Four simple ways to improve the legal research process

Legal research can be a time-consuming, tedious process. It doesn’t need to be.

Mark Frongillo is the Thomson Reuters Law School account manager. He stated in a white paper that “the problems legal researchers solve haven’t significantly changed in the last thirty years.” The tools that they use to solve problems have changed.

He is correct. Although the traditional steps of legal research may still be the same, technology has improved the efficiency and accuracy with which legal researchers can complete their work.

Combining the latest technology with process optimization allows you to get the answers quicker than ever.

Here’s a unique way to optimize your legal research:

Find that particular case more efficiently.

Legal researchers are often faced with the challenge of finding a specific case. It can take time to find the exact point you are looking for when dealing with thousands of issues that may be relevant. Precision Research, a feature of Westlaw Precision, reveals case attributes that allow you to search and filter more efficiently. You can perform searches to gather all potentially relevant cases and filter the results by legal issue or fact pattern, motion type, development, and more. This saves you time from sorting through hundreds of thousands of unrelated cases to find your desired information.

Precision Research is an excellent tool for those complex cases with no relevant issues. It not only allows you to find out more quickly, but it also expands your perspective by allowing you to look at similar circumstances that could address the same problem in different contexts.

Optimize your workflows

How often do you review your workflow? You may find simple ways to improve your workflow and make it more organized.

Outline Builder is a feature within Westlaw Precision that helps researchers move from research to drafting quickly. Outline Builder allows users to create outlines rapidly without leaving the tool. They can also drag and drop text or citations to their system. This will automatically add linked and formatted references and KeyCite Flags.

The Graphical View Of History tool is another helpful tool that provides a visual representation of the research history. This feature shows the researcher’s steps, including searches and documents viewed. Users can then quickly determine which documents were essential during their research.

Finally, Keep List/Hide Details enables researchers to save and hide cases they are interested in while protecting those they do not want to see again. This feature streamlines future research because it allows users to quickly access pertinent information from previous sessions without repeatedly sifting through irrelevant material.

You can say goodbye to the multiple tabs and re-reviewing of information.

Use artificial intelligence tools.

Integrating AI into legal research technology makes the process more efficient and automated. Westlaw, as an example, uses machine learning to create models that anticipate user needs and can suggest relevant content even before the researcher searches for it. Based on previous searches, machine learning algorithms can also predict what documents a researcher is likely interested in. Researchers don’t need to sift through irrelevant pages manually. They get the best results immediately.

AI technologies make legal research more efficient and cost-effective than ever. Legal researchers can improve their processes by leveraging technology backed up by machine learning and tools for natural language processing.

Did you accidentally cite lousy law?

Legal researchers must use the latest technology to keep up with changing laws. More accurate and complete conclusions can be the result of outdated research methods. Look for technology that keeps up with the changing legal landscape to ensure your research is comprehensive and current.

Researchers can keep up with the latest developments and use the latest technology to ensure they use the most current information when constructing their arguments. Legal professionals who want to be ahead of the competition must stay abreast of case law and legislation changes. Innovative technology can help automate this process by scanning millions of pages for updates. This saves time and allows you to avoid reading through lengthy documents.

Little adjustments make significant impacts

You can improve your processes and strategies by taking a break from your daily work. It is essential to keep a modern perspective on your legal research to make sure you are providing the best information to your clients. You will also be able to stay ahead of your competitors and feel confident in your work.

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