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Benvinguda, amics (the LII welcomes new colleagues)

Today we welcome visiting researchers Núria Casellas and Joan-Josep (Pep) Vallbé from the Institute of Law and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.  So far, they’ve survived navigation across New York City during a major thunderstorm at rush hour, and at this writing are believed to be somewhere in the Catskills recovering from the experience.

Over the next two years, they’ll be working with us on a variety of projects aimed at creating rich legal data on the Semantic Web.  We particularly want to explore the possibilities for cross-jurisdictional retrieval of regulations,  answering questions like,  “If I know what the reg is in the US, how can I automatically retrieve the comparable regulation in Spain?”.  We’re particularly excited about projects like this because they can really help small businesses operate and compete in a global marketplace, and help guarantee that regulations on matters like food safety can be easily discovered by anyone, anywhere.  We’ve also talked about possible projects in the area of data privacy and a variety of other areas.  There’s lots to learn and explore.

Detailed information about Núria is here;  Pep’s blog is here.  We’re really looking forward to learning from them.

We partner with Nolo Press

How did we make Wex – our free, community-built legal dictionary/encyclopedia – even more comprehensive and easy to understand? By teaming with the smart folks over at Nolo and building their Plain English Legal Dictionary definitions right into each Wex entry. Have a look at the Wex entry for the term “common law” for a live example of the photo above, and here’s an alphabetical list of Wex entries if you want more.

We think adding Nolo’s definitions to Wex will help you understand the entries in Wex better; sometimes it’s nice to hear things explained in different ways, isn’t it? Plus it makes it easier for you to compare the community-built, editable Wex entry with a static definition.

Thanks again to the people at Nolo for partnering up with us on this one. Here’s the official press release announcement.  This is the first of what we hope will be a number of collaborative projects with Nolo.  They’re long-time leaders at making law accessible to the public, and it’s a privilege to work with them.