Hello out there in cyberspace! First, I just wanted to thank you for reading the Attorney Credits blog, I hope you find some useful information on our site that can benefit you in your personal practice. We have made an attempt this year to reach out to attorneys throughout the country this year with our social media effort. Hopefully, between our Facebook page, our Twitter page, our MircoSeminar series on YouTube, and our LinkedIn discussions you have found something that benefits you professionally – or at least just makes you chuckle over your morning cup of coffee.
While we are on the topic of the Internet, try something for me right now. Open up whatever browser you may use – whether its Safari, Firefox, Explorer, etc. – and run a quick search of your name on Google or one of the numerous other search engines (Google comes to mind for many, but there are plenty of other search engines out there). What comes up? Throw in your middle initial and run another search. Are you surprised by what you find?
You may be. That’s because there has been a major push recently to aggregate personal information out there. I ran a quick search of one of my friend’s names on pipl.com looking for his address yesterday and I came up with some mortgage information that I could buy from another site. I was kind of surprised by that. Then I ran another search using my name – I was amazed at how many Jason Castillos there were out there. I didn’t think it would be such a common name. At least there are much fewer Jason Scott Castillos, and as soon as I used my middle name in the search the first thing that popped up was a picture of my ugly mug on 123people.com.
Now, a few last points to try and sum this all up. First, it’s amazing what you can find out there on the Internet. The Internet has been in mainstream use for over a decade now and it has accumulated a lot of information – it’s all just a matter of knowing how to find it. Second, there is a whole heck of a lot more out there than just Google. Google is just the most widely known search engine, and it’s a good thing they own half the world or “google” may eventually become genericized. From Spokeo to Baidu, there are many other search engines that aggregate information.
Lastly, these recourses should now be of great importance in your practice because they can help you to run a more efficient firm. The Internet can be used to find many things for attorneys – assets, witnesses, trustees, information about a potential employee, the owner of a patent, copyright or trademark – it all just depends on your practice. If you need help gleaning these online detective and research skills, you can learn how to utilize this new online environment to its fullest potential in Cybersleuthing for the Legal Practitioner. In this great new course, our panelists discuss both free and commercial websites that attorneys from all practices can utilize in order to more effectively deliver legal services to their clients. Websites discussed by our four panelists include LexisNexis, Westlaw, Dun & Bradstreet, Morningstar, Accurint, Switchboard, Spokeo, pipl, Black Book Online, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, government websites and more useful online resources.
This course can serve as an asset in your everyday practice, and the skills learned can save you a lot of time and money.