AccessLex Announces New Bar Exam Review Product: Helix

AccessLex Institute, the nonprofit company that focuses on supporting law students and legal education with funding programs and research on academic and bar exam success, announced today it has launched its own bar exam review product called Helix.

The goals in designing the new product were both to offer lower-priced bar review courses and to bring a new approach to bar exam preparation courses, using active learning, gamification, and other engaging and interactive adult learning strategies provided by contemporary learning science research.

The company says it will offer more than 4,000 complimentary Helix course packages to nonprofit and state-affiliated ABA-accredited law schools over the coming year. The Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) course package costs $1,199 for the July 2022 exam, and it can be purchased now (courses open March 7, 2022). The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) course package is also available now, and it costs $279 for the July 2022 exam. A free “sneak peak” of the Helix product is available. They also sell UBE flash cards for $199 and MBE flash cards for $159.

For all of the above information and more, visit https://www.helixbarreview.org/

CRIV/Bloomberg Law Bi-Annual Call

The bi-annual CRIV/Bloomberg Law call took place on July 29, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., via Zoom. In attendance were:

  • Mike Bernier, Director of Library Relations, Bloomberg Law
  • Joe Breda, President, Bloomberg Law
  • Michelle Hook Dewey, AALL Board Liaison to CRIV, Mercer School of Law  
  • Tom Hemstock, CRIV Liaison to Bloomberg Law, Albany Law School

Outstanding Issues:

None

New Items:

Expanding News Channels

14 new news channels added in 2020 and that number is increasing. Bloomberg Law is adding timely channels such as Social Justice & Diversity, Cannabis, and more.

Improved Email Alerts

In response to customer feedback and to increase engagement, Bloomberg modified email subject lines in alerts to be more descriptive. For example, the sender for the Banking Report will be a variation on “Banking” instead of the umbrella “Bloomberg Law” line that is unclear.

ALM News Content

Although introduced in 2020, and mentioned in the previous vendor call, Bloomberg Law emphasizes that they have ALM content (such as National Law Journal) added shortly after the content is published on ALM’s site.

In-Focus Content

Bloomberg Law continues to add new in-focus pages that brings resources together in one place. Resources on these pages are crafted by experts in the field. Recent In-Focus pages include Contract Drafting, Biometrics and a Core Litigation Skills Toolkit.

Draft Analyzer Improvements

Significant new features are now included such as improved comments, the ability to create a table of contents of clauses, hyperlinks to defined terms within the uploaded draft, and details/comments on the clauses used in the document.

Case Law Enhancements

Opinions can be now filtered by published and unpublished opinions.

Law Librarian Update

A newsletter for librarians launched and is available at https://pro.bloomberglaw.com/law-librarian-newsletter/.  Emails are sent to librarians when new editions are posted.  Contact Mike Bernier at mbernier@bloombergindustry.com to be added to the distribution list.

CRIV/LexisNexis Semiannual Call

Conference call took place June 11 at 11:00 a.m. EDT.

Participants:

  • Carolyn Bach – Senior Manager, Librarian Relations and Faculty Programs, LexisNexis
  • Simon Weierman – Sr. Director Segment Management, LexisNexis
  • Ashley Ahlbrand – CRIV Liaison to LexisNexis
  • Karen Selden – AALL CRIV Board Liaison
  • Vani Ungapen – AALL Executive Director

This update includes product enhancements released between January – June of 2021.

Lexis+™

  • Lexis+™ Litigation Analytics released in late January as part of the Lexis+ ecosystem. Lexis+ users now have access to a powerful toolset for litigation analytics in a single, integrated workflow providing precise, relevant, data-driven insights from Lex Machina® and Lexis® CourtLink® to quickly evaluate or compare judges, courts and counsel.
  • Shepard’s® At Risk helps ensure users are citing the best authority for a point of law. It was extended beyond the full-text case opinion to display in other context across Lexis+, including Brief Analysis and Shepard’s® reports.
  • Brief Analysis was included at Lexis+ launch and offers powerful insights by analyzing legal briefs (users or their opponent’s) and providing recommendations to craft stronger legal strategies and drive winning outcomes. This year to date, multiple updates have been rolled out to further improve Brief Analysis, including embedding Shepard’s analysis in the “Cited in your Document” tab, enabling users to filter recommendations for specific legal concepts and jurisdictions, and launching enhanced PDF processing capabilities.
  • A recent case study was published about Brief Analysis by AWS, LexisNexis® Builds AI-Powered Legal Brief Analysis Tool Using AWS, which highlights the collaboration between Lexis Labs and AWS through a “Working Backwards” innovation approach to develop a capability which improves productivity and decision-making for our customers.
  • Other recent Lexis+ updates:
    • The experience dock choice a user makes (Research, Practical Guidance, Brief Analysis or Litigation Analytics) now remains as the default across sessions, so users can pick up where they left off.
    • In a similar manner, the Explore Content area of Lexis+ that enables users to browse our collections of content and resources, was enhanced to persist the last tab utilized so users can pick up where they left off across research sessions.
    • Annotations and highlights are now made visible when a user returns to a document without requiring the document be saved to a Lexis+ work folder.
    • The Lexis Answers® tool is now made available when searching Practical Guidance materials on Lexis+.
    • The full-text document display across our content collection was updated to improve the presentation, focusing on readability and navigation.

Lexis® and Lexis+

  • Law360® Pulse, which launched in January and provides unparalleled business of law coverage, was integrated for access to archived articles through Lexis and Lexis+.
  • Our International Primary Law collection, already leading in coverage from beyond the U.S., was expanded to include laws and regulations through machine translations and original-language source documents. The initial wave began with Latin American countries (January), with later additions of Germany and Indonesia (April) and then Spain (May). Sixteen new countries have been added within 2021, increasing our total collection to 25 plus the European Union.
  • The LexisNexis® Public Records user interface was refreshed to align with Lexis and Lexis+.
  • The Trial Court Orders content collection was expanded by over 100K documents through March. 
  • Search Relevance enhancements were launched for Statutes & Legislation and case law searching, which will improve the relevance of results for Lexis and Lexis+ users.

Practical Guidance

  • The approach to search was updated by combining results across previously separate content categories, leading to more relevant results when searching Practical Guidance.
  • An updated presentation of the Practical Guidance home page and starting practice area pages was launched to all users to improve discovery of important resources and simplify product navigation.

Context

  • A new module of Context, Context Attorney Analytics was released in March, which applies the powerful language analytics capabilities of Context to attorney data. Our solution provides unique insights into the records and experience of attorneys and uncovers the precise arguments they have made in prior motions and briefs, helping attorneys neutralize their arguments and strategy.
  • Context Judges and Courts for Canada was released, expanding our powerful language analytics capabilities to international use.

Law360® and Law360 Pulse

  • Navigational support was added between Law360.com, Law360 Pulse and the Law360 Authority products through the left-hand navigation panel on each website.
  • Law360.com search was extended across products. Users on Law360.com can now search across all content and filter results, helping reduce research time. Content exclusive to Law360 Pulse, Law360 Tax Authority and Law360 Employment Authority is labeled as exclusive.
  • Our mobile applications for iPhone® and Android® devices now include all Law360 brands for on-the-go coverage. Law360 Enterprise and Platform customers have access to the Law360, Law360 Tax Authority, Law360 Employment Authority and Law360 UK products in the app. The Law360 app can be downloaded at the Google Play™ store or Apple® App Store.

InterAction®

Lexis® for Microsoft® Office

  • Texas Greenbook citation formatting rules on Lexis for Microsoft Office have been updated to the 14th edition, along with enhanced Lexis for Microsoft Office Canada McGill’s formatting rules for legislative citations.

Nexis Newsdesk™

Multiple enhancements have been made to Nexis Newsdesk newsletter management and analytics capabilities.

  • The Nexis Newsdesk Insights view helps surface key events and trends in a graphical display without running a full analysis.
    • Read the top stories for each search.
    • Identify the most active sources and their sentiment.
    • See which people and companies are dominating the conversation.
    • View topics word cloud and sentiment charts now in the Insights view.
  • Dashboards are now customizable to resize or reorder the widgets.
  • Sources cards reveal key information about the publication.
  • Journalist articles panel quickly displays more articles from a selected author.
  • One tab is used for newsletter management options.
  • Playable clips are included for TV/radio (for accounts with the TV/Radio Broadcast add-on).
  • For accounts with the Premium Social Media Package:
    • Volume column and pause control for Twitter streams
    • Full-length tweets now visible in the search results.

Summer Associates

The new Summer Associate web page includes a wealth of resources for training and guidance, including career advice from legal professionals, practice area resources, essential legal research skills and more.

AALL

  • LexisNexis is proud to be a Platinum sponsor of the 2021 AALL Annual Conference. Please join us in the Virtual Exhibit Hall on July 19, plus additional sessions on July 20 – 22, to learn about the most recent product updates and announcements. View offerings here.  In addition, LexisNexis is sponsoring the following conference-related events. We’re looking forward to connecting with you at the conference.
    • July 21 at 2 p.m. ET Program Session: “What’s in a Name? Expanding the Concept of Libraries and Librarians in the 21st Century,” Panel Discussion

LexisNexis, Lexis, CourtLink, Shepard’s, Lexis Answers, InterAction, Lex Machina and the Knowledge Burst logo are registered trademarks, and Lexis+ and Nexis Newsdesk are trademarks of RELX Inc. Law360 is a registered trademark of Portfolio Media, Inc. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Other products or services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. © 2021 LexisNexis.

Prepare to Practice, New and Notable: The Ever-Growing Collection of Practice Ready Tools from Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw

prepare to practice graphic

At this time of the year, as the spring semester winds down (how is that already possible?!?), my mind always seems to wander to thoughts of law students heading off to their summer jobs, putting their legal analysis, writing, and research skills to the test in a real-world setting. These thoughts then naturally drift to the many practice-focused products legal information vendors offer. In this post, I highlight the new and notable products from Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw.

Bloomberg Law

The first development that caught my eye was Bloomberg Law’s new In Focus: Core Skills – Litigation feature in the Litigation Intelligence Center. This resource begins with quick links to core research tools, such as their docket search, court opinions search, and litigation analytics, and includes a box of links to litigation-related reference materials, such as the ABA’s “How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer.” But the other thing that struck me about this resource were the visual aids, including two flowcharts, one on research and writing and one on document review; and an interesting graphic about the variety of Bloomberg Law resources available across the platform. Legal research databases have so much rich content today that it can be a challenge to know what all is available; while I am sure this graphic doesn’t cover everything in Bloomberg Law, it is an interesting method of introducing users to the types of resources and tools at their disposal.

While we’re at it, I’d like to give a shout-out, in general, to the entire In Focus series on Bloomberg Law. These are great information portals on an array of timely topics in law and law practice. Most recently I’ve found the In Focus: Lawyer Well-Being resource of particular interest, with sample surveys and forms for the workplace, quick links to state lawyer assistance programs, and other news and analysis on the subject of wellness in the legal profession.

The In Focus series is by no means the only practice-focused tool in Bloomberg Law. From the Brief Analyzer to the Draft Analyzer, Practical Guidance to Practice Centers, not to mention the Certification Courses law students can take, there are many, many resources users can take advantage of to build their practical skills.

Lexis+

Two newer practice-focused tools in Lexis+ are Practical Guidance and Brief Analysis, both off to the left of the Lexis+ home page. In Practical Guidance, you can search or browse by practice area, task, jurisdiction, or content type (here, content types include documents such as checklists, practice notes, and clauses, rather than statutes, cases, and secondary sources). Additional tools here include everything from state comparison tools to smart forms to training videos.

Brief Analysis, similar to Bloomberg Law’s Brief Analyzer, scans a user’s work product and uses the Lexis+ research platform to seek out any additional or alternative recommended authority based on the arguments made in the uploaded document. Brief Analysis even scans the uploaded document for viruses!

Again, these are two of the more recent, but certainly not the only, practice-focused tools from LexisNexis. With their own set of trainings and certification courses, not to mention their many practice-focused add-on products, such as Lexis Tax and Products Liability Navigator, there are a variety of tools here too that students might use to become more efficient in their legal research and analysis.

Westlaw Edge

Westlaw’s best known practice-focused suite of tools, of course, is Practical Law, with its checklists, practice notes, sample forms, and more, covering a variety of legal subjects and specific law tasks. In the student Law School Survival Guide, the Practical Law editors have even put together a series of podcast episodes about careers in various areas of law. Like Bloomberg Law and Lexis, Westlaw too has training videos and certifications, from basic to advanced research skills, transactional to litigation skills, and even a specific and separate prepare to practice certification. Similar to Lexis’s Brief Analysis and Bloomberg Law’s Brief Analyzer, Westlaw’s Quick Check tool helps the user analyze their own legal document by suggesting additional or alternative legal authority.

Whether a student will be working in a transactional or litigation environment this summer, whether they prefer, or will be restricted to the use of, Bloomberg Law, Lexis, or Westlaw, all three offer an ever-growing variety of practice-ready tools and certifications to help them build their skills and make a great impression with their summer employer.

New from GovInfo.gov and Congress.gov

Like most, when teaching in my Advanced Legal Research courses, I always like to stress reliable free sites for legal research, along with subscription resources, and two of my favorite sites to show are govinfo.gov and congress.gov. As I prepare upcoming lectures for this semester, I thought I’d share with you some of the most recent releases and updates to these two excellent, research-friendly government sites.

Govinfo.gov

GovInfo made several improvements and enhancements in its latest release (see full details here), but a few of particular note include:

A couple of other features of note: If you haven’t read the articles available on GovInfo (I’ll admit, I hadn’t taken notice of them until recently), you should give them a read in the Features section of the website; recent topics have included how to research Presidential inaugural addresses and an historical piece on the first live televised Presidential news conference. The U.S. GPO has also been making great strides recently to improve their publishing process, incorporating a new, XML-based system, called XPub. In the December 2020 release notes, they highlight a document published with XPub, H. Rpt. 116-562, The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress – Final Report; to see how XPub improves GPO publishing and makes it more user-friendly, make sure to give that document a glance.

Congress.gov

Congress.gov issues monthly release notes, so I’ll highlight a few features added in the last few releases.

Shows the committee profile page and the alert link.
  • Fresh out of the (digital) oven, an alert service for tracking your favorite congressional committee! If you create a (free!) congress.gov account, you can sign up to get alerts from any congressional committee’s profile page. Alerts would include any time a measure is referred to the committee; whenever the committee holds a hearing or publishes a report; and in the Senate, any time a nomination is referred to a committee. Refer to the two images here to see where the alert link is on the committee profile pages and what alert options are available.
Shows the alert options
  • Also in the February 2021 release, public law text was added to legislation from the 93rd to 103rd Congresses (1973-1994).
  • For all my fellow advanced search nerds out there (you know who you are!), in the January 2021 release, they added some handy search fields to search amendments to any bills, resolutions, or amendments. amendsBill: and amendsAmendment: These can be used in conjunction with other search criteria to limit by keyword or sponsor.
  • In December (when they added so many enhancements they had two separate releases!), they added the bound edition of the Congressional Record from the 85th to 93rd Congresses (1957 to 1974).

I could keep going, but I’ll rein my excitement in. Suffice it say that congress.gov and govinfo.gov are constantly receiving enhancements and additions to improve the user experience and make more authenticated government materials available to the public for free. If you haven’t made regular use of these sites in the past, I highly recommend you give them a look. You might be surprised at what you find.

CRIV/LexisNexis Semiannual Call

Date: January 14, 2021, 10:00 a.m. EST

Participants:

  • Carolyn Bach, Senior Manager, Librarian Relations & Faculty Programs, LexisNexis
  • Simon Weierman, Senior Director, Segment Management, LexisNexis
  • Vani Ungapen, AALL Executive Director
  • Karen Selden, AALL CRIV Board Liaison
  • Ashley Ahlbrand, CRIV LexisNexis Liaison

Product Brand Updates: Rebranding and streamlining of several existing product names, making it easier for customers to identify and navigate LexisNexis® products (September 2020):

Lexis+™:

Commercial product launch of Lexis+ (September 2020). Released to the law school market in July, and commercial markets in September

  • Feature-rich, premium legal solution that unites advanced research, Practical Guidance, Brief Analysis and enhanced tools with a modern user experience to deliver data-driven insights, greater efficiency and better outcomes
  • Dramatic visual styling and simplified layout designed to set a new standard in ease of use 
  • Striking imagery, bold colors and typography to help improve readability, reduce visual “clutter” and emphasize essential information and tasks
  • New Experience Dock that creates an integrated starting point for core legal tasks and enables seamless switching between product experiences and workflows
  • New and intuitive features, such as Search Tree, Code Compare and Shepard’s® At Risk, to make it easy for practitioners to access the information and insights they need, control their search experience and provide better counsel
  • Delivers on the demand for legal solutions that look and work more like the modern technology products attorneys use in their personal lives

Multiple incremental updates to Lexis+ following initial commercial market rollout (October through December 2020)

  • New “light/dark” home page toggle option
  • Code Compare feature updates with expanded coverage, additional display options and delivery support
  • Shepard’s At Risk enhancements that display within Shepard’s reports
  • Brief Analysis enhancements including the Shepard’s Preview, At Risk indicator and Cited in Your Document tab, updated with more information and additional delivery options
  • Work folders enhancements to enable document highlights and annotations without saving to a folder
  • Search relevance improvements launched to drive more relevant case law results
  • Lexis Answers® feature updates to recognize implicit questions and offer answers curated from Practical Guidance

Lexis+ and Lexis®: Incremental platform updates applicable to Lexis+ and Lexis

  • New Exclusion Filter added to News search results to filter out “noise” from news, including stock stories, non-business news and obituaries 
  • 861K new trial court cases, briefs, pleadings and motions added online 
  • Acquired American Maritime Cases, a specialized collection of maritime and admiralty cases and AMC’s in-depth index of maritime topics, to become the exclusive provider moving forward 

Law360® updates:

  •  Launch of Law360 Employment Authority (December 2020): Law360 Employment Authority, offering actionable intelligence for employment lawyers through exclusive insights, in-depth analysis and deep news coverage. Covers three key areas in employment law: discrimination, wage and hour and labor. Each section offering breaking news, timely features and thoughtful analyses for readers who specialize in labor and employment law
  • My Law360, enabling customization for  Law360 & Law360® Pulse news and analysis experience

Law360 Pulse: a new product offering that released in early January 2021

  • Brand-new Law360 Pulse business-of-law news service, combining the award-winning journalism and research of Law360 with powerful data and analytics from Lexis+ to deliver unparalleled coverage, timely insights and industry intelligence to help law firms and legal departments succeed   
  • Complements the industry-leading Law360 practice-of-law coverage, giving legal professionals a single best source for comprehensive legal news with LexisNexis

Practical Guidance:

  • Launch of new Market Standards for M&A solutions (October, 2020): the new Market Standards for M&A solution enables searching, comparison and analysis of publicly filed M&A deals, helping users jump from insight to action with the most current and comprehensive M&A coverage—and the interactive analytics needed to make more data-driven decisions.
  • Multiple incremental updates to the Practical Guidance product to aid users in locating critical guidance, improving their document drafting experience and sharing greater insights with users:
  • Enabled alerts on Practical Guidance at the document level to track changes in the law that affect their practice
  • Enhanced forms on Practical Guidance, enabling users to download forms with in-line drafting notes and alternate/optional clauses so they can better engage with annotated forms
  • Updates to improve discoverability and navigation of International Practical Guidance content
  • Refined Practical Guidance search experience to offer a combined search result that surfaces all Practical Guidance content in a single place
  • Launched Clause Finder on Practical Guidance to help users quickly research and find relevant clauses by Agreement Type, Point of View (i.e., buyer/seller) and Jurisdiction
  • Launched the Survey of Commercial Lease Terms in Practical Guidance, providing up-to-date intelligence about the commercial leasing market and giving real estate attorneys a clear view of market standards and trends to aid them in lease negotiations

Courtlink®: Multiple product updates to improve CourtLink ease of use

  • Updated alert and track result display in table format with additional view and delivery options
  • Support to save favorite courts for searching to simplify and streamline docket research
  • Search improvements, including a unified search form, for a simplified search experience
  • Support added to edit the criteria of existing alerts
  • Improved Summary Alert email presentation for easier review and deeper insight

Lexis® Search Advantage: Multiple updates to drive greater insights and efficiency for users

  • Released Context and Lexis Search Advantage integration, enabling Lexis Search Advantage users to link from references within firm documents to judges, attorneys and expert witnesses into Context to gather insight and analytics on the entity
  • Rolled out new motion type and sub-type document classifications to enable precise search and filtering of firm documents within Lexis Search Advantage | Litigation
  • Refined the landing and results pages of Lexis Search Advantage | Litigation to support customization and research integration

Lexis® Verdict & Settlement Analyzer: New Lexis Verdict & Settlement Analyzer search filters including Filter by Judge, Filter by Attorney and improved Practice Area and Topics filtering

InterAction®: Updates to this business development solution

  • Launch of “Strategic Data” subscription tier
  • Embedded analytics—visualizations on process status and integrated views of relationships
  • Nexis Newsdesk™ embedded into user interface for easy view of public news information curated to contacts
  • Partner integrations with Foundation Software (integrated experience management) and Bunnell Idea Group (video coaching on business development)

Nexis Newsdesk: Multiple enhancements to improve administrator ease of use and efficiency of relevant information distribution through Nexis Newsdesk, improved readability for end-users

  • Launch of entity cards to help ensure accuracy of news results by matching to companies
  • Simplified process to add topics to searches within Nexis Newsdesk
  • Refreshed Manage Sources page for administrative ease of use
  • Updated clipping flow for selecting content
  • Ability to access saved content from landing page
  • New Trends Chart for additional insights
  • New Post-Search Filter to avoid duplicates
  • Article load date replaced with publish date per user feedback 
  • Readability of newsletters through mobile devices improved through mobile friendly newsletter theme
  • Self-service support for managing Twitter feeds within Nexis Newsdesk

Web Newsletter Easy Subscribe to permit readers to opt-in for email delivery when using a web link

New Librarian Resources:

  • Competitive Intelligence Toolkit: a comprehensive resource, created with the assistance of CI specialists, designed to help law librarians and other legal professionals complete CI research more efficiently as it relates to the LexisNexis® products they have access to. The kit Includes helpful checklists for public companies, private companies, industries, attorneys, law firms and people
  • LexisNexis® InfoPro site: contains a variety of updated resources for legal information professionals, including research tips, webinars, newsletter content and product information

New from Lexis: Litigation Analytics

If the title of this post makes you think I’ve been living under a rock for a few years, I completely understand. To say that litigation analytics are new to Lexis would be highly inaccurate — LexisNexis has a vast suite of analytics tools, Litigation Profile Suite and Context, to name just a couple, not to mention the case law analytics available through Ravel Law‘s visualization technology — but their newest analytics product, Litigation Analytics, stands out in a couple of key ways.

First, Litigation Analytics is an analytics tool within the Lexis+ research platform, rather than a standalone product. From the Lexis+ homepage, users access the tool from the left-hand menu.

Lexis+ Litigation Analytics - example with Jane Magnus-Stinson of the Southern District of Indiana.

Second, Litigation Analytics offers vastly different information than their next most recent analytics product, Context, which launched a few years ago. Litigation Analytics harnesses the power of Lex Machina, a legal analytics company LexisNexis acquired in 2017, to provide a bird’s-eye view of the caseloads of particular judges, courts, attorneys, or firms. This includes everything from the overall number of cases per year, case types, length of cases, and damages. You also have the ability to compare analytics with another court, judge, firm, or attorney. Context, on the other hand, takes a deeper dive into the behavior of judges, courts, and firms, looking at activity at the motion level, identifying most-cited opinions, most-cited judges, and most-cited language. (My favorite feature is their analytics on expert witnesses. But I digress….)

Lexis+ Litigation Analytics - comparative analytics example with Jane Magnus Stinson of the Southern District of Indiana, compared to the court as a whole.

To dive deeper into the analytics in Litigation Analytics, you can link out to the Lex Machina platform. If you do not have a subscription to Lex Machina, there are advantages and limitations here. The advantage is that you can still look at the data on Lex Machina, even without a subscription to the product, but the limitation is that you cannot do much with that data; it is in read-only form, so you cannot drill down deeper into the data to learn more, without that separate subscription to Lex Machina (see Image 3 as a reference).

Lex Machina read only mode for non-subscribers

Comparisons will certainly be measured in the future between Lexis+ Litigation Analytics and similar products from competitors, but within the LexisNexis suite of products, Litigation Analytics is certainly a powerful new tool, and the fact that it is incorporated into the Lexis+ research suite is an added bonus. If you have access to this product, be sure to try it out. With Casemaker and Fastcase’s recent merger announcement and their intent to focus on analytics as well, it’s clear that litigation analytics will continue to be the development future for legal research platforms. Lexis+ Litigation Analytics is just the next step.

For more write-ups on Litigation Analytics, check out Frank Ready’s article on Law.com , Jean O’Grady’s post on Dewey B Strategic, and Bob Ambrogi’s post on LawSites.

New eCFR Platform

The electronic C.F.R. published by the Office of the Federal Register is getting a makeover of sorts. The Office introduced a new beta version of the eCFR in June and continues to seek feedback to improve the layout. The ultimate goal for the new version is for it to become the official version of the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations. While this would not replace the print version, it would mitigate the need to reference the pdf versions of the print resources through govinfo, and would instead be treated as an additional official version of the register and code.

To get started with the new interface, the Office recommends beginning with the Readers Aids, specifically the Getting Started page which provides an overview of the new page and features, a comparison with the old eCFR and the search functionality. As you go through the new platform, there will be a “Feedback ?” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen which will allow for instant and direct feedback. As of right now there is no timeline for the expiration of the beta platform, so feedback is still encouraged.

CRIV/Thomson Reuters Biannual Phone Call

Conference call took place on Tuesday, June 2 at 1:00 PM EDT.

Participants:

  • Deborah Heller – CRIV Thomson Reuters Liaison
  • Kim Hurley – Information Management Advisor at Thomson Reuters
  • Rachel Torgerson – Customer Success Strategist at Thomson Reuters
  • Kevin Lane – Manager, Westlaw Product Development

Agenda:

  • Discussion about some of the billing changes recently implemented and forthcoming.
    • Working to improve communication and redesign invoices
    • Ensuring a more reliable communication channel to customers
    • Increase in electronic invoicing
    • Making it clearer to customers if they are on auto-pay for certain items
      • The invoice more clearly shows that something has already been paid to cut down on duplicate payments
      • Providing 60, 30, and 15 day notices when a credit card that the customer is using for auto-pay is expiring to help prevent past due invoices and collections.
    • Working to reduce the unapplied payments backlog by contacting customers and asking how payments should be applied to their account
    • 3 phase invoice redesign
      • Phase one began in early May and applies to new sale or debit invoices
        • Cleaner
        • Clearly outlines the amount due and the date it is due
        • Customer name and address clearly provided on the invoice
        • Customers will receive a PDF attachment with the invoice in an email so there is no longer the need to go to a separate platform in order to access the actual invoice
        • The invoice will include hyperlinks.
      • Phase 2 is anticipated to launch in the 3rd Quarter of 2020 and applies to Subscription, Credit, and Pro Forma invoices
      • Phase 3 launch date is still being determined after Phase 2 and will include online invoices
    • Customer support information including how to read my new invoice is available online here
  • Quick Check on Westlaw Edge has added a quotation analysis feature
    • It analyzes quotes in legal documents to ensure that they are accurate
  • A new feature on Westlaw Edge that will be rolling out later this summer (August) is Quick Check Judicial
    • Allows you to upload multiple documents from a single matter. So the documents submitted by both parties will be analyzed together
    • Shows the cases cited by each party, cases cited by both parties, and cases cited by neither party
    • Will allow you to upload up to 6 documents at one time and assign each document to a party
    • It will be included with a Westlaw Edge subscription
  • More Practical Law materials will be released towards the end of June
    • Includes a commercial litigation subtopic with over 200 new resources
    • Substantive videos by the Practical Law editors
    • Relaunch of the life sciences topic
    • FDA-regulatory cross practice collection

New, Notable, and Fun: Recent Finds from GPO and LOC

Government websites can be a boon of (free!) information for legal research. For today’s post, I thought I’d highlight a few news items and a few fun finds from the Library of Congress and the GPO.

New: GPO Director

Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Hugh Halpern as the new Director of the Government Publishing Office. Halpern has held a variety of positions on Capitol Hill over the past 30 years, including Director of Floor Operations for the Speaker of the House. You can read more about Halpern in the GPO’s press release.

Congress.gov Enhancements

In November, Congress.gov added two new enhancements: First, for Senate amendments to bills, you can now see a list of any withdrawn co-sponsors. Second, in an effort to increase accessibility, Congress.gov has made improvements to their search results to make them easier to read for screen readers. You can see all the latest Congress.gov enhancements here.

Notable: CRS Reports on Congress.gov

We reported on this feature in September 2018, but in case you missed it, you can now access a large collection of Congressional Research Service reports through Congress.gov ( https://crsreports.congress.gov/). My favorite way to access the CRS reports on this site is to hit the search button without entering any search terms. This brings you to the index of CRS reports, so you can see the variety of subjects covered. Did you know the Law Library of Congress also creates research reports for Congress? You can access their reports as well, from the Law Library of Congress website.

Just for Fun: Library of Congress’ Free to Use and Reuse Collection

The Library of Congress has digitized large numbers of items in their collections, and have created a Free to Use and Reuse page, where you can browse these digitizations by category. Some collections, such as Veterans, Presidential Inaugurations, or Women’s History Month, might be more relevant to law libraries; myself, I’m partial to the Dogs collection (don’t worry – there’s a Cats one too). Perhaps the best collection here is the Not an Ostrich collection, named after this photo:

“Not an Ostrich” – https://www.loc.gov/resource/ppmsca.40935/

These are just a few of the new and notable finds from the GPO and the Library of Congress. Do you have your own favorite features? Please share!

Westlaw Edge Now Has Regulations Compare for Select States

According to a tweet earlier this week, Westlaw Edge has added the Regulations Compare feature to select state regulations. Unfortunately, the announcement does not say which states are included. However, after a chat session where I asked which states were included, I received a response that the following states have regulations compare: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. For those unfamiliar with regulations compare or statutes compare, the feature allows users to compare red-lined versions of the regulation showing deletions and insertions. The comparison is done automatically when you select two versions to compare. This saves the user the time that would have been spent comparing the versions manually. Presumably, this feature will be added to all states in the future.

GPO Publishing Changes

The Government Publishing Office announced at the end of September that it is using new software to publish the 2018 United States Code. The GPO is now using XPub, which allows for XML-based publishing. According to the press release, this technology will allow for publishing in print and digital format in a more timely manner. This comes as good news since the GPO has only just begun shipping out titles of the 2018 USC to depository libraries and has been behind on publication of the CFR for 2019 ever since the government shutdown earlier in the year. The plan is to publish all routine publications using this new program. As for the USC, the plan it that the production process will only take about 1 year rather than the normal 1.5 years for past main USC editions.

Library of Congress Launches Website to Search CRS Reports

The Library of Congress (LOC) has launched their new website to search Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports. This website was developed after the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which directed the LOC to make CRS Reports publicly available online. Before this, researchers would have to look in several different places in order to try and find the reports that are developed for Congress. The initial release of materials will include all R-series “active” reports that have been published since the passage of the Appropriations Act. A full migration of reports is estimated for completion in the Spring of 2019. More information can be found on the site’s FAQ page.

HathiTrust Digitizes Historic California Legislative Materials

As part of a project between HathiTrust, California Office of Legislative Counsel, University of California, Stanford University, and the California State Library, almost 4,000 California Assembly and Senate publications are now available digitally. HathiTrust members will be able to download complete documents, while the library itself allows browsing, single page downloads, and sharing. More information about the collection can be viewed on HathiTrust’s blog.

Thomson Reuters New Law School Landing Page

Just before some of us began classes in August, Thomson Reuters changed their landing page. As opposed to the old lawschool.westlaw.com, you will be redirected to lawschool.tr.com. There were a few teething troubles with this at the beginning, but it seems to be working as of now (although I sometimes still see the old page with some of my saved links). This is part of a branding attempt to make students more aware of the fact that Thomson Reuters owns Westlaw. The new page is more streamlined, with less text. Those who want to access Westlaw need to click on the orange “log in now” button towards the middle of the screen.