COVID-19 threw law firms and librarians into the deep end of the local law pool. COVID-19 exposed the limits of traditional legal information vendors who focus on laws at the federal and state level. Long before COVID-19 emerged, Amanda Ostrowitz the SVP and founder of Fyllo’s CannaRegs, recognized the need for hyperlocal law to track the emergence of the Canna CBD Industry. Ostrowitz herself has developed a mastery of canna law and the canna law market.

Like other attorney entrepreneurs Ostrowitz sat at her desk thinking — “there’s got to be a better way.” Ostrowitz was working at the Federal Reserve and had to research financial regulations related to the emerging cannabis industry. There were no standard tools for locating the materials related to canna. As she excavated the regulations she discovered that she was in terra incognita — the unmapped and unharnessed regions of hyperlocal law related to regulation of the cannabis industry. By June 2015, CannaRegs was ready for a soft launch. The company was purchased by Fyllo in March 2021.

The Fortune 500 Drove Cannabis Law Into The ALM 100?

Cannabis law was not immediately embraced by the ALM 100 law firms. Ostrowitz tracked the progression. In 2018, only 15% of ALM law firm websites mentioned cannabis/CBD law and 5% had a specialty canna practice. By 2019, those numbers jumped to 35% of ALM 100 firms mentioning cannabis/CBD law and 10% having a special practice group. In 2020, 75% of ALM 100 law firm websites Continue Reading Excavating The Hyperlocal Legal Landscape With Amanda Ostrowitz Of CannaRegs

Today Wolters Kluwer Legal &  Regulatory is announcing two significant enhancements to RBSource Filings with the addition of IPO Vital Signs and  M&A  deals. This integration will support capital markets practitioners work by delivering both insights and workflow efficiency tools.Wolters Kluwer has been busy in the capital markets arena. This launch comes only a month after the launch of The Merger Threshold Monitor on Kluwer Competition platform.

“With the IPO market on track to break records this year and M&A volume continuing to increase, it’s becoming more important for attorneys to access expert insights that help them stay competitive in the current landscape,” said Ken Crutchfield, Vice President and Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Bulks up Capital Markets Content with IPO Vital Signs, M & A Deals on RB Source

LexisNexis has just released there inaugural Law360 Pulse 2021  Legal Technology Survey. In January and February 2021 they conducted  a survey  of corporate and law firm technology decision makers. The survey was focused on assessing law firm and in-house  technology investments, goals and fears during the COVID-19 pandemic.  A big clue to the results is in the subtitle: Bulking Up During the Office Diaspora. The report also sought to identify indicators of future concerns and investments.  Law360 Pulse was launched in January 2021 as a news service  focused on the business of law. Today they are releasing  the third in a series of  busines of law surveys.
The repost provides a series of snapshots across the spectrum of technology issues, budgets, cybersecurity, A.I., popular tech products by category. post COIVD tech adoption trends. The report examines the significance of cybersecurity threats and the degree to which law firms are responding.

There were just over 20 respondents but the report is positioned as providing anecdotal evidence of industry trends from the point of view of CIOs and other technology specialists.

  • 89% said their IT operating budgets were holding steady or rising.
  • More than 60% are using document automation
  • 20% are using virtual assistance and chat bots
  • More than 90% of respondents have a cyber liability policy
  • Fewer than 10% said they had a data breach in the past year.
  • 75% said they had a dedicated technology expert to support automation of core in-house workflows.
  • AI is being used primarily for legal research 86% and contract review and negotiation 48%
  • Only 32% of the respondents have a minimum hourly  CLE requirement Lawyers to gain technical competencies.
Respondents estimated that an average of 9% of lawyers time can be replaced with automated tasks. I am fascinated with that estimate and I would like to learn more about how they came to that number.  What products were in the mix?
Popular products. The survey identified the most popular products by category. Most popular AI tools include Kira (51%) Neota Logic( 21%).Video conferencing . It is no surprise that Zoom was the product identified by 83%.
The report ends with a summary of the most significant COVID impacts on technology. Impacts include the speed of technology adoption and introduction of new technologies.
For more information visit Law360 Pulse.

COVID exposed the stark boundaries of traditional legal publishing. Lexis and Westlaw built their reputations by developing robust libraries of  federal and state primary  law material ( cases, statutes and regulations). The issuances of individual state agencies e,g, health departments as well as the terra incognita of village, township, borough, and city law was not even on their “to do” list. To make matters worse  in the first weeks of the pandemic shutdown, a deluge of local orders, policies and proclamations were published in unpredictable and almost un-capturable formats including, tweets, texts and Facebook postings.

Law firms and librarians found out almost overnight that  every client needed to understand the landscape of “hyper local” law.  Law librarians rose to the challenge. This year as part of this blog’s annual Hits &  MIsses Survey, I explored COVID specific issues that emerged in 2020.

I asked survey participants what kind of specialized  products they were tasked with developing to fill the void in traditional legal publishing.. 63.3 % of responders indicated that they had led or participated in a COVID Project.

 

What Kind of Projects? Below is a word cloud of responses identifying the kind of COVID related projects which librarians were tasked with.

Curating Resource Pages, Newsletters, Trackers, Alerts and RSS Feeds

  • More than half of those who worked on COVID Projects created some form of COVID resources page for either internal or external use.
  • Almost 100% of the librarians who were tasked with COVID projects developed methodologies for tracking COVID related impacts.
  • Almost every responder performed some form of tracking which results in both internal and external alerts, newsletters and RSS feeds.
  • 50% of those participating in COVID projects undertook the tracking of state and local executive orders, regulations and policies.
  • Special topics included : remote work, court closures and tracking other law firms responses to COVID
  • More traditional COVID related materials tracked include  dockets, cases, news and industry developments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2020-21 Dewey B Strategic What’s Hot and What’s Not Survey  included a series of questions related to the COVID-19 Crisis.

COVID Resources Every legal  publisher launched some kind of COVID related legal resource. Many of these resources were made publicly available outside the paywall. These products included toolkits, trackers,  practical guidance, advisories, checklists, legislative and caselaw monitors. Legal publishers demonstrated laudable community-mindedness. In light of this, rather than ask readers to rate these pro bono offerings, I asked readers to identify which  COVID offerings they had used. Readers were able to select multiple products.

The B Word Most law firms were facing financial uncertainty which resulted in slashed budgets. Everyone was working from home. For law firms with large libraries – this meant – books that were no longer accessible or  even “up-update-able.”  Overnight librarians  who had not yet done so, were challenged to build robust digital libraries. Many librarians asked vendors to make adjustments to fixed price multi-year contracts for print materials. How did vendors respond to customers budget adjustment requests?

How Did the Legal Publishers Compare? Lastly I asked readers to provide an overall rating for each publisher based on their  overall experience with each vendor during the COVID crisis.

Key Takeaways:

COVID ResourcesBloomberg Law’s In Focus COIVD-19 was the most heavily used COVID Offering

Responsiveness to Print Budget ConcernsWolters Kluwer was the most responsive legal publisher addressing librarians contracting and budget issues.

Overall Responsiveness During COVID Crisis – Wolters Kluwer received the highest percent of “excellent” ratings for their free resources, responsiveness to budget concerns and overall support during the COVID Crisis.

 

 

 

 

The American Association of Law Libraries has opened registration for their Annual Conference which will be held July 19-23, 2021. Sadly it will be a virtual conference for the second year in a row. The theme is “Leading with Wisdom & Insight” and  “builds upon legal information professionals’ ability to adapt to unparalleled industry shifts while leading the way forward in this new and constantly changing legal landscape.

The conference was originally scheduled to be a live event in Cleveland, Ohio. The five day conference promises five days of innovative innovation and events. There will be live-streamed and on-demand sessions covering  topical coverage of legal technology, diversity, equity, and inclusion, analytics in competitive intelligence, wellness, access to justice, and more.

New Virtual Conference Platform:  attendees will have the ability to chat and network with colleagues directly through a new virtual conference platform and even schedule both group and one-on-one meetings with other attendees.

Partner Solutions Day Monday July 19th will feature Partner solutions .allowing registrants  to explore and connect with providers of cutting-edge and essential products and services, and attend livestreamed Exhibitor Showcase sessions.

Keynote: Live education programs will kick off on Tuesday, July 20 with the Opening General Session, featuring keynote speaker Tina Continue Reading AALL Opens Registration for 2021 Virtual Conference — Rock On!

Workflow Tools. 2020 was marked by significant activity in the  legal workflow/drafting space.  There were eight products that came to my attention during 2020. Three of the eight workflow products fall into the Brief analysis category.   Casetext invented the brief analysis space with the launch of the first brief analysis product CARA in 2016.  So it has taken 4 years for all 3 of the major legal publishers to launch a brief analysis tool. Thomson Reuters launched  Westlaw Quickcheck in  2019 . In 2020 Quickcheck Judicial was launched and is an extension of Quickcheck which enables judges (and lawyers) to analyze  up to six briefs/motions. Both Bloomberg and Lexis launched their competing brief checking tools  Bloomberg Brief Analyzer and Lexis Brief Analyzer in 2020.

Casetext raised a new challenge for their competitors in 2020 with the launch of another groundbreaking  new  product Compose. Compose uses AI to and linguistic analysis to help lawyers draft motions by identifying relevant standards and arguments with which to build out a brief or motion. The product also includes the powerful “parallel search”  technology which frees research from the “prison of the keyword” according to Pablo Arredondo, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Casetext. It is hard for me to imagine that Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg are not already investing in the development of  their own motion drafting products. It will be interesting to see if it is another 3 or 4 years before a competitor to Compose is launched.

Best Workflow Tool: Bloomberg’s Brief Analyzer and Thomson Reuters Quick Check Judicial  tied for 1st place. Casetext Compose took second place. 

 

 

Legal News One of the most surprising developments of 2020 was the new focus on Legal News. ALM launched an innovative new alerting services called Law.com Radar which originally launched as (Legal Radar). Here are links to the posts I wrote about  Law.com radar in February and November 2020. Westlaw although owned by the Thomson Reuters news organization had ignored the legal news market they launched Westlaw Today in 2020.  (The predecessor company West Publishing had made short lived attempt  with a product called Westlaw News sometime in the 1980s.) Fastcase which bought Law Street Media began publishing legal news which leveraged data harvested from their Docket Alarm analytics product. ( A new Lexis News offering Law360 Pulse which launched  in January 2021 was not included in this survey but will be included in the 2021 survey.)

Best Legal News Product: ALM’s Law.com Radar

 

Legal Marketplaces It has become nearly impossible to test and track all the new legal technology tools that flood the market each year. In addition, existing tools are transformed with powerful new functionality. Enter the legal marketplace – a new category of legal resource Continue Reading 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

Today Wolters Kluwer Legal and Regulatory and Courtroom Insight or announcing a partnership which would enable mutual subscribers to access a large database of labor arbitration information including awards. Courtroom Insight which provides foundational directories including public information on experts, judges, lawyers and arbitrators enables law firms to build out internal knowledge management content related to these professionals including ratings and documents.
Courtroom Insight subscribers who also subscribe to the Wolters Kluwer Labor Arbitration Database will now have access to enhanced information on arbitrators including awards. As law firms gather data to develop more effective practice strategies it is clear that non-public arbitration data can be a powerful tool.

The press release includes a quote from  Cynthia Brown, Senior Director of Research Services at Littler Mendelson P.C. “Law firms are increasingly seeking time-saving workflow efficiencies across their organizations as they strive to provide more value to clients. This Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer and Courtroom Insight Partnership: Workflow Efficiency for Arbitrators Insights and Awards

The results of the Dewey B Strategic 2020-2021  Hits and Misses Survey are in. Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate in the survey.

The demographics. The survey was conducted  from February 16th through March 1st 2021. There were 101 respondents. The respondents described their professional positions as follows: 81% librarians/knowledge managers), 11% law firm management, 5% IT professionals, 3% practicing attorneys, 1% data scientists.

As usual I have asked readers to identify the best new products in several categories including news, analytics, workflow. Readers also provided the names of products they plan to cancel or acquire. I could not ignore the defining issue of 2020 – so I asked a series of questions about the performance of legal publishers in response to COVID.

What was the most significant development in legal technology/publishing?

I love and respect my readers but I don’t always agree with them. I have to admit I was truly shocked that readers selected the  shuttering of Ross Intelligence the most significant development of 2020. Here’s why— frankly I only know a handful of firms that had purchased Continue Reading The Results Are In: Dewey B Strategic What’s Hot and What’s Not Part 1: Westlaw Edge vs Lexis+ vs. Law Firm Budgets