After visiting Bloomberg’s flagship offices in New York City to view demos of newly unveiled enhancements and upgrades to Bloomberg Law, we returned quite impressed with what Bloomberg has in the pipeline and how it may appeal to the decision-makers responsible for managing legal research services products in their firms or legal departments.
The new platform is very promising in its offerings for trial attorneys and transactional lawyers. The new features are Bloomberg’s attempt to integrate its BNA content with the Bloomberg Law platform, with the aim of making the platform more user-friendly and comprehensive. Kevin Tilton, Data Analyst at LAC Group, said:
“The user interface is extremely well done and the searching and filtering functionalities are easy to pinpoint. They are making an effort to make the user experience as fluid as possible.”
The upgrades come with a new pricing model that buyers may find more flexible than in the past, which Bloomberg promises will be more “transparent and predictable.” Joe Breda, President of Bloomberg Law, recently stated in a letter to customers:
“Our long-term vision is a fair price that’s consistent with the marketplace and representative of the value Bloomberg Law brings to your practice or business. We are also committed to the continuous enhancement of our platform at no additional cost to you.”
We’re also optimistic about Bloomberg’s newly announced pricing model. Instead of a traditional “enterprise model” where firms are required to purchase for an entire practice group regardless of individual usage, firms subscribing to Bloomberg Law can elect to purchase only the seats that they need. Those subscribers will get all of Bloomberg Law’s content including the new enhancements.
Using innovative technology to find key filings with Docket Key
One of the features Bloomberg Law mentioned it was further developing is Docket Key, a tool that uses machine learning to “identify and classify entries on a docket sheet, and its chief purpose is to make locating specific types of filings easier and more efficient.” This solution allows users to locate briefs and other litigation materials that are sought by litigators when preparing their own legal arguments. Docket Key can be particularly valuable for law firms with Westlaw subscriptions that do not include briefs and litigation materials. Docket Key recently expanded and now covers 35 federal district courts with plans to expand to all 94 federal districts.
Also in the dockets research space—and of particular value to firms—is Bloomberg Law’s extensive dockets coverage, which encompasses more than 1,100 federal, state and international courts, and 185 million dockets. Bloomberg Law will allow subscribers unlimited docket searches and alerts. BloombergLaw is also working with several firms on special dockets projects that include automated ingests of dockets feeds into firm intranets and extranets.
Brief Analyzer promises to simplify legal research
Another enhancement recently revealed at the 2019 AALL Conference in July that the LAC team found impressive is Brief Analyzer. Bloomberg promises that Brief Analyzer will streamline and simplify the legal research process to free up attorneys for more strategic tasks. Powered by artificial intelligence, this tool will allow attorneys to upload their briefs or an opposing counsel’s brief to check what authorities or arguments are missing and to look for holes in an opposing counsel’s brief.
This product will compete with Casetext and Thomson Reuters’ new product Quick Check, which both use AI to analyze briefs. Bloomberg mentioned that the beta for Brief Analyzer will be out in September and then fully released by the end of the year.
Transactional Intelligence Center includes Precedent Database of more than 1.5 million legal documents
Bloomberg Law’s proprietary Precedent Database includes more than 1.5 million legal documents that top practitioners used in transactions that are filed on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database.
The documents in the Precedent Database are classified using multiple criteria allowing users to quickly locate a precedent that meets their needs. Users can search for documents and clauses by document type, clause title, keyword, date, transaction type, governing law, industry, party, law firm, attorney and more.
Litigation Analytics delivers millions of legal data points
Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics feature enables users to search millions of legal data points by company, law firm, judge or attorney. This feature covers more than 70,000 public companies and 3.5 million private companies, over 7,000 law firms, all active federal district court judges and over 100,000 attorneys at more than 775 law firms.
Points of Law uses machine learning to improve case law research
Points of Law promises a more efficient and effective way to conduct case law research, according to Bloomberg. The feature applies machine learning to a database of more than 13.5 million court opinions, highlighting language critical to a court’s reasoning so attorneys can find the best language to support legal arguments. The “Related Points of Law” button generates a list of points that are frequently cited by courts on the topic searched, which are designed to offer perspectives that an attorney might not have considered.
Draft Analyzer uses algorithm to display developing consensus among drafters
Draft Analyzer is Bloomberg Law’s proprietary machine learning technology that allows users to benchmark their drafts against similar language in millions of other publicly available agreements. Draft Analyzer uses an algorithm to show the developing consensus among drafters based on analysis of each paragraph from documents filed as exhibits on EDGAR. The system first categorizes each paragraph based on textual similarity and constructs one or more unified versions (“consensus templates”) for each identified cluster of similarly worded paragraphs. A consensus template reflects the most common language in the template’s source documents.
Bloomberg Law has more than 4,700 pieces of practical guidance, including annotated forms, drafting guides, checklists, overviews and clause descriptions. These resources provide practical advice for attorneys across multiple practice areas, including corporate, commercial transactions, benefits and executive compensation. Recently, Bloomberg Law released brand new litigation practical guidance further expanding their collection.
Deal Analytics: info on public and private equity offerings and M&A deals
Bloomberg Law’s proprietary Deal Analytics database, which leverages data from the Bloomberg Terminal, provides over 25 searchable fields allowing users to quickly access data on public and private equity offerings and M&A transactions worldwide. The “Equity Offerings” database provides available information on more than 170,000 worldwide public and private equity offerings; while the “Mergers & Acquisitions” database includes over 680,000 public and private M&A deals and venture capital investments from around the world. The Deal Analytics product could potentially compete with other M&A and deal services that research and analyze companies and deals, such as Daily Deal and Pitchbook.
Many of Bloomberg Law’s new features and products such as Brief Analyzer will be exclusive to the Bloomberg Law service and not available through the company’s traditional Practice Centers.
It appears on several levels that Bloomberg Law is working towards improving client relationships and introducing new products on its platform that provide continued value, while improving the way legal research is performed. These changes should help Bloomberg Law remain one of the leading players in the legal research services market.