisions, jury verdicts and articles they have written. They can also set up free profiles of themselves and their firms. Their profiles will link to the documents they have contributed and their documents will link back to their profiles.
The plan is that this database of contributions will become a resource for other lawyers, consumers and the news media. Lawyers will use it for research, consumers will use it to find lawyers who have worked on cases similar to theirs, and reporters will use it to get information about new court filings and opinions and to find sources. It will be free for lawyers to create listings and post documents. For a fee, lawyers will be able to “enhance” their profiles with additional features, such as hyperlinks to blogs and Web sites.
Cuyler says the idea for the site came to her while working late one night on a brief. The idea is good, but the key to the site’s success will be in whether lawyers contribute – and particularly whether they contribute pleadings and briefs. We can find court decisions and articles elsewhere, but useful and relevant court filings remain harder to find. To have these readily available and easily searchable would be a boon.