Technology Changes Legal Research: Comprehensiveness, Time, Cost-Effectiveness

Saturday, September 1, 2007 - 01:00

Editor: What impact has technology had on the in-house corporate practice of law?

Korb: Technology unquestionably continues to change the course of business, including the practice of law. Until recently, what had not changed was the amount of time, and cost involved for in-house corporate counsel and law firms to conduct research to address compliance matters, to properly file documents with the SEC and other state and federal regulatory agencies and to understand how court rulings would impact a company's operations.

Conducting legal research has recently become more effective, accurate, and cost effective with the introduction of the LawyerLinks AdvantageSM. Lawyer Links, LLC is the first company to provide corporate advisors with a simple to use, comprehensive and highly effective method to research legal matters.

Editor: What benefits does LawyerLinks Advantage SM offer to in-house and outside counsel?

Korb: The experts at Lawyer Links have a knack for implementing advanced technology transparently, which means subscribers have an intuitive way to get virtually all relevant information by topic they want and have it available anywhere there is Internet access. The company is the first to converge hand indexed information with web navigation technology so subscribers work naturally, without the need to install and learn new programs or install special software. The result is a user-friendly system that allows users to intuitively obtain the information they need in an efficient and cost effective manner. Many of our clients have expressed their appreciation for the ease with which they are able to obtain information through AdvantageSM. For example, Marc H. Folladori of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP said that in his view, it is the best securities law/public company filers research resource he had ever seen. He especially liked the smart organization and ease of navigation that the system offers.

Editor: Today's litigation and regulatory environment requires lawyers to assimilate large volumes of information so that they can offer clients the right advice to protect them from lawsuits and/or governmental scrutiny. How does LawyerLinks Advantage SM assist legal counsel during this process?

Korb: Lawyer Links' team of legal editors undertake the collection, cross-referencing and indexing of the information stored on our system so that users do not waste time trying to locate all relevant sources of information. Our editors create proprietary Topic-Index pages that contain "one-click" navigation, which enable users to access relevant source materials by subject matter collections. Lawyer Link editors also create cross-references (through hyperlinks) to "screen friendly" source materials in the Advantage Library of statutes, rules and official interpretations. Lawyer Links convergence of human intellect in collecting, editing and indexing information coupled to digital technologies is what provides a simple yet sophisticated way to distribute information instantly and globally. Advantage changes how legal research is accomplished allowing users to focus on what is important.

Editor: Do subscribers to LawyerLinks Advantage SM have to invest in training attorneys and paralegals on how to use the system?

Korb: No. One benefit of the Advantage's design is it requires no training or manuals. Users quickly reach source information by topic or keyword, which are displayed on Topic-Index page containing references related to the particular subject matter. Navigating the Advantage is analogous to opening a text book's index and running a finger down the page until the keyword is found. But, instead of having to flip through the book to find the relevant pages, Advantage offers a hyperlink that brings the reader to the precise topic web page that contains all relevant links to the information, both in the company's database as well as information stored in outside resources. This means subscribers are never more than two clicks away from authoritative materials. It's that simple.

Editor: In-house and outside counsel's duty to their clients require them to stay on top of new developments in the law that may affect the advice they give clients. How does LawyerLinks Advantage SM ensure that users have access to up-to-the-minute information relevant to their practice?

Korb: Users have access to Advantage AlertsSM. Alerts is a system prepared by legal editors that synthesizes critical recent legal developments, enforcement actions, SEC releases and rulings. This allows even the busiest lawyers to stay on top of essential news. In short users can make more informed decisions in a cost effective manner which are the two key advantages of using this technology.

Editor: Do companies need to install special software to allow users to access these Alerts?

Korb: No, users can access the information remotely through hand held devices, cell phones or laptops. Many solutions today require the installation of special software on the user's computer. In order to access those programs, the lawyer would have to be at work in his office to access the required research services. To access either Advantage or the Alerts, the user only needs access to the Internet and a web browser. Either a PDA or cell phone that can accept news feeds can access Advantage Alerts since they are crafted in the RSS format. By pointing the news reader to www.lawyerlinks.com/rss people can stay on top of the latest development anywhere across the world.

Editor: I understand that Lawyer Links recently implemented the Public Company Channel (PCC) into its existing Advantage system. What functionality does PCC offer to subscribers?

Korb: Lawyer Links recently announced a new method for organizing topic level information called "channels." "The Public Company Channel," was the first channel to be added to Advantage. PCC is unique in many ways. For example, it provides a one-stop location that advisors can "tune into" for rules, news, cases, examples, forms and compliance information. It contains new and up-to-the-minute SEC Rule-making, current events, hot topics, notable cases, SEC Filings, statutes, disclosure issues and compliance topics. The PPC offers a consolidated viewpoint revealing underlying topic pages and authoritative source materials that are of particular interest to corporate counsel of public companies.

Editor: Was the PCC developed to address the needs of existing Lawyer Links customers?

Korb: The PPC was created to meet the needs of in-house counsel and legal practitioners with a more comprehensive method that allows not only for swiftness and ease - but more importantly - for accuracy. This translates to more informed and better decisions.

Advisors will be confident that they can stay abreast of vast compliance materials from a single source. PCC addresses the informational needs of companies involved in compliance, finance and filings, and offers special organization of the content that is directly targeted at corporate advisors of public companies. Sarbanes-Oxley requires senior executives and directors to make informed decisions and exposes them to potential personal liability. The PCC also provides an invaluable tool for these senior management team members who are being exposed to the public financial market requirements for the first time.

Editor: How does the PCC enhance the search experience for users?

Korb: It allows advisors to conduct research by topic rather than by keyword which eliminates any extra steps or wasted time. In addition, it provides instant summations of all relevant findings by creating a simple summary of relevant information. In the past, advisors had to rely on search-based services that yielded long lists of results creating an exhaustive process of sifting through documents for relevant findings. The PCC was created to meet the needs of in-house counsel and legal practitioners with a more comprehensive method that allows not only for swiftness and ease but accuracy as well.

Editor: When was the PCC launched?

Korb: The PCC made its debut at the annual conference of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals held recently in Denver, Colorado and was well received by attending corporate counsel. Attendants expressed several benefits from the use of the PCC including:


the ability to produce more focused research;


a faster response time; and


a streamlined approach and added support for companies who are in the process of going public.

Editor: Does Lawyer Links plan on offering additional Channels for its users?

Korb: The demand for PCC has fueled the development of two additional Channels to be launched near term. The Private Equity and Securities Litigation Channels will be debuting in the fourth quarter 2007. As with the PPC, these Channels are designed to focus in on the matters that are important to these practice areas. A Channel page is the first place practitioners should look when reviewing the law and latest developments. We will continue to build out more Channels, because they provide the easiest way to see everything that lawyers need to know on one page according to our subscribers. We see this as a significant enhancement to our hand-built Topic-Index methodology. As we get ready to launch our next Collection this winter, which addresses Banking compliance, we will continue to leverage our existing Channels and services to simply legal research for our users.

Editor: Where can readers go to learn more about LawyerLinks AdvantageSM, Alerts, and the Channels?

Korb: For further information contact Lawyer Links, at (877) 651-5331, (e-mail at info@lawyerlinks.com) or visit the website at www.lawyerlinks.com.

Please email the interviewee at info@lawyerlinks.com with questions about this article.