Bloomberg Law brought their docket and transactional tools to the forefront at the Exhibitor Showcase. In their words, they want to aid in "producing practice ready graduates." As the ABA drafts new competencies, the curriculum in law schools (especially legal research courses) must change to meet those new goals. Preparing transactional law attorneys as well as litigators with legal research and practice-aiding tools will likely be part of this.
Valerie Carullo (Bloomberg Law Librarian Relationship Manager and former Reference Librarian at New York Law School) highlighted the ways in which certain Bloomberg Law tools may be utilized by both litigators and transactional attorneys. Dockets and alerts can be tailored to anticipate client business. Filed complaints can be turned into drafting tools. One of the strengths of Bloomberg Dockets is the ease of searching by keyword through the full text of complaints. Using advanced search techniques in their Dockets database can be a means of locating key information for vetting expert witnesses.
Bloomberg is also building out their transactional tools that are largely organized by practice area. Valerie reviewed the Checklist & Timelines and Quick Reference Guides - excellent resources for both new and experienced attorneys. The DealMaker Documents & DealMaker Clauses enable the attorney to run side-by-side red-line comparisons of clauses they have found in Bloomberg's databases. Similar side-by-side comparisons are even available to compare U.S. patent documents.
While other vendors are acquiring products that provide these types of transactional/drafting tools, Bloomberg seems to be building them into the Bloomberg Law platform from an early point, while quickly adding interaction with the other areas of the platform (case law, dockets, company profiling). If they can keep moving forward with his constant integration and interaction in mind, they'll be ahead of their competitors. Their competitors seem to be constantly struggling to get all their individual pieces, including the newly acquired ones, to play nice with each other. The new platforms seem to be where this integration will be taking place, but it's been slow going.
It will be interesting to see where Bloomberg is able to take this integration and interaction in future developments. If nothing else, maybe their advances will push their brethren in the right direction of innovation, and speed up the pace a bit too.