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Ideas for a New Form of Legal Website

I am posting a document entitled “Ideas for a Sentencing Website” that I completed last summer. This was part of my work as a Research Assistant for Prof. Doug Berman, who blogs at Sentencing Law and Policy. I previously described my work for him as an RA here, which included organizing the content of his blog into a more permanent collection.

This document proposes a Sentencing Website which would incorporate Internet mediums such as web-forums, blog collections, and online databases. My ideas for a new form of legal website may have application to specialties outside of sentencing law. I am posting this with the view that legal practitioners in other fields might find it useful as a model.


Here is an ouline of my written proposal for a new form of legal website. In my document, each point also includes online examples:



  • Cases
  • Briefs and Oral Arguments
  • Legal and Academic Articles
  • Legislative Reports and Developments
  • News Articles and Editorials
  • Speeches and Testimonies
  • Research Studies
  • Statistical Database
  • Program Evaluations
  • Forms
  • Reports from Think Tanks
  • International Resources


  • Web-Forums
  • Round Tables and Panel Discussions
  • Message Boards
  • Live Chats/Interviews
  • Collection of Blogs
  • Questions and Answers
  • Search Engines
  • Contact Information
  • Newsletters
  • Calendar of Events

My proposal is available for downloading here:

Ideas for a Sentencing Website

March 21, 2006 in Ideas, Writing Samples | Permalink


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I like the reference to "elaborately organized and compiled by faithful research assistants."

Thanks for the reference to the Judicial Council's 2005 therapeutic courts evaluation. We have quite a lengthy list of sentencing studies (going back to about 1975) - perhaps we should organize them ourselves so that they are more accessible to the sentencing community. Certainly if someone puts together this website we would be happy to post a list.

Michael Tonry, as you may know, used to publish a wonderful newsletter called "Overcrowded Times." He had great articles and lots of coverage of other countries. Vera may have taken up the task; I haven't looked for international information recently.

One good source, that I didn't see listed is American University's BJS-funded website for drug courts. It is run by Carolyn Cooper, and includes a regularly updated list of research reports, exchanges among people on the mailing lists about specific concerns (e.g., confidentiality) and regularly updated information about court decisions (trial and appellate) related to drug/therapeutic courts.

This is a great idea, and very well thought-out. Many thanks - Teri White Carns

Posted by: TWhite | Mar 30, 2006 5:31:29 PM

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