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Explore the World of Web Tools Behind Google’s ‘More’

Posted Mar 26, 2010 3:02 PM CDT
By Mark Hansen

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Sampling of Google "more" options.

Take a trip behind the “more” link at the top of the Google homepage.

Behind that link lies a world of free Web-based tools that can help the average solo and small-firm practitioner compete with the big firm lawyers without busting the technology budget.

And at the bottom of that drop-down menu is another link—click on “even more”—containing more free Google products, from news alerts to blog searches to language translators to document creation and sharing programs to customizable home pages to long-distance telephone service. Whew.

“There’s a ton of great stuff back there,” Mark Rosch, vice president of Internet for Lawyers, a Rio Rancho, N.M.-based continuing legal education seminar provider, said Friday at an ABA Techshow program he co-presented on Google tools for lawyers.

“And one of the best things about it, is that most of these tools are free and very easy to use," added co-presenter Dan Pinnington, director of practicePRO, a claims prevention initiative at the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Co. of Toronto.

Rosch and Pinnington spent the better part of an hour speed-walking their audience through a dizzying array of some of the more useful Google tools available to lawyers: Search scholarly papers, search patent texts, search your own desktop. And in the few remaining minutes they had left, the pair offered a series of tips on how to improve the usefulness of a basic Google search.

About the only things about Google they seemed not to like is Google Wave, an online communication and collaboration tool that was rolled out a few months ago, which Pinnington described as “every software product you ever used all rolled into one,” and Google Buzz, which Pinnington dubbed “Wave lite,” and Rosch likened to “every social media platform you ever used all rolled into one.”

Pinnington said he “couldn’t see much use” for Google Wave. And Rosch said it seemed like a “solution in search of a problem.”

The fast-paced presentation went off virtually without a hitch—until midway through the program when the presenters lost their connection to the Internet.

“Sorry for the glitch,” Rosch said in closing.

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