My inner administrative law geek has found a new site that it cannot get enough of: OpenRegs.com. Why do I love this site? Because it makes formulating a research assignment I give every year that much easier to write.
The assignment: I find a regulation that has recently been proposed (and if it’s on a particularly controversial topic, all the better). I then ask students enrolled in my specialized legal research class on administrative law to (a) prepare a research log of the resources they consulted to learn about the agency and the subject matter of the proposed regulation; and (b) draft a comment based on their research from an assigned viewpoint.
OpenRegs.com provides the same information that one can find in the Federal Register (and to some extent on Regulations.gov, another favorite site of mine), but in a much more user-friendly format. The most important feature I find for purposes of my assignment is that it tells me, to the day, when comment periods for regulations will close. This is vital as I try to choose regulations that are open at the time the class is in session to make the exercise seem more real. The site also incorporates Web 2.0 technologies in the form of blogs and discussion forums, but so far very few people have taken advantage of these features.
The creators of the site have created a video on what OpenRegs.com has to offer: