Home Criminal Defense 5 (Unforeseeable, Predicable, And Surprising) Legal Tech Trends In 2020

5 (Unforeseeable, Predicable, And Surprising) Legal Tech Trends In 2020

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We have been all blindsided as 2020 unfolded, but the momentum of technological change and innovation assured a gradual stream of recent merchandise. i’ve recognized 5 tendencies, which i’ve divided into three classes: unforeseeable, persevering with and shocking.

The tendencies I imagine are value noting — Unforeseeable: COVID-19 impacts; Predicable: state court docket analytics and modern workflow instruments; Surprising: authorized information re-emerges as a aggressive focus amongst main authorized publishers and tech marketplaces emerge.

Unforeseeable: COVID-Related Trends

COVID alone triggered 4 subtrends:

  • The emergence of native regulation and ephemeral publications. Major authorized distributors have been no extra ready to trace county stage well being division issuances and Governors’ government orders than the common regulation agency. To make issues worse these “documents” have been issued in a myriad of social media codecs, texts, tweets, Facebook pages … . What’s a regulation agency to do?
  • Librarians and KM professionals stepped into the vacuum and established protocols for finding and harnessing the untidy universe of COVID-19 ephemera.
  • Law companies grew to become publishers of authentic COVID-19 sources (leveraging the native paperwork harnessed by librarians).
  • Legal publishers turned out an unprecedented variety of volumes of free authorized sources protecting COVID-19 points. I lined this development in an earlier ATL post.

Continuing Trends: State Court Analytics And Workflow Tools

State Litigation Analytics — California was floor zero for the event of federal and state analytics. Gavelytics and Judicata have been two of the earliest startups to deal with the challenges of state litigation analytics. Lex Machina, the pioneer in federal litigation analytics, entered the state litigation analytics market with the February launch of California and Texas modules and launched New York Courts within the fall.

Westlaw and Bloomberg Law which beforehand launched  state analytics continues to construct out state analytics content material. Starts-ups Trellis and Unicourt joined the state analytics social gathering in 2020. Fastcase/DocketAlarm continued constructing out their state litigation analytics and late within the yr introduced the acquisition of Judicata.

Workflow Tools

  • Brief Analysis instruments. Casetext launched a groundbreaking AI-enabled motion-drafting device, Compose, on the Legal Tech convention in January. Compose makes use of AI to establish authorized arguments and requirements tailor-made to a jurisdiction and authorized situation. Parallel search turbocharges the placement of pertinent precedent to assist arguments.
  • Casetext had invented a brand new class of temporary checking device with the launch of CARA in 2016.  It has taken a number of years for all the bigger tech corporations to catch up. LexisNexis and Bloomberg Law launched their temporary analyzer instruments in 2020. Westlaw launched their temporary analyzer device Quick Check in 2019. That product was leveraged to construct Quick Check Judicial. This is a device was created for judges and may analyze as much as six paperwork and produce comparative reviews.
  • Among the opposite workflow instruments launched in 2020: Wolters Kluwer added a Practical Content dashboard and Thomson Reuters HiQ 5.4 AI contract evaluation with integration to  Contract Express.

Surprising Trends: Legal News And Technology Directories

Is the Lexis News Monopoly In Jeopardy? If you take a look at 2020 tendencies — the reply is “yes.” Lexis has owned a digital monopoly on authorized information for the previous decade. They not solely purchased Law360 in 2012, however over time have locked up unique offers with the Wall Street Journal and American Lawyer Media. In 2014 they purchased the information aggregation platform Newsdesk. i’ve repeatedly puzzled aloud why Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg — each media corporations — have didn’t compete straight with Law360.

In January, Fastcase and American lawyer Media each introduced the launch of authorized information merchandise.

  • Fastcase launched their first Law Street Media publication which supplies not solely information however weaves analytics from their Docket Alarm analytics product into the information.
  • ALM introduced an modern information feed Legal Radar now branded as Law.com Radar. It provides a “breaking” newsfeed directed at youthful attorneys who devour information on their telephones. News objects are known as “blips.” After at the start specializing in Litigation information, they added “breaking deal” information for transactional attorneys in November.
  • Thomson Reuters Back in March 2020 I met with Tony Kinnear, the brand new President of Thomson Reuters Legal Professions. My message to Kinnear – Thomson Reuters must compete with Law360. It could also be a coincidence, however in October 2020 Thomson Reuters launched a authorized information product Westlaw Today.
  • Bloomberg Law solidified their place in authorized information with the acquisition of the Bureau of National Affairs in 2011. I as soon as described BNA because the nerd “A+ student in a bow tie” of authorized publishing. Since his appointment in 2018, Bloomberg Law President Joe Breda has been centered on remodeling the corporate’s traditionally dense, regulatory information choices into extra trendy stream-able, clickable and contextualized legal news merchandise. This previous yr they added embedded interactive visualizations together with regulation agency rankings and employed an Editor-in-Chief from the National Law Journal.

Tech Marketplaces

First of all it must be acknowledged that marketplaces are mainly curated directories.  Some additionally supply cloud environments what place new merchandise will be examined. I didn’t see this coming in any respect and but, i’ve a visceral understanding of why Marketplaces are wanted. A Google seek for one thing like “legal practice management tools” can ship eight million ineffective ends in a second. You are higher off emailing your colleagues for product suggestions. What is a lawyer/technologist/librarian to do? Enter the Tech Marketplace.

  • Reynen Court created by a consortium of regulation companies is a sort of authorized app retailer launched in January with a mission:  “to make it easier for law firms and legal departments to adopt and manage modern cloud-based software applications without having to trust firm or client content to the rapidly growing universe of vertically integrated SaaS providers.”
  • Thomson Reuters introduced  two initiatives. Thomson Reuters Marketplace (beta model), is an on-line market what place attorneys, technologists and data skilled can analysis, trial and buy a variety of Thomson Reuters options. Thomson Reuters Legal Home  is described as an “integrated digital launchpad” what place subscribers can entry their Thomson Reuters merchandise as well as details about exterior merchandise which will be built-in with or linked to Thomson Reuters merchandise.
  • The regulation agency Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe launched The Observatory, “an interactive platform offering data on 600+ legal technologies in the market today. Created by Orrick’s Innovation Team, The Observatory plainly describes what each technology does and includes data on management diversity to help legal departments enhance focus on vendor equity.”
  • LegaltechHub This previous fall, husband and spouse tech workforce Chris Ford and Nikki Shaver launched an necessary new expertise useful resource: com. Legaltechhub (LTH) is a curated database of authorized expertise instruments, which is enhanced with in depth and cautious tagging and taxonomy of greater than 600 authorized expertise merchandise.

2020 Trends in Context. Competition drives innovation. The ongoing enlargement of state court docket judicial analytics merchandise are necessary not just for the apply of regulation however for the impression such information can have on entry to justice. Workflow instruments free attorneys to deal with greater stage evaluation and supply high quality assurance checks. Competition within the Legal information area is lengthy overdue.  Tech marketplaces supply a win-win for distributors and regulation agency clients. Products can extra simply be situated and examined and expertise and data processionals can extra simply assess {the marketplace} and decide what applied sciences exist and what wants a customized in home resolution. Will the emergence of ephemeral regulation regulation throughout COVID lead to a long run change in authorized publishing? I don’t see any indicators of that to this point. No main writer has introduced a dedication to ongoing assortment of native supplies. So the long run COVID impression on authorized publishing could be the emergence of regulation agency Knowledge Management groups in regulation because the everlasting aggregators and publishers of native regulation updates and databases to assist their shoppers wants.


Jean O’Grady is a data strategist/librarian/lawyer with over 30 years’ experience main the transformation of analysis and data providers in Am Law 100 regulation companies. She is the writer of the Dewey B Strategic weblog, which screens the evolving panorama of applied sciences and corporations which are remodeling the enterprise and apply of regulation.

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