Practical Law Product Overview

February 12, 2014

Practical Law logo newMost attorneys are engaged in the practice of law.  However, as many attorneys may tell you, getting to the point of being able to practice law in a more regular and systematic fashion can be a full-time job in itself – not to mention all of the work that it takes to keep up-to-date with all of the changes that constantly affect the law.

This effort is especially burdensome on attorneys in small law firms or those practicing solo, since they aren’t provided with the network of resources that is typically available to attorneys in mid- to large-sized firms.

Practical Law is an online resource designed to provide the legal “know-how” attorneys need to more quickly interpret and apply law – essentially, providing them with a better starting point.

The product is fairly self-descriptive: it is a collection of legal materials for practical use; and for the practice areas that it covers, there’s quite a comprehensive assortment of resources.

The practice areas offered by Practical Law are listed below.

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The array of resources available under each area is too wide to fully discuss here, so let’s look at one specific practice area as an example: Labor & Employment.

Within the “Labor & Employment” umbrella, there are several topics (see below).

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Clicking on any one of these topics brings you to a page that outlines the resources relating to that specific topic.

What kind of “resources?”  There are a number of different types, so I’ll use a screenshot to illustrate them all:

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“Practice Notes,” for instance, are brief overviews of a wide variety of topics within a selected practice area.  Of course, there are many different specific practice notes for subtopics under the “Labor & Employment” umbrella (128, to be exact), as there are in other practice areas too (“Finance,” for example, has 452 different Practice Notes).

Keychain static“Standard Documents” are easy-to-fill-out forms for use in the selected practice area.  “Labor & Employment” has 161 such documents, including the likes of a “Company Social Media Use Guidelines,” a “Employee Non-compete Agreement,” and a “Family and Medical Leave Act Request Form.”

“Standard Clauses” are similar, containing individual clauses for use in drafting your own forms or adding into existing ones.

“Toolkits” are really a one-stop shop for a collection of continuously maintained resources for core areas of legal risk and compliance.

For example, there’s a Toolkit under “Labor & Employment” for “Departing Employee.”  This toolkit provides a brief summary of legal issues that you would need to consider as the employer when one of your employees leaves the company, either voluntarily or not. There are links to pertinent Standard Documents and Clauses, and also to “Checklists.”

Checklists are resources such as timelines, flowcharts and of course, checklists, to help ensure that, when faced with a specific situation, you are dotting all of your i’s and crossing all of your t’s.

Finally, “Updates” provides recent developments in the specific Practice Area of which you may need to be aware.  It’s worth noting, though, that the “Updates” section isn’t the only resource that is regularly maintained: all of the resources that Practical Law has to offer are regularly maintained by their attorney editors.

Thus, not only is there a broad collection of resources for practicing law in the specified practice areas, but the content is thoroughly reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

Practical Law is designed to help attorneys do just that: practice law.