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The Rise and Rise of Web 2.0 – and Law 2.0

Legal internet experts Nick Holmes and Delia Venables are so convinced of the importance of “Law 2.0” (Web 2.0 for lawyers), that they are changing the name of their bi-monthly newsletter to Internet Newsletter for Lawyers & Law 2.0. “Web 2.0 is not new,” says Nick Holmes, “but many lawyers have yet to recognise its potential and its implications for the Law. However, many others have grasped the nettle and Law 2.0 is in full flow.”

• There are more than 130 UK law blogs by firms and individual solicitors, barristers, academics, legal IT experts, trainees, pupils and students.

• There are many examples of in-house wiki projects for knowledge sharing and document creation, one of the best publicised being at Allen & Overy.

• Serious attempts are being made to fulfill Richard Susskind's public law wiki dream with the creation of law wikis in specific areas of law such as WikiCrimeLine, Wiki Mental Health and the prospective IP law wiki.

• Social networking on Facebook and other networks is seen as a time waster by many firms, yet others are encouraging its use by establishing workplace networks, including Linklaters (with 895 members), Allen & Overy (846), Baker & McKenzie (669) and DLA Piper (623).

• Virtual worlds are places to do real business and real legal problems will arise. Field Fisher Waterhouse established the first virtual UK law firm on Second Life earlier this year.

• DivorceOnline recently became the first firm to market its services with an advert placed on the video sharing website YouTube.

These are just some of the Law 2.0 developments already described and discussed in the newsletter, which is both a traditional print publication and an online site. Delia Venables believes the need for the newsletter is as strong as ever: “Initially, people subscribed to the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers because they wanted to know more about the workings of the internet and in particular what email and the web could do for them. Everyone now accepts that these are part of normal practice and perhaps some people now think that they have 'done' the internet. Yet the pace of change is as fast as ever and Law 2.0 is already transforming legal practice. The newsletter seeks to explain these developments and the surrounding issues to readers so that they can stay with, and move ahead of, the game.”

• The Internet Newsletter for Lawyers & Law 2.0 costs £45+VAT pa for six bi-monthly print issues plus full online access. See the newsletter website at