A first-of-its-kind tool introduced last year to automate the drafting of litigation briefs has been named new product of the year for 2021 by the American Association of Law Libraries.

The product, Compose, introduced in February 2020 by legal research company Casetext, helps attorneys automate the creation of the first draft of a litigation brief. Casetext says it can cut brief-writing time by 76%.

Compose launched with the ability to create core federal court procedural and discovery motions. It later  expanded to add employment law briefs and product liability briefs. Casetext also launched a Compose add-in for Microsoft Word.

Second Product Award

This is the second time the AALL has given its annual product award to a Casetext product. In 2017, the award went to CARA, another first-of-its-kind product that analyzes briefs to find relevant cases they omit.

CARA has since spawned a generation of similar products from other legal research companies.

The AALL product award honors new commercial information products that enhance or improve existing law library services or procedures or innovative products which improve access to legal information, the legal research process, or procedures for technical processing of library materials.

Ethics Guide Honored for Innovation

In another award announced last week, the AALL named the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas at Austin winner of its Innovations in Technology Award for its development of The Thomas Woodward Houghton 50 State Ethics Guide.

The guide is intended to provide an easy-to-use clearinghouse where attorneys, law students and faculty, judges, the public, and other researchers can obtain free access to legal ethics opinions and laws for all 50 states.

It features a clickable map that links to key state resources on legal ethics codes, regulations, and opinions. It also provides access to ABA ethics information and select ethics titles held by Tarlton Law Library.

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Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.