Cleary Gottlieb’s new blog becomes first to feature faceted search

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When Cleary Gottlieb launched their sixth blog on the LexBlog platform, they decided they wanted to take a different organizational approach. Like their other blogs, Cleary Antitrust Watch features a wealth of insights from their talented team of lawyers, but unlike their other blogs it was launching with more than 500 blog posts about a wide range of antitrust topics in its archive. This necessitated the first-ever use of a brand new feature to the LexBlog platform: faceted search.

Not sure what faceted search is? While you may not have heard of the term, you more than likely have used it at some point or another.

Imagine you’re shopping for a camera on Amazon. After typing “camera” into the search bar, you’re presented with an overwhelming amount of results. Photo cameras, video cameras, security cameras, webcams and more fill page after page—how is anyone supposed to sort through it all? Amazon and many other ecommerce sites use faceted search to narrow down your results.

For example, if you search for cameras on Amazon, you can filter by product type to drastically reduce the clutter in your search results. Or if you only want to see cameras with the best reviews, you’d check a box that allows only products with an average four star rating or higher to be shown—that’s faceted search. You can further refine your search by filtering for multiple categories at once.

Sure, if you know the exact product you’re looking for you can easily search for just that, but oftentimes when we are shopping online we are simply browsing. We don’t know exactly what we want, but we do have a general sense and faceted search helps us get there.

The same is true for law blogs, especially ones with a great deal of content on them. Cleary Antitrust Watch is the perfect example of this. To create initial content for the blog, Cleary Gottlieb’s antitrust practice group converted content from an archive of three years of antitrust newsletters into more than 500 blog posts.

They recognized readers would need a way to sift through the immense amount of legal knowledge stored on it, and the faceted search feature on Cleary Antitrust Watch lets you filter by three categories: topics, jurisdictions and industries.

Here’s how it can help: let’s say you work in healthcare administration in Germany and are looking for information about hospital system mergers. You can easily input information into the faceted search that will get you what you’re looking for by selecting “Mergers & Acquisitions” in topics, “Germany” in jurisdictions and “Life Sciences & Healthcare” in industries. Hit search and just like that you’ll get several results for the blog’s archive like this, this and this—all relevant to the specific legal issues you are investigating. That is the power of faceted search.

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Cleary Gottlieb let us know they needed faceted search in order to create the type of publication they wanted. Brian Glaser, Cleary’s Marketing Communications Manager explained why:

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Our antitrust team is known for its work in multiple countries and across multiple industries—the blog had to reflect that deep reservoir of experience and allow readers to easily sort through an already large collection of posts that’s set to keep growing.

We took this need and passed it on to our dev team who created this solution. LexBlog’s Director of Technology Scott Fennell said this was the perfect time and perfect blog to roll out faceted search:

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This is something we’ve considered in various ways over the years. Cleary Gottlieb was a partner in scoping a helpful product that we thought would be useful for many other sites.

Scott and our dev team found this feature scalable and of potential useful to many others on the LexBlog platform who we can now offer this to. LexBlog Customer Success Specialist Kira Wilson worked on launching the Cleary Antitrust blog and said her favorite aspect of how this came about is the way LexBlog responded to a customer need, but from a software as a service (SaaS) approach:

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Back in our agency days we may have built a similar feature as a one-off solution for the Cleary Antitrust Watch site only. But our new approach is still modern and scalable without turning away valuable ideas from our clients. Customer input is something that many modern SaaS companies have challenges with and we’ve managed to break that cycle with our work on faceted search.

If you are interested in implementing faceted search on your own blog please reach out to a member of our support team and we’d be happy to chat about it.

Alec Downing
About the Author

Alec is an intern on LexBlog’s publishing team where he creates content for the company’s various digital platforms. A former radio news anchor, Alec brings both a background in journalism and a passion for law. Alec has the eventual goal of attending law school—and of course—starting his own law blog. His writing has been published in The Seattle Times and Crosscut.

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