LawNet2 is indispensable for all practitioners says CJ Chan
Singapore 5 July 2007 – The task of navigating through copious amounts of information to carry out legal research has become even easier for Singapore lawyers.
An advanced portal providing a single point of access to a wide variety of legal information was launched today by the Honourable the Chief Justice Mr Chan Sek Keong.
For as low as $63 per month, a lawyer in a one‐man firm can have unlimited and instant access to a comprehensive suite of legal research material. “A practitioner who subscribes to this service will have at his command, with a few taps on his keyboard and a few clicks of his mouse,practically all the law he needs to know to advise or to plead on behalf of his client,” said CJ Chan.
Developed by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) and its technology partner, CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd after years of extensive research and consultation with users, LawNet2 is a complete revamp of a legal IT
network that is currently used by 70% of practising lawyers in Singapore.
LawNet started in 1990 as a simple dial up network integrating various information services from the legal sector. New services and reference materials were gradually added over the years.
The key enhancements of the new portal include:
• A wider repository of databases including the addition of English case law in the legal research module. In addition to Singapore and Malaysian case law, LawNet2 users can now search and view the full texts of judgments of both current and past English cases dating as far back as 1865;
• The introduction of additional user‐friendly functions such as
o A client tracker to allow lawyers to keep track of the research that they carry out for specific clients;
o Rich cross-referencing and linking between cases, and between cases and secondary material like textbooks and journal articles;
o Personalisation features for preferred content to be shown to users immediately upon login;
o Vastly improved search capabilities including the ability to search across different databases;
o “Keep informed” features to prompt users to re‐visit cases if there are updates or newer decisions or articles that discuss them, or if users wish to keep updated as to a specific area of law of special professional interest to them.
LawNet2 is available on a subscription basis as well as for ad hoc users.
(1) Monthly subscription
Local law firms enjoy a preferential rate starting at $63 per month for a one‐man firm to $3780 for large firms with up to 500 lawyers. These are the new rates that will come into effect in three months time.
(2) Ad hoc usage
Ad hoc usage is charged at $31.50 for the first hour and $6.50 for every subsequent hour. Payment is via credit card.
LawNet will be embarking on a concerted marketing effort to attract more users. Key areas of focus will be smaller law firms that will benefit tremendously from having a rich set of legal materials available, “on tap” for a small monthly fee, and in-house corporate counsel who will be able to better advise their clients or instruct external counsel if they have access
to a good collection of legal research material. “The web portal will continue to evolve with advancements in technology and to meet the changing needs of the legal community,” said Ms Serene Wee, Chief Executive of SAL.
The Singapore Academy of Law is the umbrella membership body of the legal community in Singapore and has more than 7,000 members. They include all advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court, members of the Singapore Judiciary and Legal Service officers, corporate counsel and faculty members of law schools. The President of the Academy is the Honourable the Chief Justice of Singapore.
The Academy’s activities are driven by three strategic priorities – enhancing legal knowledge, improving efficiency of legal practice through the use of technology and supporting the legal industry. The work in each of these areas is directed towards raising the standards and quality of legal practice and building a strong legal community in Singapore.
Members are kept updated on the latest developments impacting the profession, through a series of continuing legal education programmes which the Academy organises every year. The Academy also supports research into law reform and legal heritage, is the official law reporting agency in Singapore and is actively engaged in the publishing of other legal texts. On the technology front, the Academy is responsible for the development and management of LawNet, an IT portal which provides users instant access to a wide range of legal information and transactional databases.
Under its SingaporeLaw initiative, the Academy actively promotes the use of Singapore’s legal and dispute resolution services to the region. A subsidiary of the Academy, The Singapore Mediation Centre, focuses on providing commercial mediation services and conducts mediation training workshops regionally.
More information can be found at www.sal.org.sg