According to a host of industry pundits and legal technology experts globally, the year 2021 looks set to push the trends accelerated in 2020 even further, with artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and intelligent legal research among the big issues to watch.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic, associated lockdowns worldwide and the sudden transition to remote working, totally reshaped the legal landscape and propelled law into the digital age. Legal professionals – if they hadn’t done so already – had to quickly pivot towards digital technologies for online research, collaboration, document sharing and automation, video conferencing, virtual law services and more.
“While many within the sector noted a slowdown in legal work in 2020, those who were successfully able to embrace technology and digital platforms have found themselves poised for greater success ahead of the economic recovery expected to begin in 2021,” says sales and marketing director of LexisNexis South Africa, Mellony Ramalho.
“Last year also placed greater importance on transforming all the mundane processes that can typically get in the way of productive work and emphasised the need for a more human way of delivering legal services – from both the profession’s and client’s perspectives,” says Ramalho.
“In 2021, we expect to see continued focus on maximising time, together with sustained high demand for legal technology and innovation to help legal practitioners manage increasing volumes of rapidly changing information brought on by Covid-19 and its various regulations,” she adds.
As a one-stop legal solutions provider, LexisNexis, provides legal professionals with on-demand resources at their fingertips, increasing their agility while reducing operational costs.
Ramalho outlines four ways this legal tech giant helps to ensure legal pros stay at the top of their game despite the uncertainties brought on by 2020.1. Unmatched technology
“We want lawyers freed up to serve at their best and not to be bogged down. That’s why we deploy cutting edge technology for them to work smarter, which is seen as a key catalyst for growth and recovery by the overwhelming majority of legal professionals, especially post-Covid-19,” says Ramalho.
LexisNexis has tapped into the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) to merge technology and automation with the law, using artificial intelligence (AI) to better tackle repetitive tasks, so that legal professionals can spend time on the tasks where they can add the most value.
“We believe that human legal professionals are at their most valuable when they bring their empathy, understanding, tolerance, creativity, fairness, sound judgment and flair to their legal work, so we strive to ensure that the human element is always enhanced and complemented by superb technology,” says Ramalho.
“We pioneered the electronic accessibility of legal and journalistic documents all the way back to the 1970s and, from as early as 2006, we’ve had the world's largest electronic database for legal and public-records related information,” she adds.
Later, understanding the need for legal professionals to delve deeper into the legal texts yet work harder and faster to keep pace with industry demands and clients’ budgetary restrictions, LexisNexis introduced Lexis® Library
, which has become Africa’s most intuitive online research platform. Through an ecosystem of interconnected legal resources, Lexis Library now provides everything from trusted legal commentary to regulatory compliance alerts and practical ‘how-to’ legal guidance. 2. Unmatched trusted content
Failure to conduct proper research for a case can have devastating consequences – both for the client and the legal practitioner. This need for diligent research has traditionally cost legal practitioners many non-billable hours searching through legal journals for case law and precedents.
The development of technology has also resulted in information overload in vastly increased volumes of data, much of which is not from reliable sources. While free online resources such as internet search engines are used widely among lawyers to gain context as a starting point ahead of deeper legal research, caution should be practiced as these sources are not always vetted through expert input.
“Digital and online solutions can help filter information intelligently, saving legal professionals time, which is increasingly important in a tough environment where companies need to cut down on costs, yet still be more productive in their research efforts,” says Ramalho.
A trusted online legal source such as Lexis Library
enables practitioners to expedite their legal research with the assurance of reliability. Content is updated faster and in greater depth across 40 research areas to ensure that subscribers stay abreast of new developments in the law.
Free, customised training options are also available for users to get the most out of their solutions and subscriptions.3. Unmatched search power
Designed with precision and intentionality as key parameters, the intuitive user interface of Lexis® Library
offers users enhanced ease of navigation, insight and invaluable expert commentary.
Delivered via one simplified search experience, Lexis Library includes ground-breaking features, such as Legal Citator, Point in Time, Advanced Search, Citator Search and Predictive Type Ahead Search, to save legal research time and get only the most relevant and accurate search results, fast.
“With Lexis Library, you get the most current legal content, practical guidance, templates, alerts and workflow solutions, supported by commentary, to help guide you in your application and advancement. This means enhanced legal research, issues resolved quickly and confidently, and legal research time saved, with only the most relevant and accurate search results returned, fast,” says Ramalho. 4. Unmatched customisation
With a single platform featuring an array of highly personalised tools, Lexis Library offers a range of packages and price points tailored to suit individual and business needs.Ready to experience unmatched legal intelligence from the continent’s leading legal tech company? Find out more here.
About LexisNexis® Legal and Professional
LexisNexis Legal and Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 150 countries with 10,600 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.
In South Africa LexisNexis® has been assisting companies and professionals to remain abreast of changing legislation and shifts in the regulatory environment for over 80 years, combining the best of local knowledge in Butterworths with leading-edge tools and online solutions that have positioned the company as a pioneer of legal technology. LexisNexis South Africa’s business units include LexisNexis Legal Information and Compliance, LexisNexis Data Services, LexisNexis Business Software Solutions and LexisNexis Academic. South African investment firm, Tsiya Group acquired a minority interest in LexisNexis South Africa in July 2012.