The most difficult part of multi-jurisdictional research is gathering the appropriate materials to begin. The Jurisdictional Surveys feature just added to Westlaw Edge allows users to quickly retrieve a customized and relevant compilation of laws across all U.S. jurisdictions on virtually any topic.
With just one query, a Westlaw Edge user can establish the best starting point to expedite the creation of a survey allowing the user to focus on identifying and analyzing statutory variances and similarities for a topic from state to state.
“Until now, the process to identify the most relevant laws across jurisdictions on a specific topic was tedious and time-consuming,” said Lisa Mulrooney, director of Westlaw Product Development, who headed up the initiative for the Westlaw Edge team. “Researchers needed to know what terms to use for an issue and account for the variances in terminology across jurisdictions. In addition, constructing the appropriate search query to incorporate these variables was challenging. Getting a term wrong could mean that an on-point statute may be missed or the number of results would be so large that the list would be unworkable.”
All the materials needed to build a survey with Jurisdictional Surveys on Westlaw Edge are readily available and built into the search box. A legal professional can simply start with the citation of a known statute, use the built-in index to find relevant terms that describe the topical target or work from a predefined topic page.
Jurisdictional Surveys provides a simplified search experience optimized for compiling a curated list of topically relevant statutory sections that accounts for varying terminology across all jurisdictions. Once a user has entered a citation or defined a legal topic using the index-based type-ahead term selector, Jurisdictional Surveys compiles a report of the most relevant statutes and federal regulations across jurisdictions. Jurisdictional Surveys provides a much-needed head start for the researcher and allows for continued customization as the research evolves.
“Imagine a legal professional whose client calls seeking advice on a legal argument based on how other jurisdictions have handled an issue or policy trend, such as those regulating autonomous vehicles or cybersecurity,” said Mulrooney. “Jurisdictional Surveys on Westlaw Edge would allow the user to expedite research by quickly assessing laws across jurisdictions and use survey data to build their legal argument or litigation strategy.”
Jurisdictional Surveys is powered by the index taxonomy created by the Westlaw editorial team. The index team’s controlled vocabulary approach normalizes topical terms and accounts for variances in language and terminology across jurisdictions. The attorney editors have created more than 20 million index references, categorized by topic and accounting for the nuances of language in law. To this, the business has introduced purpose-built technology to further connect related concepts and allow users to interact with the query and the data set to quickly create a multi-jurisdictional survey of the most relevant laws on almost any topic.
In July 2018, Thomson Reuters introduced Westlaw Edge, its latest advancement in legal research, providing legal professionals with the next generation of AI-driven legal search, exclusive new warnings for law that is no longer valid, unrivaled litigation analytics, and sophisticated new research tools that help legal professionals deliver results to clients faster and more accurately. Working closely with customers, Thomson Reuters has since added Regulations Compare, Procedural Posture Filters to narrow search results to specific stages of litigation, waves of new content and new tools for Litigation Analytics, and enhancements to KeyCite, among other innovations — all at no additional charge to Westlaw Edge customers.
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