When LexisNexis announced its new Lexis for Microsoft Office (LMO) product this past February, Simon Chester briefly discussed this new product here on SLAW.
The foregoing LexisNexis press release describes the product as “a new set of research capabilities that will enable legal professionals to access content and services from LexisNexis and other sources while operating directly within Microsoft Office applications.” LexisNexis has more info here. The product was formally launched earlier this summer in the United States with the company now exploring introducing it in its other markets.
Earlier today I attended a lunch / demo by LexisNexis Canada and saw this product for the first time.
I was impressed and clearly they have invested some time and money in getting user feedback and working with Microsoft at integrating their technology to come up with a useful product.
Simply put, if you have an email or Word document open, the software can highlight what it thinks legally interesting or relevant information might be (i.e., a company name, an individual, a legal citation, or a legal concept). You can then click on the highlighted text and a pane within Outlook or Word opens up to the right showing where those words appear in Lexis.com or other defined sources (including, for example, LexisWeb). If you have further licensed their Lexis Search Advantage (LSA) software, your search results would include hits on documents within your internal document management system. If you were interested in a word not automatically highlighted in your email or document text, you can manually highlight terms of interest.
Currently, the “data set” for Lexis.com data is limited to the major US sources (i.e., not Canadian or British sources, for example), although this is something LexisNexis will be exploring as they consider their expansion plans for this technology.
Alan Dingle, VP of Marketing and Business Devleopment at LexisNexis Canada, was correct in suggesting that, while “content remains King,” how you package that content and make it available to lawyers as part of their workflow is equally if not more important. The idea of hitting lawyers where they work (i.e., within Outlook or Word) is an interesting one.
Other blog posts on Lexis for Microsoft Office:
– Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites (1 February 2010): LexisNexis Unveils Office Integration Today
– 3 Geeks and a Law Blog (10 February 2010): Preview of LexisNexis for MS Office
– USC Law Library Blog (13 September 2010): Lexis for Microsoft Office