Welcome to the 2019-2020 Dewey B Strategic Hits and Misses Survey

Reposted with permission from Jean O’Grady at Dewey B Strategic.   Jean is a member of the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals Special Interest Section. 

Please take the 2019-2020 Dewey B Strategic Survey here. Review the 2019 highlights below and tell your colleagues about the best and the worst of 2019 in legal publishing and legal tech.

The Highlights 2019 was a relatively quiet launch year in legal technology and publishing.  The year opened with speculation about the impact of layoffs at Thomson Reuters. Mid-year Wolters Kluwer suffered a significant malware  attack on May 7 but was fully back online within a week.

LexisNexis announced the full integration of one of its oldest acquisitions. Courtlink which was acquired in 2001 was finally integrated into their flagship product Lexis Advance.  The market responded with mixed reviews.

Bloomberg re-branded itself as Bloomberg Information Group (BIG.) Sadly this signified the retirement of BNA ( Bureau of National Affairs) as a brand. Bloomberg had acquired BNA in 2011 add a significant library of secondary sources including newsletters and books. The full integration of BNA into the Bloomberg platform allowed the company to revert to the simplified pricing model they had pioneered during their launch into the online legal information market.

Fastcase continued an aggressive spree of acquisitions and alliances covering public records (TransUnion), bankruptcy forms, Expert witness information (Juris and Courtroom Insight)  and  legal news (Law Street Media) clearly positioning product to move into the large firm market.

The Year of the Brief Analyser. Casetext CARA which launched the first brief analysis tool in 2016  now has a competitor in the Westlaw Edge “Quick Cite tool.”  At the 2019 American Association of Law Libraries AALL Annual Conference both Bloomberg and LexisNexis previewed their brief citiator tools which are expected to launch in 2020.

Please respond to the survey here. The Survey will close on “leap day” February 29th.

LexisNexis ALM Study Measures Growth and Resistance of Analytics in the Practice and Business of Law

Reposted with permission from Jean O’Grady at Dewey B Strategic

Legal Analytics is changing the practice and business of law. LexisNexis has released its third annual survey. Bringing Analytics into Focus suggests that firms have reached a tipping point in embracing analytics in the business and practice of law with 90% of users reporting that analytics makes them more efficient and more effective. Here is a link to the full press release.

Survey Demographics 77% of the firms listed are listed in the Am Law 200. 70% of the respondents to this survey were attorneys representing over 25 different practice areas.

Librarians Deserve Credit. Since 75% of the responded cite an increase of analytics use at their firms, lawyer awareness of analytics is very high.  In most firms, Library and KM directors have brought in the analytics products and driven the awareness the report suggests that their efforts are paying off. Training and driving up use remains a challenge. LexisNexis’ integration of Lex Machina and Ravel (now Context) content into Lexis Advance is also driving awareness and lowering the “login” bar since lawyers don’t need a special password to see analytics in their research results.

“As the leader in legal analytics, we couldn’t be happier to see more law firms, attorneys and other legal professionals adopting these tools and finding new ways for the technology to add value to their business and profession,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, LexisNexis CEO, North American Research Solutions. “The legal industry’s most groundbreaking, innovative and impactful analytics solutions reside on our flagship Lexis Advance platform, enabling attorneys to do their work more efficiently, provide better client counsel and make more informed business decisions in today’s hyper-competitive environment.”

Use Cases No surprise all of the uses support the competitive needs lawyers as practitioners and rainmakers:

How Law Firms Us Legal Analytics

I have been an early promoter of the value of analytics and insights. I recall the early days of online usage — it took large law firms almost a decade to fully accept online research as delivering workflow efficiencies. Online research was viewed as “optional” for a long time. The current competitive marketplace has accelerated the embrace of analytics because they can position the firm for competitive advantage at even save a firm from humiliating meetings with clients who are armed with an analytics report on the firms litigation history.

How law firms use analytics

Lack of training is still an obstacle.  One of the most revealing charts illustrated the obstackes to adoption. Training was at the top of the list.

Obstacles to Adopting Analytics

Partners are the Most Resistant?

This finding really shocked me. In law firms that have not adopted analytics partners do not expect to be adopting analytics in the next two years!

Don’t plan to implement analytics

As a die hard fan of analytics in law, I am pleased with the progress in driving awareness and adoption. Legal analytics vendors need to continue to enhance transparency into any limitations in data or in the coding of the data to assure that lawyers know what they are looking at.

As the data sets grow the challenges will expand as well. No one can be complacent in the analytics market either buyers or sellers.

Download the full report here.

Talking Tech: The Evolving Market for Company Information

Reposted with permission from AALL Spectrum, Volume 24, Number 3 (January/February 2020), pgs. 31-33

By G. Patrick Flanagan, Research Analyst at BakerHostetler LLP

How information vendors and new technologies are impacting the way law librarians research and gather company information.

Legal information professionals frequently need to research information about  companies. We research adversaries and potential clients. We research industries and companies for academic projects. We investigate the vendors we hire. Technology innovations change the way companies record and publish information about their businesses. In turn, information vendors adapt to changing technology and provide innovative ways to make more information available. This column highlights some of those methods and points out potential future developments. Today, legal researchers are often most familiar with judicial and governmental sources that usually have official and structured publications. Information systems frequently marketed to financial and business professionals, however, often employ a more journalistic approach to corporate research and fact gathering. Understanding the use and benefits of these other approaches and tools is helpful given the ebbs and flows in the market for company information. Continue reading

AALL Annual Meeting 2019 Recap: Summit X: The Path to 2030

Kristen Perez and Janet McKinney received grants from the Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals Special Interest Section to attend the PLLIP Summit occurring on Saturday, July 13, before the AALL Annual Meeting. Below are their conference recaps.


By Kristen Perez, Research Specialist at Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough in Charlotte, NC

Jordan Furlong of Law 21 started off the day by delivering the keynote address, “How Law Librarians and Legal Information Professionals Can Redefine Law Firms in the 21st Century.”  Mr. Furlong took us on a tour of the climate change that has occurred in the legal industry in recent years and provided a map to the future and our changing roles.

Mr. Furlong outlined the factors at play in the legal industry that can provide opportunities for legal information professionals as we navigate these changes:

  • Law firms have traditionally operated under the billable hour model, letting young associates ‘train on the job’ at the expense of clients.  This business model is being called into question by big law firm clients, many of whom have negotiated alternative fee arrangements.   Clients are increasingly unwilling to pay for research expenses and the training of new lawyers.
  • Legal work is becoming divided into commodity-level versus complex tasks.  Alternative legal service providers have begun to assume work previously done by junior-level associates, leaving firms to handle tasks that involve more expertise.
  • The technology of legal work has evolved, as artificial intelligence and analytics providers have emerged.
  • Overall, client expectations are changing and are forcing law firms to adapt.  Alternative legal service providers are creating competition for law firms.  Clients demand value and want law firms to ‘know’ them and their industries, and to anticipate their needs.

This invites opportunity for we, as legal information professionals, to redefine our roles.  Our profession has not only embraced and promoted the use of technology in legal research, but has also kept pace with the various incarnations of legal research platforms.  We are neither unfamiliar with, nor adverse to, change.  As a service department, we are also accustomed to working with other departments within our organizations to achieve institutional goals. Continue reading

AALL Annual Meeting 2019 Recap: Grant Recipient Conference Report

As we reach the end of summer, we wanted to share some highlights of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Annual Meeting that took place this year in Washington, DC.  Over the next week or so, we will be posting recaps from this always productive and inspirational conference.  As our fellow law librarians and information professionals prepare for fall, we’re sure they will be applying the insights and ideas they took away from this year’s annual meeting to move their libraries and research centers forward.

By Sabrina A. Davis, Research Librarian, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

The Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals Special Interest Section of AALL offers grants so members can attend the AALL annual meeting, as well as conferences hosted by other associations.  Sabrina received a AALL Conference Registration and Travel Grant, and below is her conference report.

This was my first AALL Conference since 2016 and my first time going as a firm librarian – the previous three times, I was in academia. I would like to thank the PLLIP-SIS Grants Committee for giving me this opportunity to learn, network, and have a little bit of fun in D.C.

Learning:  Using Web Archives in Legal Research

By far, the most valuable program I attended was “I Know It Used to Be There: Using Web Archives in Legal Research.” The session focused on three products: Wayback Machine (from Internet Archive), the Library of Congress Web Archives, and perma.cc (from Harvard University).  I’ve used the Wayback Machine multiple times, but this session highlighted useful features, such as a new checkbox to “Save Outlinks” (i.e., pages internally linked on URL); browser extensions that intercept 404 errors and redirect, and iOS and Android apps. Also highlighted were other Internet Archive resources such as the TV News Archive with closed captioning and OCR, and the not yet publicly available Voice of America (VOA) radio recordings.

The Library of Congress Web Archives content focuses on Library of Congress collections, such as the US Congressional Web Archive (collected monthly).  Other content includes Blawgs (monthly, 228 followed); Federal Courts; International Tribunals; Foreign Law; State Government websites (targeted for state-published documents), and Indigenous Law (being released in 2020).  Browsing and faceted searching of records is available at the collection level, but full-text searching is not available, and even though they use the Wayback Machine for web crawling, the Library of Congress Web Archives are not part of Wayback Machine results.

The third resource covered was perma.cc, created by Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab to address legal link rot. Per their website, perma.cc “helps scholars, journals, courts, and others create permanent records of the web sources they cite.”  Based on user-driven captures (not web crawlers), perma.cc allows users to copy and paste a URL to perma.cc to create a permalink. Potential law firm uses include citation in briefs, internal born-digital documents, and blawgs. One cool feature of perma.cc is it includes hi-fi captures and playbacks (Webrecorder), as well as captures of carousels of images.

Networking

Davis_JusticeOne of the best things about the AALL Annual Meeting is reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. There were plenty of opportunities for networking throughout the conference, even for those (like me) who didn’t have the stamina to make it to the many evening receptions. The Opening Reception Saturday evening and the Exhibit Hall breaks offered time for casual conversations and introductions to new people, while the PLLIP-SIS Annual Business Meeting & Lunch provided a more formal time to conduct section business. Aside from being a typical business meeting though, we got to meet Justice, our new gender-neutral dinosaur mascot. Justice will be passed from the outgoing to the incoming PLLIP-SIS chair annually, to remind us to not get stuck in the past and to learn lessons for the future.

I also attended the PEGA-SIS (Professional Engagement, Growth & Advancement-Special Interest Section) Beer and Edits Scholarly Networking event and the introductory meeting for the proposed Critical Legal Research Caucus, to try to make additional contacts with similar interests in writing and empirical research.

Fun and Swag!

The best swag award goes to Thomson Reuters for their awesome, sturdy laptop backpack and the fun “Trust me, I’m a Librarian” t-shirt. The therapy dogs that made appearances on Saturday and Sunday were the highlight of the exhibit hall for me though.

Davis_therapy dog