Few areas of technology are more essential to law practice than legal research. Legal research platforms enable lawyers to find the legal precedents and authorities that guide them in representing their clients.
Although electronic legal research tools have existed for decades, the technology continues to evolve, with artificial intelligence and analytics driving new capabilities for research and new insights into legal issues.
Covered in this Legal Tech Center are:
Legal Research. Legal Research technologies and platforms provide identification and access to relevant legal documents, information and other resources based on search parameters.
Legal Education & Training. Legal Education and Training tools and platforms provide educational programming and content relating to legal knowledge or law practice related skills and know-how and/or enable the creation of legal education and training programs.
Knowledge Management. Knowledge management tools for the legal profession enable creating, sharing, using and managing an organization’s legal or law practice-related knowledge and information.
Which Products Are Right for Me?
For legal research, there is a strong likelihood that you already have free access to a legal research platform. Two legal research platforms, Fastcase and Casemaker, each have affinity relationships with most state and many local or speciality bar associations. Through these relationships, association members get free access to the platform. In 2021, Fastcase acquired Casemaker. While they continue to operate as separate research platforms, their combined reach now extends to the great majority of lawyers in the United States.
The two long-established legal research services, Westlaw and LexisNexis, as well as a more recent entrant, Bloomberg Law, are much broader in the scope and coverage of their databases, especially with regard to secondary sources, such as treatises and practice guides. In addition, they provide an ever-expanding array of ancillary analytics and practice tools, such as litigation analytics, and strong citation-analysis tools.
Specialized legal practices may need specialized legal research platforms, such as Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, which has products that go in-depth into topics such as tax, labor and employment, intellectual property, finance and compliance.
In fact, studies have found that different legal research platforms deliver very different results, and that a thorough researcher should use multiple products.
Legal Education and Training tools and platforms provide educational programming and content relating to legal knowledge or law practice related skills and know-how and/or enable the creation of legal education and training programs.