Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Quicklaw Interface

I recently attended a session where LexisNexis Canada unveiled the prototype for the new Quicklaw interface that will be launched on July 1, 2006. Across Canada, select law firms have been testing it for the past little while. At the Supreme Court, we intend on asking if we can get our hands on the new toy before July.

Because it looks very cool!

It is all part of the new LexisNexis global platform that uses a shared technology to deliver customized content to different national markets.

Not surprisingly, the new Quicklaw looks a lot like the LexisNexis legal and other researchers are familiar with.

Search results are presented in a much cleaner fashion:
  • in the middle of the page, they appear in a list format with either catchwords or keywords in context
  • along the left, the results table is organized in clusters by source type (cases, digests, legal news, etc.) - it looks like Vivisimo results
  • there is the traditional clickable LexisNexis breadcrumbs trail at the top of the results page
  • users can narrow the search right on the results page without having to return to the search form to modify terms or connectors

The new case citator has a tabular display format broken down into easy to read sections for case history, summaries of judicial consideration and citing cases (filterable by jurisdiction, treatment or court level)

The source directory is searchable and browsable in a variety of ways:

  • by broad category: legal, US legal, news, and a search tool to enter source titles
  • by topic or by type (cases, journal, legislation)
  • filtered by country or jurisdiction

As expected, the new interface provides customized search forms for specific types of material. For example, the search form for caselaw will have fields for judge, court level, names of parties, etc.

Interestingly, search results can be turned into alerts for automatic delivery at intervals the user can specify.

Another feature involves "legal updates" that offer current awareness tracking in some 47 areas of law. For instance, a user could choose to sign up for updates concerning all constitutional law rulings from the Supreme Court of Canada according to a schedule of one's choice and according to one's preferred mode of delivery (via e-mail or on a customized online update web page).

The new design will have optional features for additional purchased content such as news and company information and international case law. If people already have international legal content in their Lexis subscriptions (in addition to US and Canadian material), this will continue in the new Quicklaw if I understand correctly.

No matter which content one has, there will still be a common look and feel in terms of search forms and the mode of display for results, whether the material is Canadian, American, British, French, Australian, etc.

Coming attractions not yet incorporated into the new product include:

  • practice area pages for intellectual property law, immigration law, employment law, including topical legislation, caselaw, secondary material (treatises, digests and current awareness), and international material
  • a statute citator with versioning (point-in-time) options
  • forms and precedents
  • words and phrases
  • a Halsbury's Laws of Canada legal encyclopedia to be compiled over the next 5-7 years and which should have a 100-volume print equivalent

Overall, if LexisNexis Canada delivers what they showed us in late April, it will be one heck of a product, more intuitive and user-friendly than the current Quicklaw.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:02 pm


Blogger Annette said...

Hi Michael

I am interested in seeing the interface also, but since you have taken a look at it, can you confirm one thing for me? Does the new QL interface retain all of the unique Canadian content (such as bills, annual statutes) that QL proper provided?

Reference Librarian
University of Windsor Law

10:58 am  
Blogger Michel-Adrien said...

Yes, that is my understanding. That is what was presented to us.

10:25 am  

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