June 20, 2011
Practical Law Company Materials
A few months ago, I began receiving weekly updates on finance and corporate and securities law produced by the Practical Law Company. I’m sure the company sent me advertising at some point, but I didn’t check it out until one of our librarians convinced me to take a look. (The librarian in question also happens to be my fiancée, so I tend to listen to her a little more than our other librarians.) I was hesitant to add yet another service to the many products that already stream through my in-box: various daily and weekly updates on the law, blog posts, RSS feeds from newspapers and magazines. But this is something different, and I like it.
In addition to information on regulatory and other legal changes, the PLC update includes various checklists, practice notes, and samples from current deals. For example, my most recent Corporate and Securities Weekly Update includes practice notes on (1) reverse mergers, (2) structuring waterfall provisions in partnership and LLC agreements, and (3) merchant banking. My favorite recurring feature is something PLC calls the “risk factor of the week,” with actual risk factor language pulled from public filings. The weekly updates also include summaries of both public and private acquisition agreements, often featuring some of the contractual provisions in those deals.
Some of the practice notes, such as a recent due diligence checklist, don’t add much to what I already know, but would be very useful to students or inexperienced lawyers. Some of them, like the one on waterfall provisions, deal with topics I never touch on. But most of them are pretty interesting and, for a weekly, the quality is surprisingly good.
If you haven’t seen these, you might want to check them out. The Practical Law Company web site is here. In addition to the weekly updates, the web site has a variety of other content, including webinars, model documents, and handbooks. (As an academic, I don’t pay for the content I receive, so I’m not sure what PLC charges.)