Wikipedia, the open source encyclopedia, has received significant press lately over its reliability. Of interest to lawyers is this post over at InternetCases.com discussing the use of Wikipedia over the last year by several courts from around the country.
I have started to use Wikipedia more and more over the last year. For example, check out its entry for "common law" and the column to the right on all the common law topics. It reads like my old law school outlines.
I use it for research at work, looking up current events and just for fun at home with the kids. It works great for my wife and I when we get those tough questions from our 5 year old -- from how things work to the whys of the world. It is a tremendous resource for information on any topic. Like any resource I think you need to be cautious when using it -- but it sure beats thumbing through my old Britannica or Comptons.
When describing it to people I call it a living and breathing encyclopedia and dictionary created and edited by the masses. I believe that even Dr. Johnson would be proud of Wikipedia.
What's Wikipedia? Check out its own definition of itself.
Thanks to Ernie the Attorney over at Between Lawyers whose initial post prompted me to post.