Here I am at Legal Tech. 24-hours of travel from Jerusalem, two-hours of sleep, a cup of coffee and a NY Bagel. I’m ready! So what is going to wow me today? There’s plenty of marketing from the competition, from free coffee (I got mine elsewhere) to big displays, but the most exciting thing I’ve seen so far is Lexis for Microsoft Office.
Lawyers live in Outlook. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it is the truth, (we also frequent Word, Excel, and Power Point). Between all these programs there is search. So at the most basic level, lawyers (1) get a communication, (2) identify action steps, (3) research for context on how to proceed, and then (4) compose a response. This process can take hours and often involves using new associates to research and create the response for a partner who has bigger fish to fry. Lexis for Microsoft Office takes the four steps above and creates 1-experience. Let’s take a sneak peek at the Outlook integration.
Outlook Use Case: the partner at a law firm gets an email about a pending litigation involving a major corporate client in a case about defective tires. He has a few choices at this point: (1) drop everything and start looking into the case, (2) delegate the task to an associate, or (3) click “Background” in Lexis for Microsoft Office. Choosing option “3″ will highlight terms in the email that relate to the case and opens up a side panel with research results including documents from the Lexis system, firm articles, and web results, all in context.
Without ever leaving Outlook a lawyer can have hours of research presented to them with the click of a button. If the lawyer wants to suggest a term that wasn’t bubbled up by the tool, they can do that too and get even more results, which can then be filtered in context for what needs to happen next. The outcome is that the partner can hand over a focused stack of results to an associate. The associate is saved the tasks of figuring out where to start, researching, and culling results allowing them to do some real analytical work on what has been presented before handing it back to the partner for sign off.
Savings in time equals savings in money for law firms and the corporate counsel that hire them. Integrating Lexis tools with Microsof Office means a world of possibilities. Imagine if the results also included information about user generated posts from Martindale-Hubbell Connected, and gave you links to the profiles of the people posted them. Now, you are not only accessing information, you are creating a relationship around it. This is just one idea of many to come. What ideas do you have for this tool? What would you like to see happen?
If you are at Legal Tech New York (#ltny) come by the Bryant Suite to see a demo of the tool. You can also enter to win an XBox 360 Elite (awesome!). Hope to see you there.