James Mullan News in the Legal Landscape
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By James Mullan

Abstract

James Mullan considers how legal firms can best monitor, manage and disseminate relevant news from multiple sources.

 

Item

FreePint Topic Series: News, and BeyondThe Forces of Change

In today's legal landscape the monitoring and dissemination of information from the multitude of news sources, both traditional and new, has never been more important. There are two significant reasons for this:

  • The first is that consumers are increasingly becoming creators of news
  • The second, and perhaps more significant, factor is that the legal market especially in the UK is becoming more and more consolidated. This means it's even more critical to know what's happening in the industries, sectors and marketplaces your law firm works in before your competitors.

There are a number of products available to law firms which can be used to monitor and disseminate information from news sources. These can be categorised into two groups: subscription-based products which index content which is subscribed to, and subscription-based products which index content from a much wider range of sources.


Subscription-Based Tools Lead the Way

Tools like Ozmosys, Nexis.com, WestlawNext and Manzama are being used extensively by law firms and other organisations to receive and manage news content.

These tools not only consolidate subscription content, but are increasingly indexing content from legal-oriented websites, blogs and RSS feeds into updates and alerts for users.


Managing Multiple Information Sources

Whilst these sources are fantastic at keeping users and organisations up to date with news and legal developments, a significant issue is the best way to manage the various sources.

Some law firms have looked at the ways in which they can best manage the multiple news sources but only one has looked at what users do with the information once they have received. This is discussed in an article published last year as part of the FreePint Topic Series: Beyond Aggregation.


Conclusion

There are a significant number of specialist news products available for information professionals working in the legal information sector. What can be difficult is managing them and this is where information professionals have a significant role to play.

My in-depth Subscription Article "Specialist News Offerings - Legal Sector" highlights the most relevant products law firms can use to monitor news sources, plus their key features and USPs. Managing news sources and disseminating information is a significant challenge and I also turn my attention to the tools I see as best suited to these critical tasks in the legal sector. 

This Blog Item is part of the FreePint Topic Series: News, and Beyond.

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