CongressDotGov is officially out of beta.

I’m always making notes to myself about items to blog about here but never have time to get to them all. Today, therefore, I offer some brief mentions of items I think are worthy of mention.

Lawyers and their hobbies. I just discovered Hsu Untied and I love it. It is a podcast by Silicon Valley technology lawyer Richard C. Hsu in which he talks with lawyers about hobbies they pursue outside of law. You’ll hear about the senior litigation counsel at Apple who pursues astronomy in his free time, the UC Hastings Law School dean who has a passion for Honda Hawk motorcycles, and the legal recruiter who moonlights as a standup comedian.

Learn e-discovery free. The folks at e-discovery company Logikcull recently announced that they are offering a free e-discovery “sandbox” to anyone who wants to learn more about how e-discovery works. The sandbox is prepopulated with 100MB of data so that lawyers can learn about metadata, de-duplication and other aspects of e-discovery. To get started, just sign up for a free sandbox account.

Free federal rules ebooks. The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, better known as CALI, has released updated versions of its free federal rules ebooks, Federal Rules of Evidence, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. CALI publishes these in cooperation with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. They are in EPUB formats available free for anyone to download.

Legal IT blog. The folks who run the digital forensics and IT consulting firm Sensei Enterprises, Sharon Nelson and John Simek, are well known in the legal community for their frequent speaking and writing. Sharon has long written one of the best blogs out there on electronic evidence and information security, Ride the Lightning. Now, John has launched a blog of his own, Your IT Consultant, where he is covering a range of IT topics, from hardware to networks to security. Check it out. out of beta. Two years ago, I wrote here about the beta launch of, a new site for U.S. legislative information that would eventually replace the aging site. Last week, officially came out of beta and also announced additional enhancements, including a new Resources section that provides an A-to-Z list of hundreds of links related to Congress, including help pages and research guides. If you’re not sure where to start with a research issue relating to Congress, here’s the place.

Indigenous law. Speaking of Congress, the Law Library of Congress recently unveiled an Indigenous Law Portal that collects and organizes resources and materials related to tribal law in the United States.  The portal features a map of the country on which you can click to find materials related to tribes within specific states. If you are researching issues that involve tribal legal matters, this is where you start.

WordRake for Outlook. I’ve twice reviewed WordRake, the Microsoft Word add-on that proofreads your documents. (See my reviews here and here, testing it against some of the profession’s most eloquent writes, the justices of the Supreme Court.)  Now, WordRake is out with a version for Outlook that suggests edits to your email before you hit the send button.

That wraps up our round-up for this Friday. Have a great weekend.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.