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The Technological Transformation of Legal Research Methodology

The technological revolution has profoundly transformed the legal profession. With a boom in legal technology businesses, accessing legal services and legal information has become undemanding than ever.
Written by:
Shivi Gupta
Published on
25-Jul-18

The technological revolution has profoundly transformed the legal profession. With a boom in legal technology businesses, accessing legal services and legal information has become undemanding than ever. One of the aspects of this technological revolution in the legal arena is the blueprint of how legal research is conducted by legal professionals. 

Quality research is indispensable when it comes to practising law and the internet has burgeoned into the primary source of information. A task that used to take the arduous perusal of manuals, journals, and books, now takes seconds. Information is being uploaded and updated within seconds, paving way for adroit and swift legal research. 

Technology has ameliorated the way Judiciary has been working. In the past decade, the entire database of ongoing cases has been made available online for anyone to access. Court management has been simplified as the entire database of pending as well as decided cases are present on the internet rather than in bulky files. 

Another monumental development in legal research through the integration of technology is the easy of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) research. Performing a Trademark or Patent research to know if there already exists an identical Intellectual Property has become elementary. This has directly diminished the number of IPR infringements that occur due to a dearth of thorough research. 

 

A vast online repository of legal data has been created with numerous blogs, websites, and forums dedicated solely to legal knowledge. Legal technology businesses are playing a prominent role in creating this repository by providing a nexus of the database on legal topics and answering the queries posted by laymen. 

These ‘legal tech’ businesses are developing an assortment of technology that enables legal research, the most revolutionary being Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI means the ability of a machine to perform tasks that otherwise require human intelligence. The current AI technology uses algorithms that imitate decision-making, learning and analyzing processes performed by humans. 

 

Another technology that succours legal research is electronic discovery or e-discovery, a process by which legal data that is stored in electronic format can be located, secured and searched. This data can then be utilized as evidence in a litigation proceeding. E-discovery employs algorithms and patterns to identify and process relevant data into evidence, saving lawyers and corporate legal counsels billable hours that are otherwise wasted in performing redundant processes.

E-discovery also engage predictive analysis or coding to read human behaviour patterns, recognize cases and phrases. Predictive analysis is a data analytics tool that sanctions data-driven legal research as it assembles a colossal amount of data and analyzes the available content through natural language processing techniques. 

Cognitive legal research technologies have brought astute codings, algorithms, cloud-based servers, etc. and shifted the focus on reducing the time taken and money spent on performing expendable research from the available plethora of laws, precedents, case laws, and another form of legal data.

Lawyers, in-house counsels, and corporate law departments are implementing these tools to reduce costs, save time and improve efficiency. The total number of hours employed to perform legal research is reduced tremendously. These legal research tools deliver more accurate and complete answers by covering all aspects of the subject matter. 

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