Leigh Jones on embracing video for legal news
A conversation with Leigh Jones
In this series, we're introducing you to some of the talent and experts that contribute to Thomson Reuters Legal News, which is comprised of Reuters Legal News and Westlaw Today. Thomson Reuters Legal News provides you with tailored and immersive news experiences that meet you, when, where and how you need legal news.
Let’s meet Leigh, Editor-in-charge at Reuters.
Tell us about yourself. What brought you to Reuters?
I’ve been in legal journalism for almost 20 years. I’m a lawyer myself—licensed but have never practiced and went directly from law school to legal journalism. Most recently, I was the Editor-in-chief of Law.com. I joined Thomson Reuters about a month ago, as an Editor-in-charge, helping with Westlaw Today to improve the legal news experience for our Westlaw customers.
What can you tell us about the new Westlaw Today video offering?
The new legal video project is part of Westlaw Today which is aimed at enhancing the legal news coverage that we are providing to our Westlaw customers at Thomson Reuters. We want the videos to help lawyers do their jobs better and to shine a spotlight on the faces behind the cases, controversies, and deals.
The great thing about the project is that we’ve got the excellence of the Reuters visual team to rely on and the integrity and experience of the Reuters newsroom to tell those stories.
What value does video add to the news?
When it’s all said and done, being a lawyer means helping people solve problems. Incorporating video is a quick, engaging way to show who those problem solvers are, who they’re helping, and how they’re getting it done.
A key component of these videos, as I mentioned, is helping lawyers enhance their practices, so we’re planning for much of the video effort to be forward looking. In other words, the videos will capture what’s coming down the pipe that lawyers need to be aware of—whether it means what cases, what deals, what moves by competitors, or what laws and regulations are in the works that will affect their practices.
In addition, we want to go beyond the court filings and the paper practice and reveal the personalities that are winning and losing the big cases, those lawyers that are fighting for criminal justice reform and civil rights, those that are scoring the big deals, and forging new practices.
We also want to put a spotlight on the problems in the legal industry, including the profound lack of diversity, the small numbers of minority and women partners, and the problems in legal education.
There are some stories where videos are the best way to tell them. It’ll give us an opportunity to take the issues that we’re covering and kind of slice them in a way that provides more of the human side and an informative side.
I want to emphasize that because busy lawyers don’t have a lot of time just to sit around and watch a bunch of videos, we are very mindful that we want to give them videos that help them in their work, and we’re going to—that’s one of the main objectives.
What makes a great interview?
The ability to find those lawyers who have a great story to tell. And to really provide the human experience to practicing law.
It’s also when the viewer can stay engaged and come away from it and say, “I learned something.”
What’s one thing you want viewers to know about the new videos?
Lawyers are super-busy people that often bill by the hour. The one thing that I would like viewers to know is that the quality and content coming from the Reuters team is going to make watching these videos worth their time.
Reuters is renowned for its photography and its video efforts and we can bring that to bear for the Westlaw audience.
What value can attorneys expect to get with Westlaw Today?
With Westlaw Today, you get the vast collection of premier legal content that comes with Westlaw, including all the case information and supplemental material you need to run your everyday practice. You also get the huge benefit of Reuters with experienced journalists that bring you the legal news you need to run your practice.
Westlaw Today brings you up to date with what’s happening in the industry, as well as with your practice area.
How do analysis and insight play into the videos?
With access to such experienced reporters and journalists, we have the industry knowledge about where things fit in context within the legal industry so it’s not just a one-off decision or a particular move of one attorney from one firm to another. With that experience, we’re able to identify for our clients and customers why that’s important.
We also have unparalleled integrity in the newsroom. All of us follow the Reuters trust principles which makes a huge difference in the quality of the journalism that is included on Westlaw Today.
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Reuters, with its amazing reputation for excellence and its tremendous platform, offered me an opportunity that I couldn’t say ‘no’ to.