Over the past two years, Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, has been beefing up its coverage of legal news, bringing on the former editor-in-chief of Law.com to lead legal news, hiring several well-known legal-industry commentators as columnists, and increasing its hiring of legal news editors and reporters.
One result of this activity was Westlaw Today, a premium legal news service launched in July 2020 that is fueled Reuters news and available only to subscribers of Westlaw and Westlaw Edge for an additional cost.
However, Reuters has also significantly enhanced legal news coverage on its public-facing site — coverage it somewhat quietly launched last year — and all of that reporting and commentary is freely available to readers with no subscription required.
Plus, the public site includes insights and analysis from Westlaw, Practical Law, Peer Monitor and the Thomson Reuters Institute, as well as thought leadership submitted by outside authors.
Even better, this week Reuters enhanced its site with customization, adding a “My View” feature that allows readers to set personal preferences for the types of news they wish to follow.
Follow Topics and Entities
Yesterday, Gia Norris, senior director of product at Reuters, and Zena Applebaum, senior director, product marketing, gave me a demonstration of the new My View features, and then I logged on and tried it for myself.
Arriving at the top-level Reuters Legal News page, a reader can browse recent stories, see the latest from Reuters’ legal columnists, view video stories, read analysis contributed by outside attorneys, check out the latest “industry buzz,” and more. They can also drill down into four subcategories: Government, Legal Industry, Litigation and Transactional.
To create their customized My View, readers click a widget on the left of the screen and choose from among a selection of common practice areas and industry topics — including topics such as legal innovation and practice management.
Readers can also choose to follow specific law firms, companies or Reuters journalists, although this feature is limited to 20 large law firms and a handful of private companies and U.S. government entities.
Once the reader has set up preferences for topics and follows, the reader simply clicks the My View widget to bring up the most recent stories. Adding or removing topics or follows is easy to do by revisiting the user’s preferences page. The widget also allows readers to save stories.
All of this is available free of charge. To use the My View feature, a reader must register, but the registration is quick and setting up preferences takes just a few moments.
For law firms that are already Thomson Reuters customers, Reuters offers a registration shortcut. An administrative portal allows law firm administrators to upload and register their entire firm. Each individual user would still have to log on and accept the terms and conditions, but the users’ profiles would be already filled out.
Plans to Add Push
So far, the My View customization does not include any form of push notification via email or RSS. But Norris said that is in the works for a future release, and will include the ability to set delivery at whatever frequency the reader prefers.
Also in the works is the ability to save searches and receive email or RSS alerts of new matches.
And while there is a Reuters news app for mobile devices, the app does not yet include the My View feature.
Reuters says the legal news portion of its site gets over 1.7 million users a month, compared to 47 million users for the site overall.
In 2020, Reuters hired Leigh Jones, formerly editor-in-chief of Law.com, as editor-in-charge of legal news. The site also features three established columnists: Alison Frankel, a reporter with The American Lawyer for 23 years before joining Thomson Reuters in 2011; Jenna Greene, formerly editor-in-chief of the AmLaw Litigation Daily before joining Reuters in 2020, and Hassan Kanu, a former legal editor at Bloomberg BNA before joining Reuters in 2020.