How do you incorporate current awareness into your legal research?

August 3, 2012

It has always been the case that historic precedent shapes the major contours of the legal landscape, but that topographical map of the legal countryside no longer provides all the information a lawyer needs to navigate their practice. They increasingly need the most up to date current awareness of relevant legal actions in their practice area. We need a map that includes up to the minute changes in traffic patterns and weather conditions and other dynamic information.

The risks of not having the most up-to-date information when you walk into a courtroom are obvious. No one wants to be caught flat footed when the judge or opposing counsel mentions yesterday’s “big decision.” The same is of course true when a client comes into your office. Clients value your ability to keep up to date with the most current conditions. They want to learn about the most recent relevant developments directly from you.

Westlaw has always been dedicated to providing the best legal content for your needs, regardless of whether that is a decades old administrative ruling that is squarely on-point or a case that was decided less than a minute ago. The recent partnership between Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer Law & Business will add Wolters Kluwer’s current awareness products – daily awareness of breaking legal developments which have been analyzed and contextualized by attorney-editors – to the comprehensive legal research databases, news and tools on Westlaw.

According to Leann Blanchfield, vice president of Product Development at Thomson Reuters, “The combination of Wolters Kluwer’s reporting depth and domain expertise, with the breadth of Thomson Reuters news and current awareness capabilities and the insight and content of the Westlaw research service is quite powerful. For customers, it will mean a current awareness offering that promises an entirely new level of insight and foresight. We’re excited to be working together.”