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

For the past few decades, the traditional law library has been transformed by the digitization of statutes, regulations, and commentary. Law Librarians and KM professionals have become the curators of an ever-expanding universe of commercial, dynamic data sources including company profiles, competitor profiles, experience data, insights into judges, experts, and arbitrators, deal data, dockets, and

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

In a prior post  I reported  survey results on products to be purchased in 2020 and 2021… which included a fairly broad spectrum of products. Major vendors Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg and Wolters Kluwer were evenly represented at the top of the list. There were dozens of additional products identified by one or two responders. Today I am reporting on responses to the survey results on cancellations which presents a dramatic contrast. One product stood alone  as the most likely to be cancelled. That product is Lex


Continue Reading The Dewey B Strategic 2020-21 Hits and Misses Survey – The Product Most Likely to be Cancelled is — Lex Machina

The 2020-2021 Dewey B Strategic Hits and Misses survey asked responders to identify products purchased in 2020 or to be purchased in 2021. Despite the financial concerns triggered by the pandemic, law firm librarians continued to consider new products. Some new products such as Westlaw Edge and Lexis + are often driven by an impeding contract renewal. Other product selections are  driven by  practice demands as well as a desire to remain competitive by introducing innovative solutions and enhance productivity.

The Top Products Four was the magic number this year. Each of the top vote getters were identified by 4 responders as new purchases.
Continue Reading The Dewey B Strategic 2020-21 Hits and Misses Survey: What Research, KM/Workflow and Analytics Products are Readers Buying?

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

Legal publishers Casemaker and Fastcase are announcing a merger of their two companies. According to the press release ” The two companies will combine their teams and technologies to innovate research, analytics, and workflow offerings that empower lawyers with powerful digital solutions for their clients.”

I spoke with Ed Walters CEO of Fastcase yesterday. He

Last July Thomson Reuters quietly began the  transformation of  their Practitioners Insights publication into a full fledged legal news service called Westlaw Today.  I  met with  Zena Applebaum, director, Proposition Strategy Rebecca Ditsch – manager, Product Development and received a demo of Westlaw Today .Westlaw is owned by Thomson Reuters which also owns Reuters, the multi-media news agency. It is a total “no brainer” that Reuters should collaborate with Westlaw in bringing a legal news product to the market. (In fact, Westlaw did briefly launch a  short lived legal news service “Westlaw News” back in the 1980’s before it was purchased by Thomson Reuters). I think I share the sentiments of my  information professional colleagues when I say “what took so long?” Our next question will be can Westlaw Today challenge the LexisNexis dominance of the legal news market?

The Westlaw Today  platform will allow lawyers to subscribe to  custom newsfeeds tracking law firms, companies and issues. In addition to traditional practice area coverage Westlaw Today has a newsfeed for “Legal industry” and “Legal innovation” two of my favorite topics. They also offer coverage  special topics such as COVID and Voter Rights. Westlaw Today offers news in a variety of slices.

The Westlaw Today main page has the  look and feel of a newspaper website highlighting  a few major stories rather than imitating  the list of recent headlines and blurbs that Law360 made famous. The main page includes a sidebar with most viewed articles, trending law firms and companies, lawyer contributed content and a link where lawyers can submit proposals for articles they would like to write.

Westlaw Today Main Page

 Westlaw Today Practice Area pages offer a curated list of news stories by traditional practice areas. It also offers 
Continue Reading Westlaw Today – Thomson Reuters Launches a Legal News Platform –Offers AALL Program

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