Legal research decoded: Get accurate answers in less than time.

Legal professionals are strangers to long working hours, high stakes, and high-pressure transactions. The hours are getting longer, but the pressure is increasing. A recent study on junior lawyers’ working hours found that younger professionals worked two hours longer and later daily than before the pandemic.

According to Paula Davis, writing for Reuters, “almost 40 percent of Wisconsin public defenders meet the criteria of burnout.“. Davis, the CEO of Stress and Resilience Institute, also noted that “burned out lawyers are less dedicated to their organizations and report a lower identification with organization goals.”

Davis notes that lack of resources and overwork are two significant factors in lawyer burnout. Legal researchers often find themselves caught between the desire to be efficient and the need to ensure they are thorough. The question “When can you stop?” haunts legal researchers.

It is particularly true for those that have been burned by opposing counsel finding something they did not or missing a preference of a judge they should have managed to work around. This is one of the reasons senior attorneys push their new associates hard.

Mark Frongillo, attorney and Thomson Reuters Law School account manager, says that the problems legal researchers solve have mostly stayed the same in thirty years. What has changed is the tools that they use to solve problems. We began with book research when I was a practicing lawyer and later started training future lawyers. Law professors, librarians, and other associates are now conducting research as they do: by asking questions and analyzing fact patterns. They are also filtering cases by jurisdiction.

Legal researchers equipped with the most advanced tools can dramatically reduce the time they spend searching for legal documents. They can instead devote more time to analyzing and applying the law in their case strategy.

How to demystify legal research using the right tools

Legal technology is constantly evolving, allowing for streamlining many aspects of legal practice. This is also true for legal research. How can you be sure that the tools you use will save you time and help you to deliver the best possible representation?

Your tool for legal research will help you to demystify the legal research process by giving you better answers faster and giving you the confidence that you’ve found relevant authorities other tools have missed. C.J., Senior Director of Westlaw Product Management, says that attorneys, judges, and legal professionals must be efficient and accurate. Lechtenberg says. Lechtenberg says.

This is achieved by combining editorial enhancements and technology innovation with deep insight from customers. Westlaw Precision features, from the most obvious to the ones requiring a trained eye to notice them, are all developed with Westlaw’s customers.

Lechtenberg stated that they always asked their customers what challenges they faced in legal research and tested our products with them to ensure we were solving these challenges.

Westlaw Precision, the latest legal research tool, is tuned to your research style. You get answers that you can trust faster.

What happens next after legal research is demystified?

It doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have enough work to do after completing your legal research. You have greater flexibility in using your time and can manage burnout more easily.

Here are some ideas on how to redirect your time.

Spend more time on business and case development. As a lawyer, you become one to help your clients. If you use an ineffective legal research tool, you may spend your entire time reading and searching for cases instead of applying the law to your client. Lawyers with business development duties can spend less time researching legal issues, which allows them to meet more clients and network.

Spend more time away from the office: The boundaries between work and home are blurred. Legal researchers who are confident their work is done also feel more comfortable walking away from their desks to recharge or attend to personal matters. When you’re not compelled by legal research to continue down rabbit holes, other things like caring for loved ones, investing time in relationships, pursuing passion projects, and even sleeping become easier.

Less time “wasted”: Some lawyers might argue that they dislike moving too fast because their livelihood depends on billable hours. What about the work that you cannot bill? Thomson Reuters Institute report reveals 28% of an attorney’s time is spent not practicing law or meeting with clients. Clients often prefer to avoid paying for legal research, which is inefficient. You get paid more for your work when you do more unbillable or research work.

Modern legal research tools, like Westlaw Precision, give you the confidence and efficiency to know when you are truly finished. You also get to the end faster. What happens when you drastically reduce your legal research time? Do whatever you like: More lawyering, business development, parenting, and more billable hours approved.

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