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At FindLaw, Taking Pleasure in the Details

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on July 12, 2016 6:59 AM

Here at FindLaw, the details matter.

We're not just talking about the legal nuances our readers depend on us for, we're talking the tiny, editorial subtleties most people are likely to overlook -- because even when you're dealing with millions of pages of content, the small things still matter. Here's how FindLaw finds pleasure in the details and a quick overview of some of the small, small changes you might notice throughout the site.

Small Changes, Significant Impacts

As the number one source of consumer legal information online, FindLaw is a thoroughly modern company. But we've also been around for awhile. When FindLaw started in 1996, we were one of the first websites to bring legal knowledge to the people, trail-blazers on early days of the Information Super Highway. But a lot has changed since then, and FindLaw has evolved with the times.

And part of that evolution means updating our editorial practices. If you're a frequent reader of FindLaw blogs, and you should be, you may have noticed that they've had a little work. We've tweaked the fonts and layouts slightly, making blogs more readable and engaging. It's a subtle update, but an important one.

It's All About Style

We've also moved to bring our writing more into conformance with standard internet style. FindLaw's writers rely on "The Yahoo! Style Guide" to make sure we're dotting our I's, crossing our T's, and coding our HTML properly. That's 512 pages of web-specific writing rules, covering everything from semicolons to gender-neutral copy.

Recently, we decided to bring our rules into greater conformance with Yahoo!'s. That means jettisoning some idiosyncrasies in our in-house style guide, holdouts from our earlier years on the 'net. For our readers, that means you'll be slightly smoother treatment of titles. For our writers, it means never having to capitalize "the" in the New York Times in running text again.

And though we are online pioneers, we have to say good-bye to the Internet -- at least in its capitalized form. FindLaw is joining much of the rest of the modern world and treating internet as a common noun, now. Here, we're actually breaking from Yahoo!. To paraphrase Walt Whitman, we too contain multitudes and aren't afraid of the occasional contradiction.

We doubt many will find these change earth-shaking, as small and subtle as they may be. But we do hope they make your visits to FindLaw more enjoyable, whether you notice them or not.

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