Today Thomson Reuters is announcing the release of a new platform Westlaw Precision which promises to dramatically cut research time and improve the quality of research results. Westlaw Precision will be sold as an upgrade to Westlaw Edge. Westlaw Precision is tackling the gnarly and perennial problem of language ambiguity by doubling down on taxonomy. At launch, Westlaw Precision covers 8 topics (Commercial law, Federal Civil Procedure, Federal Discovery and Evidence, Federal Remedies, Federal Class Actions, Employment, Securities, and Anti-trust.) Fifteen new topics will be released through 2023. Only the most recent 12 years of caselaw in each topic are included in search results.

Westlaw Precision includes 6 new features at launch. Precision Research is the “Star of the show.” The other 5 features offer cite checking or workflow enhancements.

“Our customers tell us difficult legal research can often take more than 10 hours per case,” said Mike Dahn, head of Product Management, Westlaw, Thomson Reuters. “It’s time consuming because they are often looking for something very precise, but traditional
Continue Reading Westlaw Precision Launches With Promise to Cut Lawyer Research Time in Half

On Friday, I learned about two major legal publishers who are posting Ukraine related content outside their paywalls. ALM is offering a “special report hub”  on Law.com, which provide ongoing international coverage related to the war in Ukraine in and it implications for the legal industry. Thomson Reuters is tracking Russian embargo regulations on their Practical Law platform in a Russia Sanctions and Related Considerations Toolkit,

American Lawyer Media: Special Report Hub

Gina Passarela, Editor-in-Chief, Global Legal Brands (The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal, Law.com International, China Law & Practice) provided the following statement:

“ALM has created a special report hub to house all of its continuing coverage related to the war in Ukraine and its implications for the legal industry. This content, led by our global team of reporters at Law.com International and leveraging our reporting team from ALM’s legal, insurance, financial and
Continue Reading Ukraine Special Alert: ALM and Thomson Reuter Offer Free Ukraine Resources for Legal Professionals

Several months ago there was a “soft” release of a new  legal industry  news product–Reuters Legal News (RLN).  Today Thomson Reuters released several new features enabling lawyers and legal business professionals to create a customizable reading and alerting experience. Reuters which employs 2,500 journalists around the globe,  now has a team dedicated to writing, curating and tagging legal news so it can be easily customized for the busy lawyer. The RLN content is organized into four broad categories: Litigation, Transactional, Government and Legal Industry. There is a columnist dedicated to each of the four categories of legal news.  In addition to news from Reuters, the site includes selected content from Westlaw Today, The Thomson Reuters Institute, and Practical Law Updates.

Law Firms in the News

Account Setup. Accounts can be set up on the desktop at  www.reuters.com/legal or by downloading an ios or adroid app on your
Continue Reading Reuters Legal News – No Paywall! No Onepass!  Customizable Legal News

Better late than never. Here is my retrospective of top 2021 Dewey B Strategic posts.  The top stories reflect a wide swath of issues including rebranding, mergers, innovation, service disruptions, product realignments, launches, workflow and analytics. In looking at the list I am shocked to see that there is no reference at all to COVID-19.

Thomson Reuters Institute and the Center for Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown University have released the 2022 Report on the State of the Legal Market: A challenging road to recovery. Law firms are throwing a lot of money at the talent problem and it may not be paying off… in fact history suggests that it may destroy some firms.  The report underscores the fact that many lawyers value “intangibles more than money” — and yet law firms continue succumb to the compensation “arms race.”

Are you at a “Stay Firm or a “Go” Firm? The report indicates that some law firms may lose almost 25% of their legal talent in a year. Ironically “stay” firms may pay less and have associates that work longer hours. Here is an enlightening chart comparing talent issues at
Continue Reading 2022 Report on The State of the Legal Market – Stop Throwing Money at the Talent War!

Only two days after I reported the end of evening and weekend Reference Attorney coverage, a representative from Thomson Reuters     reached out to me to report that the policy was being reversed. This was no doubt the result of the sputtering disbelief and outrage expressed by the law librarian community across the US.

Here is a statement from Thomson Reuters:

On Jan. 3, 2022, we adjusted how the Reference Attorney service is offered. We studied the issue and felt this adjustment of
Continue Reading Breaking News –Thomson Reuters To Reinstate 24X7 Research Helpdesk January 18th

In the 4 decades since its launch, Westlaw created the “gold standard” of research support with a cadre of reference attorneys who were available any time a lawyer was working – that is, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Thomson Reuters executives are apparently ready to “pass the baton” to one of their competitors. Tonight for the first time in almost four decades, attorneys who call the Westlaw Reference Attorney helpline after 8 PM CST will presumably be greeted with a recording telling them to call back tomorrow.

On December 10th, Law Library Directors and Knowledge Managers around the country received this startling announcement: “Currently, Reference Attorneys provide 24/7 research support to subscribers of Westlaw Edge, Westlaw Classic, Practical Law, CLEAR, and over 30 other Thomson Reuters products.  Beginning January 3, 2022, the Reference Attorney Service will move to a core business hours model and will be available Monday through Friday, 7am -8 pm Central for both chats and calls.”

Spectacularly Out of Step with Reality. Let’s think about this – the rest of the world has shifted away from “core business hours” and Thomson Reuters has devised a 1980’s style customer support model.  How many recent trends are screaming contrary indicators: the growth of global law firms, the demand for work-life balance and flexible schedules, pervasive mobility, not to mention a little thing called COVID-19 which has up-ended the time-space continuum of work. What do time zones even mean in a connected post-pandemic world?

On December 19th I interviewed Jonathan Meyer, Director, Reference Attorneys at Thomson Reuters. I spent more than 30 minutes on the phone with Meyer trying to understand why there was no alternative to ending 24X7 support. After all, every law firm which entered into a long term Westlaw contract entered that agreement with the expectation that users of the premium priced product would continue
Continue Reading Thomson Reuters Signals to Lawyers “You’re On Your Own” – Ends Evening and Weekend Customer Support Today