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Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Creates Daily Legal Publications With 'Smart' Features
Posted On December 10, 2012
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business announced a new suite of daily publications written by attorneys for attorneys. Three new dailies join the existing employment and intellectual property titles to cover the following topics (with more to come in 2013):

The suite of products are designed to “deliver breaking news from both the federal and state level, the latest rulemaking and updates on litigation as well as a complete summary of the daily legal news.” Most notable to discerning information purchasers are the thoughtful features for the convenience of the target audience—attorneys, legal information professionals, and the technical people who support them.

The first convenience feature is compatibility—for access is available on virtually every existing technology—smartphone, laptop, tablet, iAnything, and readers of all kinds via email, RSS feeds, and mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android. For those purchasing legal information resources in today’s BYOD (bring your own device) enterprise, knowing that your user’s technology can’t get in the way of the information resource is nirvana.

The second convenience is speed of getting access: There’s absolutely no login IDs, passwords, security questions, or other time-consuming sequences required to access your subscriptions. That means no lost passwords, IDs, or need for your users to call at all hours in a crisis.

The third convenience is the copyright permission to forward all or part of a news item or issue to a co-worker, client, expert, or other affiliated professional you have brought in to a matter. In the “new” normal, of collaborative work environments, the seamless sharing of key information is critical—in litigation, transaction work, with clients, in-house counsel, and virtually everyone involved in a project or workgroup. As Jean O’Grady posted on Dewey B. Strategic, “One of the things that has driven me batty over the years is the disconnect between product licensing and workflow. If you send a lawyer content—you need to assume that they need to share it. WK is removing the ‘licensing handcuffs’ and stating unambiguously that lawyers are free to share content with colleagues and clients. Hallelujah!”

Of course, we are not talking about systematic or mass distribution of whole issues to an entire firm or other mass audience. The copyright permission conveniently covers the everyday “OMG Steve (or working group or litigation team) needs to know about this right away” moment—when one reads breaking news about a new regulation that is proposed or finalized, or about a new appellate case that has created a conflict between jurisdictions. These critical pieces of information can change everything your strategy depended upon. In hot-topic fields such as these, all information is critical, and to be of any value, key information must be shared. Wolters Kluwer understands and has made copyright compliance automatic. Its copyright policy is at the end of each daily issue if you need to be reassured that, “you are hereby granted a limited and revocable right to occasionally forward this email to clients, prospective clients or other third parties in the ordinary course of the practice of your profession and not as part of any mass communication from you or your company.” In plain English, to boot!

The fourth convenience is the agreement with Thomson Reuters for access through Westlaw, which integrates the information in your daily subscription(s) into your search results from its vast service with primary, secondary, public domain, and proprietary information resources.

The fifth convenience is the ability for the subscriber to limit the information s/he gets. If you are like me, it is hard when we are constantly pressed for time, against irrational deadlines, and faced with a giant tsunami of essential, time-sensitive information in a huge field, on a daily basis. And Wolters Kluwer understands that you may only need information from one or a few jurisdictions or only on one small but critical-to-you subtopic. So it permits you to decide to cull just the information you need, while allowing you to access the entire issue at your convenience, such as when you have the time for looking at a forest.

In fields as broad as intellectual property, not to mention health law (with the foreseeable onslaught of Affordable Care Act legislation, regulations, and court cases), being able to have a service weed out everything not dealing with a certain type of patent, or limiting your “news” to just the small slice of healthcare provider liability that you care about—is priceless. After all, the rest of each issue is still available to you when you have the time to peruse it. You can save them to a “favorites” file on the web and have easy access, anywhere you may be, as long as you maintain your subscription, or you can access the complete back files through Wolters Kluwer’s IntelliConnect.

I like the fact that the dailies come out in the afternoon, so there’s a better chance that you will receive today’s news, today—in time to act on it, share it, make notes to yourself, cogitate on it, and still get home at a decent hour. This is so much better than early morning delivery, when there’s always an onslaught of other information coming at you, fires that need to be put out, and any morning content is guaranteed to be “yesterday’s news” already. For the truly obsessed, there are even mid-day alerts, if you really can’t wait.

The pricing is something each subscriber can work out to his or her advantage. Certainly there are “so many factors that it’s impossible to quote one price,” which means that you can pick and choose from any number of pricing combinations and leverage the number of Wolters Kluwer products to which you already subscribe.

I was afraid that the various free blogs written by Wolters Kluwer editors might be displaced by the Dailies—but these free services are continuing their lighter, more thoughtful coverage. If you are unfamiliar with them, I recommend them to you for the analysis of issues that can arise in most any organization, such as the PhoneDog Twitter case in employment law, which reads like a fable with a moral about social media policies. On the other hand, the Wolters Kluwer bloggers can illuminate and generate creative thinking about skeuomorphs, such as Apple Corp.’s recent patent on the virtual page turn. That one caused me to pause and think. The blogs are definitely worth keeping—and keeping free.

So, there is a lot to like about the new Dailies Services, with the conveniences mentioned, and the customization that is available to each subscriber. The access “anywhere” on virtually any device is another convenience that is hard to ignore.

It is obvious that Wolters Kluwer Law & Business has listened to their attorneys, law librarians, clients, and other legal information users, and worked to add extra value and convenience to a series of highly specialized daily current awareness titles for busy professionals. I can’t wait to learn the next subjects to be added to the suite, which will be announced sometime next year.

If you are interested, you may request a free 2-week trial of one, several, or all titles in the suite of topical daily newsletters. 

Carol Ebbinghouse is law library director at the California 2nd District Court of Appeals and the "Sidebar" legal columnist for Searcher magazine.

Email Carol Ebbinghouse

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