Digital transformation is coming to the legal profession, traditionally known as a rather conservative sector. Digital Transformation has many faces. Using computers to read and understand documents faster is one of these faces.
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Enterprise Search as part of the Digital Transformation in your Law Firm
In law, legal and paralegal, a high-performance access to document content is essential. In our series of use cases, we already talked about Customer Service and First Call Resolution. Today, we’ll talk about Enterprise Search in Law Firms and Legal Services. About saving you a lot of time and money…. with the right tools.
The needle in the haystack
Finding the final argument, giving clients the best advice or re-using research that was already done in another client case: it takes a lot of time to search through all the relevant documents only to extract one or two paragraphs from them at the end. How much time do you spend on reading through the haystack just to find that one needle you are looking for? What if somebody, or something, else would do that for you? What if you had a tool that reads the documents for you, and gives you the information you are looking for?
To deliver most of your services, you must process many of documents. Think of due diligence services, or doing research, or going through a bunch of contracts to find the odd element that needs attention. These services typically require you or your colleagues to read. To read a lot. In theory a search engine could help you to find what you are looking for. The problem is that traditional search engines expect that you know the right words to find what you are looking for. The classic way of finding information is by conjuring with combinations of keywords, with trial and error. And the precision of the result depends on the time spent on research.
Legaltech is shaking up the legal sector. Athough most Law Firms are still fairly conservative, some are already exploiting the possibilities of Legaltech to start a digital transformation. And as a result, to improve their service to clients (read more about the conservatism in Law Forms in the Forbes article “Law in the age of the Customer”). The help you can get from IT may come in unexpected ways.
The computer outperformed a team of experienced lawyers.
Computers are getting smarter when it comes to reading and understanding documents. In a recent experiment, the computer outperformed a team of lawyers in a comparative test. The objective of the exercise was to find 60 travel confirmations in a corpus of half a million documents (the Enron corpus). The computer did it faster than the people, and found all 60 confirmations, whereas the lawyers took longer and didn’t find all the travel confirmations.
Computers are getting better at reading and understanding texts.
Two specific scenarios: Legal Hold and Mergers & Acquisitions
Since the Enron case in 2000, a law has been in force requiring companies to freeze all documents as soon as legal proceedings have been initiated against them. To put a hold on changes or the deletion of documents. But how do you start compiling a Legal Hold? How do you determine to which documents the rule applies to? And how do you find relevant information in this heap of documents after it was compiled? To have people read all the documents to find the relevant ones is time-consuming and error-prone. A computer can do the job much faster and with more accuracy.
The risk of NOT finding the crucial paragraph
A Due Diligence in the context of Mergers & Acquisitions is also a typical case in which the task of finding specific data in a large amount of documents will be executed more accurately by a computer than by humans. How long would it take for a person to read a 100-page document just to find 1 relevant paragraph? And what is the risk of not finding the crucial paragraph? In this case also, the computer is a big help to do more in less time, both when it comes to compiling the digital data room (by the selling party) or when exploring the digital data room (by the buying party).
Your Digital Reading Assistant
Alexandria.Works can read and understand documents and help you the digital transformation of your Law Firm. Alexandria.Works is fast, precise and language-independent. You ask your question in natural language, and Alexandria.Works returns the relevant documents and relevant paragraphs in these documents. It is as simple as that. You can make it a structural part of your IT landscape, or you can use it ad-hoc for specific assignments.
Sounds to good to be true? Don’t take our word for it. Test it. Try it.Yes, I want to know more about this