The results of the 2017 Start Stop Survey are in. Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey. My apologies for the delay in compiling the results – let me blame a series of unexpected events starting in December and continuing through the spring.

Can it Be? The Best New Legal Information Product is FREE!  Although AALL’s daily newsletter launched in late 2016 it really gained traction in 2017. I am also a daily reader. Know It AALL aggregates legal knowledge and technology stories from around the web ranging from academic publications to popular blogs and news sites. It is like a fresh cup of news serendipity to drink in along with your morning coffee. (Full disclosure: I am currently on the Board of the American Association of Law Libraries which publishes the newsletter..) The Know it AALL is available for free to anyone who wishes to subscribe at this link.

What is the best NEW PRODUCT you became aware of in 2017?

  •  1st Place The Know it AALL from AALL
  • 2nd Place: Wolters Kluwer Standard Fed Plus
  • 3rd Place Tie: Casetext Cara and Lex Machina

Other recommended products:

  • AcclaimIP
  • Dealpoint Data
  • Fastcase
  • Gavelytics
  • Intelligize
  • ktMINE
  • LAC Research Management Platform
  • Leopard Solutions
  • Lexis Practice advisor
  • Manzama Signals
  • PatSnap
  • RB Source Filings


What was the best FEATURE/FUNCTION added to an information resource in 2017?

  1. Bloomberg Law Docket Key
  2. Lex Machina on Lexis

Also recommended:

  • Docket Navigator
  • Folder Analysis on Westlaw
  • Search Term Maps of Lexis Advance
  • Casetext briefs and alerts
  • Wolters Kluwer statutory timelines

What PRODUCT did your department/organization STOP using in 2017 or plan to stop in 2018?

According to readers: Lexis Advance and West KM are the two products most likely to be cancelled. Perhaps as a reaction to the increasing pressure on information professionals to deliver for knowledge solutions and efficiency tools — some respondents vented real hostility and frustration at Thomson Reuters failure to deliver a reliable KM product.  Executives at Thomson Reuters have heard me vent on this issue. I believe that I saw my first demo of West KM almost 20 years ago… and the product seems to have lost key features over the years instead of improving. It is a missed opportunity for both TR and law firms that a product with so much promise has whithered even as market  Here is a representative comment from the survey regarding West KM: “It is too broken, in too many ways, and TR is doing nothing to fix it.”

Other products facing the ax are:

  • Accurint
  • Bloomberg Financial terminal
  • Bloomberg Law
  • Drafting Assistant ( TR)
  • Dun and Bradstreet Credit reporter
  • Equilar
  • Lexis Publisher
  • Lexis Patent advisor
  • Lexis Practice Advisor
  • Manzama
  • Mergermarket
  • Practical Law (TR)
  • Securities Mosaic
  • SMI Social Media Information

The variety of products on this list suggests to be the ongoing product churn which is the result of two factors – the existence of tracking tools which can precisely track usage trends and flat budgets.  Flat budgets require KM and Library Directors to cancel under performing products in order to make room in the budget for innovative new products which might deliver a higher ROI.

 What NEW INFORMATION/WORKFLOW PRODUCTS do you expect to be rolled out in your organization in 2018?

 Generic trends no product selected: news aggregators,

Perhaps no surprise – The Lexis competitor to West KM “Lexis Search Advantage” was the product most often mentioned as a new product to be rolled out in 2018.

The Emerging Bird Trend. I track new products pretty closely. And if I don’t find them – they often find me. But this year I was amused and pleased  to find  that readers had recommended two avian products that I had never heard of before: GovHawk and Docket Bird.

GovHawk provides personalized state and federal legislative and regulatory tracking. DocketBird enables users to batch download every document docket in only a few clicks.

Here are the reader recommendations:

  • Docket Bird
  • GovHawk
  • KtMine
  • Lexis Practice Advisor
  • LMO (Lexis for Microsoft Office)
  • Manzama Signals
  • mLex
  • Neota Logic
  • NewsDesk
  • Smart Task Pro
  • ThinkSmart ( workflow automation)

 What product would you most like to see developed in Legal information technology area?

 Drum roll please… For the second year in a row ….

The non-existent product most in demand by readers is  a Pacer like system for all 50 State Court Dockets and Analytics.

Second Place – KM solutions. Readers described a variety of solutions. Here are some representative comments.“RAVN has so much potential if you can unlock your own document system for precedents in a cost effective way.”   and “KM tool that can mine work product to automatically build and continuously update expertise profiles.”

Additional product recommendations:

  • All vendors should develop a system to notify a few key people at the subscribing institution when their systems go down or have issues. That would save many phone calls and emails as help desk personnel waste their time determining if the issue is internal or external. (Note:  I have been suggesting this to large vendors for years!)
  • Something like Boardex  and Legal Compass only with more reliable information.
  •  Something to help self represented litigants navigate the court process and complete forms.
  • Single source platform for all primary source with point in time tracking of changes in the law.