The most difficult part of multi-jurisdictional research is gathering the appropriate materials to begin.

“Until now, the process to identify the most relevant laws across jurisdictions on a specific topic was tedious and time-consuming,” said Lisa Mulrooney, director of Westlaw Product Development, who headed up the initiative for the Westlaw Edge team. “Researchers needed to know what terms to use for an issue and account for the variances in terminology across jurisdictions. In addition, constructing the appropriate search query to incorporate these variables was challenging. Getting a term wrong could mean that an on-point statute may be missed or the number of results would be so large that the list would be unworkable.”

The Jurisdictional Surveys feature just added to Westlaw Edge allows users to quickly retrieve a customized and relevant compilation of laws across all U.S. jurisdictions on virtually any topic. With just one query, a Westlaw Edge user can establish the best starting point to expedite the creation of a survey allowing the user to focus on identifying and analyzing statutory variances and similarities for a topic from state to state.

All the materials needed to build a survey with Jurisdictional Surveys on Westlaw Edge are readily available and built into the search box. Jurisdictional Surveys provides a simplified search experience optimized for compiling a curated list of topically relevant statutory sections that accounts for varying terminology across all jurisdictions.

Jurisdictional Surveys is powered by the index taxonomy created by the Westlaw editorial team. The index team’s controlled vocabulary approach normalizes topical terms and accounts for variances in language and terminology across jurisdictions. The attorney editors have created more than 20 million index references, categorized by topic and accounting for the nuances of language in law. To this, the business has introduced purpose-built technology to further connect related concepts and allow users to interact with the query and the data set to quickly create a multi-jurisdictional survey of the most relevant laws on almost any topic.

“Imagine a legal professional whose client calls seeking advice on a legal argument based on how other jurisdictions have handled an issue or policy trend, such as those regulating autonomous vehicles or cybersecurity,” said Mulrooney. “Jurisdictional Surveys on Westlaw Edge would allow the user to expedite research by quickly assessing laws across jurisdictions and use survey data to build their legal argument or litigation strategy.”

To learn more about Jurisdictional Surveys and other Westlaw Edge features, click here. Below are multiple screenshots of Jurisdictional Surveys.

An example of a survey report from Jurisdictional Surveys on Westlaw Edge.

Users can query relevant laws by citation with Jurisdictional Surveys on Westlaw Edge.

 

Users can query relevant laws by an index term with Jurisdictional Surveys on Westlaw Edge.

 

Users can query relevant laws by topic with Jurisdictional Surveys on Westlaw Edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jurisdictional Surveys appears on the Westlaw Wedge homepage under “what’s new” with a brief description.