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FindLaw Answers: Where Everybody Knows Your (Handle)

By Neetal Parekh on July 12, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019
Ah, Community

Whether misery loves company or happiness is meant to be shared, there is something about being part of a group, a team, a community of others that share experience which seems to provide a boost in challenging times.

Law Students, Associates, and Commiseration

And talk to a 1L, 2L, or 3L and you will likely find individuals bursting with experiences to share. Sure, being a law student can be exciting, but it can feel isolating at times. Mix in academic rigor with future uncertainty and looming debt, and you may find yourself brewing a stew that doesn't always seem like menu material. 

And while new associate-dom has the benefit of a J.D., it isn't necessarily the 'pass go and collect $200' card either. Understanding where you fit in a firm, company, or organization and what the typical expectations of someone in your shoes or stilettos are can take some getting used to.

Maybe that's why law students and new associates seek out active communities to join...on campus, in the field, and yes, right here online.

Online Legal Communities a la FindLaw

Knowing that you aren't going it alone, and that, in fact, you are joining a community of legal scholarship and practice is not only interesting, but even a little exhilarating.  The field of law is far more expansive than a single person and far more pervasive than a single case. Striving to understand it from multiple angles and through different lenses is what we as participants in the legal community can aim to achieve collectively.

So, these active online legal communities---pie in the sky, or do they actually exist?  Get out your vuvuzuelas, because you're closer than you think...

FindLaw has multiple robust online legal communities for you to engage in and be part of. FindLaw Answers is one such example.  It's a Q&A Board on which regular everyday people post legal questions about topics ranging from bankruptcy to traffic violations. And the FindLaw community is tapped to answer.

If you're contemplating taking the leap in joining FindLaw Answers to ask or to answer, here are a few reasons why you should...

7 Reasons To Join the FindLaw Answers Community

1. To connect with real people and their real questions.  You didn't come to law school to just tackle issues with widgets and Blackacre, get a pulse of what real people are asking about. In real time.

2. To sharpen your legal intake skills.  Law school internships 101 often involves being able to gather the right facts to understand a legal issue. On FindLaw Answers, you can interact by asking follow-up questions or clarifying what users ask.

3. To learn to issue spot, rapid fire. A favorite mantra of law school is 'never stop issue-spotting'. The art of law involves understanding types of legal scenarios that arise from a set of facts. With hundreds of new questions being asked every day, you'll be able to issue spot, rapid fire.

4. To expand your library of online citation sources. Take a quick tour of Q&A's on FindLaw Answers and you will notice that helpful responses often contain links for users to continue their research online. The question is, do you know the online resources available?  Learn about the law online as you ask and answer.

5. To get to know the "regulars", maybe even become one.  Join just about any community and you will soon recognize the "regulars". Those that are committed to keeping the boards in check, whose voices are active, and who gain the respect of their peers. FindLaw Answers follows the trend. See if you can win the respect of our regulars with your legal know-how.

6. To use your honed expertise to provide meaningful legal information on specific topics of law. What makes each law student and associate different? They have different legal interests and different fields of expertise. If you have a field of law that you know like the back of your learned hand, share it to inform and help the community.

7. To be part of an active online community of users who are passionate about law. Nuff said.

See you on the boards. And, cheers.

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