When mega-legal publisher, Thomson Reuters, acquired regional legal publisher, O’Connor’s in January 2018, there were many Texas lawyers and law librarians who worried about what would happen to this very popular publisher. Greg sits down with former O’Connor’s Vice President, Jason Wilson, and talks about the history of O’Connor’s, why they focused on information design, and the plain English style of writing of their books. Wilson says the secret to good publishing, is spending a good amount of time preparing the material, and a systematic approach to organizing the material in a way that makes sense to the attorneys. While O’Connor’s has be gobbled up by Thomson Reuters, Wilson thinks that there is still a lot of room for small and regional legal publishers. In fact, he says it makes perfect sense for large publishers to license some of their more regional or niche materials to smaller vendors so that they can give it the attention to detail those topics need.
In a world where you can’t swing a swag back at a legal conference without hitting a vendor claiming to have AI which will transform the industry, is ROSS Intelligence pushing it a little too far when they claim that they’ve pulled legal research out of the “dark ages” and that they’ve eliminated the need for humans to compile information found in traditional secondary sources (AKA treatises)? Greg suggests that when you read PR like this, have your law librarian test it to see if it really is transformative, or if it is purely PR speak.
Thomson Reuters recently published a white paper called The Next Gen Leadership: Advancing Lawyers of Color (pdf). In a legal industry which is 85% white, and 64% male (compared to US stats of 76.6% and 49.2% respectively), TR sets out to interview 23 attorneys of color across the country to find out what they see white/male attorneys are doing to advance and retain lawyers of color. There are three themes picked up by TR in the interview which cover:
sponsorship to navigate law firm spaces
access to critical assignments, and
increase understanding on the unique experiences of lawyers of color.
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As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!