Queen Square Chambers, based in Bristol, has 46 barristers practicing in a wide range of areas, including: crime, family, civil cases, including clinical negligence, commercial property and chancery. Despite the challenge of the COVID-19 lockdowns, it actually grew over the course of the pandemic, adding six members to the set.
The barristers at Queen Square Chambers have access to the full LexisLibrary suite. Not only is this resource extremely useful for existing members, but it also helps chambers attract new talented pupils, many of whom expect access to online legal research tools.
Online access to legal research tools is vital for remote working
Pat Dixon, chambers administrator and compliance officer at Queen Square Chambers, says that a comprehensive set of online legal materials proved invaluable during the successive lockdowns of COVID-19. Members from different teams required access to a diverse range of legal materials, from family to crime and beyond. LexisLibrary essentially brought the chambers library into the homes of barristers.
“When the pandemic hit, obviously people weren't able to physically come to the library. LexisNexis has been a fantastic tool during this period and has kept everyone happy.”
Pupils make extensive use of LexisLibrary
Queen Square Chambers tries to take on two or three pupils every year, which is changing the demographic of its set over time. Not only do these new members tend to use online legal research tools more than experienced barristers, but they also increasingly expect resources to be available online. The provision of access to LexisLibrary is therefore an important factor in keeping pupils and junior barristers happy, and attracting new talent to chambers.
“Pupils probably use LexisNexis more than anyone else at chambers, because they're obviously looking things up more than others. For them, books and hard copy materials just don’t really work efficiently. We want to make sure that they have everything that they need.”
Online access levels the playing field
One of the largest teams at Queen Square Chambers is family law, with 15 family barristers. One of the key challenges of such an extensive family law team in the past has been providing access to the Family Court Practice (Red Book). Chambers only had two hard copies of the Red Book, which meant that it was often unavailable, with one out on loan and the library copy being used by another barrister. Since the Red Book is now part of LexisLibrary, the problem of multiple family practitioners needing to view the text at the same time has been resolved.
Pat Dixon also says that online access to the Red Book has levelled the playing field for younger members, since it was primarily the older members who were in a financial position to afford to purchase their own personal copy.
“The older end of the spectrum of members would often buy their own Red Book. Younger members generally weren't in a position to buy their own books all the time. So having The Red Book online and making it available to everyone levelled the playing field.”
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