There is no question that the most exciting place at AALL is the Exhibit Hall. Connect with old friends, schmooze with vendors, learn about exciting new features and products. 2022 is the first live, post pandemic AALL conference. I am anticipating that a highly energized crowd will be streaming through the exhibit hall. I

Respond to the  2020-21 What’s Hot and What’s Not Survey here. Although the world was shut down by the pandemic, our friends in legal tech continued their pursuit of innovation and market share.  Most of us had a sense of whiplash and disbelief when the world came to a virtual halt in March 2020. Law librarians who had built digital libraries over the years offered their attorneys a fairly seamless transition to their work from home desktop. Within weeks most legal publishers had developed a special COVID offering. These ranged from free alerts, to primary sources and workflow toolkits. Despite all of these efforts law librarians and knowledge managers faced a gap in COVID coverage. Almost overnight a “gray literature” emerged which major legal publishers were not
Continue Reading What’s Hot and What’s Not? Welcome to the Dewey B Strategic 2020-2021 Hits and Misses Survey

We all knew that law libraries were shrinking. No one suspected that they would be totally “done in” by a virus. Law libraries have been “going digital” for at least 20 years, but few firms tossed out their last “pocket part” update. But as firms plan their post-pandemic re-openings, retaining a collection of shared books is frankly a biohazard. Should librarians develop systems for sanitizing and quarantining books? In today’s digital world -– is it even worth the trouble? 

Does anyone really want to take on the backlog of updating books that are nine months out of date next January when lawyers begin returning to offices?

For the past two decades, many law librarians have been assessing products and developing in-house solutions to support virtual library resources.  

There is no universal solution. The law firms which have the foresight to invest in strategic information professionals are most likely  to have had substantial digital libraries in place last March when COVID-19 brought the world to a screeching halt. Many firms are running parallel digital and print libraries because they are supporting both the last of the “baby boomer partners” and the “born digital” generation of lawyers. COVID-19 has been an unprecedented tipping point which exposes the importance of completing or starting a digital library transition plan.  

  12 Building Blocks Of A Digital Library  


Continue Reading 12 Tips For Building Your Digital Law Library In The Age Of COVID-19

On Monday night Bloomberg Law hosted a “semi-secret” preview of their still to be named “brief analyzer.” I will cut to the chase and recommend “B Brief”  as a name for the analysis tool.  After all,  the point of a brief analyzer is to make lawyers more efficient. The product is expected to be released  as a beta test in September and  to launch by the end of the year – depending on feedback from the beta testers. Bloomberg Law President Joe Breda and his executive team held an event in a “speak easy” style restaurant on Blagden Ally in the hipster heart of DC. A select group of librarian and tech journalist invitees received a mysterious key in a rather MI-5 invitation several weeks before the AALL Annual Meeting and Conference. In a darkened back room, the invitees received a preview of the “brief analyzer” product and were invited to give feedback.

Like other brief analyzers the process is launched by dropping and dragging a document into the analyzer tool. The tool extracts and analyses the citations, text and concepts in the document.

Bloomberg’s product demo focused on the workflow for analyzing an opponent’s brief rather than the process for finalizing a brief that is being drafted. Most of Bloomberg’s competitor’s in this space have launched their products focusing on the brief drafting process, the analysis of an adversary’s brief was included as an additional use case.

The bottom line is that for either process, the analyzer tool is designed to speed up the review process and help lawyers focus on the most important
Continue Reading Bloomberg Law Joins the Brief Analyser Party – With A Touch Of Intrigue

Correction: The original post listed an incorrect “click” and “open”  rate which has been corrected below. Apologies to my readers.

Last May Casetext’s CARA launched their “brief finder” feature which they recently enhanced with a “push” notifications feature. THey recently released a new “push” notifications feature called “CARA Notifications” which analyzes Pacer dockets and

“The age of analytics and algorithms is upon us. A new and important role is emerging for information professionals. They will help lawyers ask new questions and gain new insights using analytics. ”

Read my analysis of this trend in the November/December 2017 issue of AALL Spectrum. Click here to read Analytics and Insights:

In late September Bloomberg Law announced several new research features which leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to accelerate case law research.  The The new “Points of Law”  feature allows attorneys to quickly find language critical to a court’s reasoning to support their legal arguments . This feature was immediately available to all current subscibers to Bloomberg Law at no additional cost.

The Bloomberg Law platform now features one million points of law and is updated throughout the day. “Points of law” results are generated by the application of machine learning to the Blaw database of 13 million published and unpublished state and federal court opinions. Researchers can either start  there research with a point of law or start with a keyword then sort by relevance or most cited.

Bloomberg Law Points of Law

This new feature was created is response to the market demand for workflow enhancing tools. “Points of law” research results highlight the relevant language in each opinion. The press release describes the benefit as “enabling attorneys to
Continue Reading Bloomberg Law Launches AI Enabled Research Features: Points of Law and Citation Maps

The AALL Conference Exhibit Hall gives attendees the chance to take a long and winding stroll thought aisles lined with vendors promoting the latest innovations and offering a “first look” at new products. It is a festival of food, swag and serendipitous encounters with old colleagues as well as the chance to meet new ones. I especially value the opportunity for a one-on-one engagement with vendors and a quick tutorial on a on a hot new product. Since the major legal vendors dominate the Exhibit Hall at AALL, it is easy to overlook the first time vendors with unfamiliar names and unknown products.

I thought it would be interesting to take a peek at the twelve new exhibitors at the 2017 Conference and provide some insights into products. This post will be written in two parts. Part one focuses on vendors offering products for litigation, corporate and IP Practice needs.
I recommend that taking a close look at each of these vendors. Even though you may have a product which covers the same legal issues you are likely to discover that each of these vendors is offering a unique type of service or analysis of an old problem. Many of these vendors are offering AI driven and custom solutions. Stop by and welcome these new exhibitors to the AALL exhibit call in Austin.

Continue Reading Guess Whose Coming to AALL?: New Exhibitors Part1: Litigation, Corporate and IP Vendors

Only weeks after receiving the prestigious 2017 New Product Award from the American Association of Law Libraries, CARA is announcing today the release of a new “Brief Finder” feature.

Casetext’s CARA (Case Analysis Research Assistant) launched with the promise of helping lawyers find the most relevant caselaw.  Last August I reviewed CARA in a post: