3 Format of the Manual

Each prior edition of this manual has been printed; the 2013 edition spanned nearly 1000 pages. To facilitate greater access, the Gillis Long Center placed pdf versions of the manual and each of its chapters on its website. Nevertheless, given the length of many of the chapters, pdfs were somewhat cumbersome.

In consultation with SLLS and ALSC, the Gillis Long Center decided to format this edition of the manual as an online-only resource. This decision was made for several reasons. First, for both lawyers and laypersons, the first place one tends to look for information about an unfamiliar topic is the internet. Relatedly, much of the information to which the authors cite is located online; a digital version of the manual allows a reader to access the author’s sources by simply clicking on the links provided. Hyperlink functionality also improves the manual’s ability to cover a wide variety of topics without repeating similar information. Finally, given the breadth of topics addressed in the manual, some material will become outdated long before a new edition of the entire manual can be prepared and published. An online-only version will allow individual sections of the manual to be updated without needing to republish an entire volume. For those readers who would still like to print an entire chapter as a single document, this can be done by selecting “Printer-friendly version” on the homepage for each chapter; individual sections and subsections can be printed in the same way.

Those readers familiar with prior versions of the manual may note that most of the chapters have been reorganized (sometimes heavily). Some changes were made due to a change in the law, while others were made to facilitate online reading. Where possible, sections were subdivided or shortened, section headings standardized, and the hierarchy of subsections made more consistent across the chapters of the manual.

Disclaimer: The articles in the Gillis Long Desk Manual do not contain any legal advice.