Lawpendium hopes to be a resource beneficial to attorneys and non-attorneys alike. For attorneys, it hopes to be a resource of basic legal information, elements of all legal claims, a legal research resource, a source of legal documents, among many other things. For non-attorneys, it hopes to provide much of the same for those representing themselves, those seeking counsel and legal information, and those wishing to understand the law better.
The hazard is that a non-attorney will use information or a document on the site without fully appreciating its significance. That's a hazard that frankly exists on the internet generally. As attorneys, the founders of Lawpendium have seen the problems arising from non-attorneys using documents that have significance they might not fully appreciate, or that are ill-suited for their needs, among other such problems. So why make them available this way? For a few reasons.
First, making them available doesn't mean legal advice isn't warranted and in no way discourages seeking legal advice. Second, it is hoped that non-attorneys can ultimately find information on this site to help avoid those problems. Third, the world through the internet is moving toward broad access to information--it can't be ignored. Fourth, it is hoped that Lawpendium can ultimately hook up non-attorneys with attorneys. And fifth, some will never be able to access or hire an attorney, and it is hoped that something will be better than nothing. There are other reasons, but those justify consolidating documents and legal information in this manner.
Attorneys may ask why they would contribute to this project. There are many possible reasons. One is that there is a benefit to society as a whole. Attorneys tend to be conscientious of their need to give back to society, and this will provide another outlet for that need. Another is that in giving in this way, it creates a meaningful avenue for connecting attorneys and non-attorneys. It is envisioned that non-attorneys will find attorneys this way. The site is designed for attorney editors to take credit for their edits and other contributions and to get connected to potential clients that way. It is anticipated that some attorneys will hesitate to post work product on here. That's to be understood. The founders of Lawpendium believe however that the benefits will outweigh the risks.
Also, as mentioned earlier, it is believed that it is inevitable that this is the direction the internet is going in--more ready access to more and more information. There's no reason to fear or pretend it isn't so. As attorneys, we can move away from it or be a part of it. If the practice of law is evolving, which it is quite apparently doing, attorneys may as well shape and engage that evolution and be at its forefront. Lawyers will not become obsolete, but will have to adapt to the evolutionary track of the world around it.
Thank you for your interest in Lawpendium. Please be a part of this cause.
What is Lawpendium?
The mission of Lawpendium is to be a resource for legal professionals and the general public as a whole. It will include information on legal issues, including contracts law, black letter law (including the elements of certain legal claims), legal documents, among other things. It also aspires to be a place where the general public can be put in touch with a wide variety of attorneys working in different fields.
How should I use the information and documents found on this site?
Since Lawpendium is a collaborative effort designed to bring the benefits of the wiki to the law, Lawpendium cannot ensure the accuracy of the legal information or documents on it. Please visit Lawpendium:General disclaimer for more details.
Is there a charge for use or participation?
No. Lawpendium is a free site and will never ask for donations. To keep it free, a small amount of ads may appear on pages on the site.
How do I participate?
You can just read and learn. Or you can contribute edits and documents. The site appears in a wiki format so anyone registered can edit information—and receive deserved credit for their contribution.
How do I as an editor benefit?
Those who edit or otherwise contribute, such as through sharing legal documents, will receive credit. They will create an online persona and be able to create a byline or link to their own website. As they make edits or share documents and their content is approved through a positive vote, they will receive a buzz factor and attribution. Readers can contact them directly or through lawpendium. The other benefit is to give to the community at large. Many cannot afford legal services and have legal needs that lawpendium hopes ultimately to address. Your service to the public will benefit many.
Our belief is that the law is at a technological frontier—soon, the law will be more available and the old way of practicing law will become more and more obsolete. Lawpendium is taking us past that frontier and into the future. Having an online community where people with legal questions and needs can meet with legal professionals will help make the law more available to the general public and provide a forum and context in which legal professionals can streamline their practices.
What can I do?
We invite you to be a part of this project and help make it a valuable resource, whether a lawyer or a non-lawyer. You can participate by reading, editing, and/or signing up.