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JURIST is an online legal news service hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, powered by a staff of more than 60 law students[1] working in Pittsburgh and other US locations under the direction of founding Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Professor Bernard Hibbitts, Executive Director Megan McKee, Research Director Jaclyn Belczyk, Technical Director Jeremiah Lee, Managing Editor Kelly Cullen and Chief of Staff Autumn Callan. It features continuously updated US and international legal news and expert commentary. JURIST is dedicated to advancing civic education, supporting sound decision-making and promoting the rule of law by objectively reporting, documenting and analyzing important legal developments as they happen. JURIST seeks to encourage teaching, learning, and scholarship within the legal community and in the general community.

In April 2009 JURIST was nominated for a Webby Award as best Law website, its third such nomination in four years. The site won the Webby People's Voice Award in 2006. Other website awards include the 2008 W3 Silver Award and the 2006 W3 Gold Award in the Law and Legal Services category. JURIST's flagship Paper Chase legal news section was recognized by the ABA Journal in its 2008 and 2007 lists of "the best Web sites by lawyers, for lawyers". JURIST content is carried on the websites and/or intranets of major newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post, US federal appeals courts, and numerous law schools, bar associations and law firms.

JURIST is owned and operated by JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization.


Professor Bernard Hibbitts created the website that would become JURIST in 1996 as Law Professors on the Web, with the name JURIST being officially adopted in 1997. Initially designed for law professors as a clearinghouse of online legal materials authored by other law professors, it eventually evolved under the pressure of events beyond its original directory-library-archive model and its internal academic orientation into a live, dynamic and externally oriented news and research service designed to bridge the gap between the legal academy and the public. Although law students have been involved with JURIST from its beginnings, the current model of training students to work as reporters and editors began in 2003. JURIST has since grown to a staff of over sixty students, plus two full-time professional staff members. The first section to fully utilize students was the Paper Chase legal news service. Subsequently, students have led efforts to more fully develop JURIST's commentary sections, features and archives, as well as develop vibrant social media presences on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

In 2008, JURIST incorporated as a Pennsylvania non-profit and subsequently obtained an IRS determination to be a charitable organization as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. This change in status allowed JURIST to make several other changes. In 2010, JURIST began the process of transitioning its operations to the new domain. In January 2012, JURIST moved its web operations from an aging Windows based server located in the University of Pittsburgh School of Law to its own modern server located at a data center in California. JURIST also began its first online fundraising drive in March 2012, coinciding with the unveiling of a new logo and banner design on its website.

Paper Chase

Paper Chase[2] is JURIST's flagship news service, providing readers with a constant stream of real-time legal news supported by primary sources. Paper Chase covers a wide range of national and international legal topics and reaches thousands of lawyers, policymakers, academics, and citizens from around the world every day. Paper Chase headlines are viewed off site more than 40,000 times a week on the websites and intranets of more than 90 legal institutions, including federal appeals courts, major law firms, leading law schools, and legal associations. The service is written by law student "anchors" working in continuous shifts 365 days a year under the direction of JURIST Research Director Jaclyn Belczyk.


JURIST's commentary services provide readers with content produced by newsmakers, legal professionals and the academic community on topics covered by Paper Chase.

JURIST's Forum[3] publishes op-ed pieces on current legal developments written by law professors and other professors who wish to comment on a legal topic. Forum contributors come from law schools across the United States and from countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Hungary. Recent Forum pieces have addressed topics ranging from Same-sex marriage in New Zealand[4] to hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay[5] and right-to-work legislation in Michigan.[6] In contrast to traditional legal scholarship, Forum contributors use a wider array of scholarly and non-scholarly sources to write for both a legal and non-legal audience. Forum is frequently cited in journals such as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and hundreds of other law reviews throughout the world.

JURIST's Hotline[7] solicits commentary on legal news from lawyers, advocacy groups, legislators and other news makers. This commentary ties directly into JURIST's Paper Chase stories and offers readers pointed opinion on Paper Chase[2] material from legal experts. Hotline[7] also serves to broaden JURIST readership by building relationships with individuals and organizations that share an interest in some aspect of the law.

JURIST's Sidebar[8] is the newest commentary service and features articles from firm lawyers and judges on issues they deal with in the course of their practice.

Dateline[9] is JURIST's student commentary service, which seeks original opinion-based articles from law students across the globe regarding their personal and work experiences in a field of law. Students also share their opinions on legal issues in articles from our PaperChase service. The written work typically comments on current events related to controversial legal topics such as the Stolen Valor Act,[10] contraception,[11][12] and First Amendment rights.[13]

Other services

JURIST's Archives works in the broader context of JURIST both by fostering historical curiosity towards legal issues and incorporating content from all sections of JURIST for ease of access and comprehension. Archives summarizes legal topics and synthesizes JURIST Paper Chase and Commentary coverage in the form of its This Day at Law and Features services. This Day at Law [14] publishes daily, and Features [15] covers prominent legal topics such as same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, and US immigration law.

JURIST's Social Media utilizes various social media platforms to reach current readers and expand the audience. JURIST operates a popular Twitter feed[16] as well as an interactive Facebook page[17] and a Google+ feed.[18] All JURIST social media is updated constantly with new JURIST content and relevant legal news from other sources.

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