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Hot Topics in the Legal World: What to Read

female student studying in libraryAs an international attorney who works with American lawyers, it is essential to stay on top of changes made in American law. In the United States, laws may change through the legislative process or more rapidly through court decisions. For example: If a decision is rendered by a state supreme court, that decision becomes binding precedent for lower state courts handling subsequent cases with similar facts. Being knowledgeable on current statutory and regulatory law, as well as the latest case law in the jurisdiction you are dealing with, is important to providing effective counsel for your clients.

Finding the right publications that can help you stay abreast of these changes can be challenging, especially since laws can vary from state to state. Most publications are tailored only for a particular state or geographic region or a specific practice area. Publications may also limit the scope and focus exclusively on the plaintiff or defendant perspective. The following publications can help you stay current on legal topics and developments in the United States:

Law Practice Magazine

Law Practice Magazine is the American Bar Association’s bi-monthly publication. It provides summaries of recent noteworthy cases, updates in law and practice tips for things like using technology in the courtroom or switching from a PC to a Mac at a law firm. This publication is neutral to both the plaintiff’s and the defense’s bar. Subscribers have access to the entire publication in both its printed form and electronically.

The American Lawyer

The American Lawyer is a traditional print publication that covers a wide variety of legal information. Its online presence is home to several blogs, including The AM Daily, The Litigation Daily, Litigation Daily Headlines and The Asian Lawyer. The daily blogs are a great way to ensure you stay engaged in the conversation about practice in the United States and that you are aware of any updates or changes in the law.

The Federal Lawyer

The Federal Lawyer is the Federal Bar Association’s bi-monthly legal publication. It covers updates in federal law and suggestions about practicing law as a part of the Federal Bar.

Corporate Counsel

Corporate Counsel is a magazine owned by ALM (American Lawyer Media) which covers corporate litigation news. For many LL.M. students, the topics covered in the magazine’s “IP (Intellectual Property) Insider” section may be particularly relevant.

In addition to the items recommended above, we encourage you to seek out publications and news sources for your specific geographic location and practice area. These will help you stay on top of legal developments and will also provide tips for becoming a better attorney and managing your practice.