With over 400 fee-earners in their London office alone, it’s vital the firm's Library Director and her team are able to provide them with correct and timely information. “I look after research, training, current awareness, hard copy and online,” the Library Director explains.
Like many law firms, they use customised email alerts to deliver information to fee-earners. “We send out many email alerts,” confirms the Library Director. “They keep fee-earners up-to-date with changes in case law, with news and with stories in the press relating to clients.”
The firm chose to switch from its previous mailing tool to the Linex current awareness platform, powered by Vable. With around 500 email alerts to manage, they were keen to find a solution which was efficient, customisable and able to incorporate information from a range of places including LexisNexis, government and legislation websites as well as other news sources.
“We have an email distribution list for each subject, industry or company,” describes the Library Director. “Each has several people on it. For instance, an email might go to ten people who want to get information about a particular client.”
“There are 50 alerts for which we hand-pick the content,” she continues. “We used to build these manually. Someone would check all the source websites for stories, then put them into an email.”
Since switching to Vable, the firm has been able to automate this process while still retaining the ability to manually select the most appropriate items. The firm uses a series of searches to filter content from different sources.
“We look through this and choose what we want to go into each alert,” elaborates the Library Director. “There was a quite a lot of work involved setting the searches, but now we’re confident we don’t miss much – and we can still identify what’s really important.”
Once the stories have been chosen, the Linex platform generates and sends each email automatically, meaning the library team can focus on selecting and curating the best content. “It used to take four hours,” she reckons. “Now it takes half an hour.”
The firm uses the Linex platform to send its 450 other alerts too. These are mainly generated using stories found via automated searches of LexisNexis.
It’s taken some time for the firm to create and refine these search terms and fine-tuning them in response to feedback is an ongoing task. “Some of the search terms are very complex,” confirms the Library Director. “They’re up to 20 lines long, because we want to get them as targeted as possible. We have to tweak things because what our fee-earners are interested in changes too.”
Some email alerts are sent daily, others less frequently. Vable gives the library team the freedom to tailor each to fit specific requirements..
Switching to Vable has brought many benefits. “It pulls resources together, and that’s reduced the number of emails people receive,” describes the Library Director. “It’s great that we can incorporate information from more than one source – that was one of the main reasons we chose Vable. The quality of information has increased too.”
“Vable have also been very good at accommodating what we need. They’ve added new features – for instance, there were some specific websites we wanted to include, and they had to customise the system to pull in the information.”
Vable has established itself so firmly at the firm that it’s even gained a place in the firm’s lexicon.
“We’ve realised we can apply the Linex platform in any situation where we’re looking for specific information. We’re constantly finding new ways to use it, in scenarios where we hadn’t expected to.”