September 20, 2016

Business Law Section Content Library—New Benefit for Members

The Business Law Section Content Library was launched earlier this month. It is the culmination of years of research, testing, and “tagging.”

History of the Content Library Project

“If you build it, [they] will come.”—Field of Dreams

This quote sums up the approach the Business Law Section historically took toward its content, explains Section leader Jonathan Lipson, chair of the Content Committee and professor of law at Temple University. “If we just put it on the Web, we thought, surely it will be a valuable resource to current and future members.” Over the past 15 years or so, Section content has found a home on ABA servers, and is accessible through the Internet. But, as many users found, there was a problem: no matter how strategic your search phrase, if you tried to find something that you knew was there, there was a pretty good chance that you would not find easily, if at all.

“This was because our content was not ‘tagged’ using a ‘taxonomy’ of terms likely to be used by business lawyers,” says Lipson. So in 2012, the Section formally began a project to create the Business Law Section Content Library.

Old and New Content Constantly Added

The best of the Section’s recent content, including The Business Lawyer, Business Law Today, and program materials are contained in the Content Library. Not everything ever produced is included, but instead only the content we expect most likely to be of interest to most current and potential members. The Section is constantly producing more content, so content is constantly added to the library.

“The key is that all of this content has been ‘tagged’ with terms that we think users are likely to use to search content,” says Lipson. “It will produce search returns that are much more tailored to the queries of users.”

The vision for the library is simple: “We want members and potential members to be able to find our content quickly and easily. We know that our content is often the highest quality, because it comes from leading practitioners, judges, and academics.” The library is a search “destination” that those with serious questions about the practice of business law turn to reliably find answers to their questions and improve their practices.

Features and Tools

The library is designed to be simple and user friendly. It looks like a typical search page, with some refinement options on the left. There is also a mechanism for users to provide feedback, so the Section can improve the library.

Kyle Carson, the Section’s taxonomist who implemented the library’s “tagging” system, describes the biggest features of the library:

One of the biggest features is the ability to refine searches by important aspects. Examples include which committee it came from or what area of law does it focus on. The second is the advanced search. This allows experienced legal researchers to get narrow results that match their search criteria. Finally, the Content Library brings all of the Section’s quality material under one roof. Gone are the days of having to browse through Business Law Today, The Business Lawyer, program materials, webinars, and the store for relevant content. Now Section members can simply use the Content Library to search it all.

How can you use the Content Library in your daily practice? Lipson shares that he has used (and will continue to use) program materials that often present cutting-edge analyses in fields he teaches and studies—program materials that are generally only available through the ABA. “My hope is that members—and future members—will begin to look to program materials and all of our content as readily accessible, first-quality content on the practice of business law,” he says.

Search the Content Library Now

Search for substantive articles, newsletters, audio records, webinars, and more on the Business Law Content Library. Bookmark this page and return whenever you need information on a legal topic.