JD Supra Legal Edge is a legal app that “connects people through content” and allows lawyers to “market their expertise” through articles they post on the site/app under subject area headings. I wanted to study a copyright case I had researched earlier this summer, based on the Mike Tyson tattoo in the Hangover 2 movie, and began reading about the latest developments in copyright news.
As seen below, the app is divided by subject area:
I clicked on “Intellectual Property” and, after some time waiting for the page to load, the subject area then expanded into further headings, within that area of law, and indicated the article headline and the lawyer or law firm that posted the article. Writing these articles is an effective method for lawyers to bump a search engine query of their name or area of law to the top of a search result, and advertise their services and area of expertise for free.
Unfortunately, once I clicked on a subject area, I was no longer able to filter out the exact subject I was looking for, but could only read what the latest trends in the general field of copyright/IP law were. After selecting a specific article, I was presented with another screen asking how I wished to view the article (PDF or on the Web) and also offering a way to contact the contributor of the article. At this point, I liked the app and what it had to offer but was frustrated that it had taken this many screen-menus to get to the article I wanted to read.
Finally, after several clicks and some loading time, the article appeared on the mobile device.
I would not recommend this app to someone seeking to research a specific topic. However, it is great for reading about emerging issues and may inspire readers to develop these issues or change their research projects. The app provided me with some interesting reading while riding the train last week. Lawyers cannot do in depth legal research on this app, but it can provide them with inspiration for emerging issues in a relevant field. The app is article-based and has no search features other than categorical subjects.
Unlike more popular databases such as LexisNexis or Westlaw, Legal Edge does not provide a database of cases or statutes that lawyers can search and, therefore, it will remain a niche app used to read articles of interest (likely on mobile devices to pass time rather than conduct meaningful research). Depending on the mobile device used, one can download the PDF version of the articles from Legal Edge.
~Tymor Brik, Class of 2013~