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

The ARK Law Libraries Conference is back in New York and Live for the first time in three years. I will be moderating a panel discussion: Navigating Vendor Relationships: What will Technology Customer Support Look Like in Ten Years?  Panel includes, Krista Ford, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC; Jill Strand, Fish & Richardson and Monica Deal, VP of Global Customer Success, LexisNexis. Are vendors customer support models failing? Are products becoming too complex for vendors to support properly? Is there a customer support bot in your future? What are the challenges facing librarians  who support hundreds of sophisticated research products? What are challenges facing vendors in our 24X7 global work environment?

Participate in my Survey. Next week I will be posting a brief survey about customer service issues in which you can provide feedback.

The two days will cover a wide range of topics including; the great resignation, talent retention; competitive intelligence, APIs for data integration; hybrid work environments, digital transformation and the  librarian’s role in client retention.

View the full agenda here.

Register for the conference at this link.

Several weeks ago I was saddened to learn that Dean Sonderegger  was recently named Senior Vice President & General Manager, Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting Canada and Research & Learning U.S. Sonderegger will be a hard act to follow. During his tenure at Legal & Regulatory he drove efforts to enhance the premium practice content by embedding workflow and insight solutions. He orchestrated the sunsetting of Intelliconnect so that WK could focus its talent and energy on Innovation in the Cheetah (now VitalLaw)  platform which replaced it. He drove initiatives developing new tools for drafting, analytics and insights and explored alignments with a variety of innovative legal tech companies. An alliance with KM Standards resulted in the launch of  M & A Analytics. He also drove the integration of Capital Markets data into RBSource. Sonderegger raised Wolters Klwuer’s profile as a player in the legal tech market and was a regular commentator and panelist at National events such as Legal Tech, ILTA and the AALL Annual Conference.

Welcome Atul Dubey. Before joining Wolters Kluwer, Dubey focused on expanding businesses in the fintech space with leadership roles at S&P Global and Citigroup. Let’s hope he  can engage with the law librarian and KM community at the AALL Annual Meeting in Denver. I can’t think of a better place to soak up the expertise and perspectives of the legal information community.

Here is the press release from Wolters Kluwer:

Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Names Atul Dubey Successor to Dean Sonderegger as Head of Legal & Regulatory U.S.

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

Earlier this week, Law360 Pulse released its inaugural Law360 Leaderboard law firm ranking. This completes a trifecta of new surveys developed by Law360 over the past year. The most recent survey highlights what the editors have defined as “well-rounded firms.” The new metric purports to identify firms that excel across a broad range of criteria such as culture, reputation, and business practice.

The Leaderboard combines the scores from the previously released rankings for Social Impact and Prestige. The new score is based on the Practice Footprint law firms have made in the litigation and transactional spaces over a three-year period. Law360 leverage data from Lexis Nexis sister companies Intelligize and Lex Machina. Intelligize data was used to define the size of completed public M&A and registered offering deals. Lex Machina data provided the metrics for Federal Continue Reading Law360 Pulse Releases Law Firm Leaderboard Rankings

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. How quickly the most disruptive force in decades transformed into an environmental “white noise” – pervasive and inescapable but not generating the surge of research innovation and work-arounds that characterized 2020.. Somehow we all “kept calm and carried on.”

 

Wolters Kluwer’s Cheetah is being Rebranded as Vitallaw What’s a Librarian to Do? October 28, 2021

The Results Are in Dewey B Strategic What’s Hot and What’s Not Part 1. Westlaw Edge vs. Lexis vs. Law Firm Budgets. March 11, 2021

The Dewey B Strategic 2020-21 Hits and Misses Survey: The Product Most Likely to Be Cancelled. Is Lex Machina. April  26,2021

 Feit Consulting” Is Lexis Practical Guidance Ready for Prime Time? September 21,2021

Thomson Reuters Launches Practical Law Dynamic Tool Set July 12,2021

LexisNexis Launching Law360 Pulse to Focus on the Business of Law January 4,2021

Fastcase and Casemaker Merge to Create the Largest Legal Research Platform by Subscriber Count. January 5,2021

Westlaw Services Back to Normal Following Serious Disruptions Through Most of Tuesday. September 28,2021

 Breaking News: ALM News Ends Exclusive Relationship with LexisNexis White Extending LexisNexis Alliance. January 2021

Bloomberg Adds American Lawyers Media News, Experts and Verdicts. January 5.2021

The Dewey B Strategic 2020-21 Hits and Misses Survey: What Research, KM, Workflow and Analytics Product Are Readers Buying?  April 2021

What’s Hot and What’s Not Bloomberg Brief Analyzer and Thomson Reuters Quickcheck Judicial Tied for Best New Workflow Product. March 2021

2020 State of the Legal Market Report A Tipping Point for Law Firm Transformation? January 12,2020

What’s Hot and What’s Not 2020-21 Survey :ALM Law.com radar Voted Best Legal news. Product. And Thomson Reuters Legal Home – Best Marketplace March  18,2021

Lexis  Legal News Hub Integrated Law360 Content into Research Ecosystem July 1,2021

 In the Brief Checking Wars Thomson Reuters Ups the Antes with New Contrary Authority Feature June 2021

Look Inside Your Opponents Brain Lexis Launches Context Attorney Analytics. March 1, 2021

On January 3rd, I posted a story about Thomson Reuters’ decision to move attorney research support to a “core business hours” model and eliminate 24X7 research assistance. Execs at TR must have gotten whiplash when they threw the policy into reverse on January 5. However they announced that 24X7 hours wouldn’t be resumed until January 18th….

I suppose this temporary Lexis offering is in the spirit of “never letting a good crisis go to waste.” A representative from LexisNexis just provided me with the message below:

As a follow-up to your story about TR dropping – then reinstating – its 24/7 support, LexisNexis is offering Westlaw customers free research support until Jan. 17 to get them through this service interruption. Attorneys can call 1-800-543-6862 to get help with their legal research needs (There’s also a landing page with more info). The company has added additional after-hours and weekend staffing to handle the increased calls. Hoping you can help spread the word so that attorneys (and librarians!) are not left without support.

This is a bit of a “stick in the eye” and piling on — after all Thomson Reuters quickly reversed their decision. However they did create the opening by postponing the resumption of full service to January 18th.

I have to assume that there are lawyers who would welcome support from any source if they are up against a filing deadline and are stuck on a research problem.

I am posting this as a warning to other vendors.  They need to take  both customer support and customer engagement very seriously. It is not only good business but ignoring customer needs leaves the organization open to longer term reputational damage.

 

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