Document Review and Analysis

What is Document Review and Analysis?

Document review and analysis software is a broad technology category best understood by use cases for compliance, contract lifecycle management, document drafting, electronic discovery, and legal research and writing.

Generally, the software finds, reports, and reviews qualitative and quantitative information in documents based on user-defined criteria using search, text and metadata extraction, natural language processing, and machine learning technologies. The software may also apply codes or tags to documents and extract metadata and critical document segments, such as contract clauses, for further use.

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Who uses document review and analysis software, and why?

Document review and analysis software is used by both in-house legal, compliance, and human resources departments and their outside legal counsel to satisfy due diligence requirements in mergers and acquisitions. They may also use it to find potential evidence relevant to litigation (electronic discovery or e-discovery), internal investigations, and government inquiries, such as second requests (aka requests for additional information and documentary material) from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission. They also use the software to identify privileged, client-attorney communications excepted from e-discovery.

Procurement and sales departments use the software to manage contracts, maintain consistency in negotiating and executing contracts, and use extracted document segments for other uses, such as amass approved contract clauses.

Lawyers, law firms, and courts use document review and analysis software to analyze legal writing and determine the strength of legal arguments based on citations to law and legal precedents.

What features do document review and analysis software include?

Document review and analysis software classifies documents by types and language and analyzes and reports on keywords, concepts, metadata, standard legal clauses, citations, and other critical data points to support various use cases. The software may:

  • Search and extract data from documents to train a model to find similar documents.
  • Prioritize documents as most likely to be responsive to user-defined criteria.
  • Automatically tag or code documents based on user criteria and machine learning.
  • Identify and extract standard contract clauses for further analysis and use.
  • Determine the strength of legal writing and arguments in briefs and memoranda.
  • Find personally identifiable information (PII) and other privacy terms in document sets.

The LawNext Directory features for document review and analysis software include:

  • Document Review and Evaluation for Due Diligence, Analytics and Reporting.
  • Intelligent Data Capture and Extraction with Batch Processing.
  • Analytics and Reporting.

How can my company or law firm use document review and analysis software?

Documents form the core system of commercial, financial, and legal records for businesses, and lawyers and law firms create, use, and re-use documents in client and professional services. Document review and analysis software can bring various benefits to any organization, but one software package does not fit all uses.

Organizations need to determine the use case for document review and analysis software and select the software package or platform that best services the need. In some cases, such as e-discovery, document review and analysis software can fit multiple use cases in litigation, internal investigations, and regulatory and industry compliance.

Should I select document review and analysis software from an all-in-one package or a-la-carte offering?

Document review and analysis software is generally part of a software package or platform that solves a business or legal problem using the software's output — it is not typically offered as a-la-carte or standalone software. Choose document review and analysis software as part of an all-in-one offering that solves an identified problem or addresses a particular use case.

Should I choose cloud-based document review and analysis software or an on-premises deployment?

It depends on where you store the documents to review and analyze: cloud-based or on-premises repositories. If all the documents to analyze are stored on-premises, it can be efficient to choose on-premises software. If not, scrutinize a vendor's onboarding strategy to upload documents to the cloud for analysis and consider the output path of the software. Is it ephemeral? Will it remain in the cloud or require a download?

Most document review and analysis software operate in the cloud. Many vendors use cloud-based artificial intelligence technologies, such as natural language processing and machine learning to analyze documents. These tools anonymize data, learn from all customers' content, and apply generalized knowledge to your documents.

Use cloud-based or software as a service (SaaS) to reduce the total cost of ownership. The SaaS user experience is like on-premises systems, but users get immediate access to the software's latest features and security updates in the cloud. SaaS requires no capital expenditures (CAPEX) and maintenance on local computers to run the software. It relieves organizations of the administrative burden of supporting, upgrading, and patching on-premises servers and complex software packages or platforms.

Consider on-premises CLM software if the company needs to meet stringent client data security and privacy requirements or integrate with legacy systems that SaaS cannot access. The organization must have sufficient IT budget and resources to support an on-premises CLM deployment.