Legal References That Go Beyond Dusty Treatises
November 8, 2019
Today's TechnoLawyer Buyer's Guide report covers an online collection of practice-ready reference materials for litigators and transactional lawyers across many practice areas, including checklists, legal issue trackers, and model documents.
Legal References for Litigators and Transactional Lawyers That Go Beyond Dusty Treatises
Every lawyer needs help at times but often there's no one around who can help you. Meanwhile, those dusty old treatises in law libraries tend to contain just the basics and are often useless. In these situations, you need an expert.
Thomson Reuters Practical Law in One Sentence
Thomson Reuters Practical Law is a growing collection of continuously updated practice-ready reference materials for many practice areas created by its team of full-time, experienced attorney editors.
The Killer Feature
The Practical Law team consists of more than 250 attorneys with an average of 12-14 years of experience. From its early days as an independent company, Practical Law has positioned these experts as your colleague down the hall.
"Practical Law's attorney editors apply their many years of practice experience to delivering content that is actionable, up-to-date, and takes into account the challenges that legal professionals face daily as they are called upon to do more with less." says Erica Kitaev, Director, Product Management. The editors update Practical Law's reference materials continuously, usually within a day of any new development.
Practical Law is well known for transactional content, but now also includes a growing collection of materials for litigators. Here you'll find help with all aspects of a lawsuit, including pleadings, discovery, motion practice, trial and post-trial, judgment, appeals, etc. You'll also find specialty litigation resources for class actions, antitrust, employment, intellectual property, securities, and white-collar crime.
In addition to litigation, Practical Law covers 14 other practice areas, many in the realm of corporate and securities but also bankruptcy, federal and state government practice, labor and employment, intellectual property and technology, real estate, and trusts and estates.
Practical Law covers a growing number practice areas, including litigation.
Other Notable Features
Practical Law's corpus of knowledge consists of Trackers, Matter Maps, Practice Notes, Checklists, and Standard Documents. Extensive cross-referencing among these content types ensures that you find all related material.
Trackers enable you to compare or track a legal issue across different jurisdictions and advise clients without having to do this research from scratch yourself. Matter Maps provide all the steps involved in a task using a Kanban chart design with links to relevant Practical Law content such as document templates (more on these below). The Matter Map for filing a federal appeal that I sampled seems like it could walk a first timer through the entire process.
Practice Notes provide an in-depth overview of a topic and include a helpful linked table of contents. Checklists ensure that you don't overlook anything important for a specific task and also keep you apprised of common errors and other risks.
Standard Documents are templates with accompanying drafting notes that provide guidance such as advice on how to adapt a document for various scenarios. You can annotate documents, save them in a Westlaw folder, and download them in Word format. Practical Law also includes some automated Standard Documents powered by Contract Express, Thomson Reuters' document automation technology. These automated versions save your data for reuse in other documents.
"Practical Law enables us to respond to our clients quickly and effectively, delivering increased efficiency and value," says Scott M. Coffey, a partner at Squire Patton Boggs whose practice often involves financial transactions for energy projects.
What Else Should You Know?
One of Practical Law's original tools — What's Market — is popular among lawyers who draft agreements (including settlement agreements) as it helps you find relevant provisions, compare deal terms, and determine "what's market."
Take a Closer Look at Thomson Reuters Practical Law
Meet Neil J. Squillante
Neil J. Squillante is the founder and publisher of TechnoLawyer, an award-winning network of free email newsletters for lawyers and law office administrators. Many consider TechnoLawyer newsletters the only ones they need. A Fastcase 50 award winner, Neil has a long track record of inventing successful advertising and publishing technologies and related best practices. Previously, Neil practiced commercial litigation at Am Law 100 firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher. He received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law and his B.A. from Duke University. At UCLA, Neil served as a Managing Editor of UCLA Law Review.
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