For the legal profession, one of the biggest impacts of the pandemic has been the increased take up of technology, with the dramatic shift to remote working and the need to access client information and legal resources through online platforms.

But even before Covid-19, lawyers had started to realise the benefits of adopting technology to ease the
burden of administrative tasks and allow them to focus on more strategic work.

For many years now, LexisNexis, a global provider of legal and regulatory intelligence, has been helping lawyers do their jobs effectively. It gives organisations the business information and analytics they need to make better, more impactful decisions. It does this through a range of decision tools that use machine
learning, natural language processing, visualisation and artificial intelligence (AI), and it is constantly
adding to its suite of products and services.

As part of this year’s annual survey of in-house legal teams, the ‘Tech-Enabled Lawyer’ report by
LexisNexis found that 50 per cent of Scottish lawyers said they ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ they spend too much time on repetitive tasks that add little value. And this is where LexisNexis can help.

It can contribute to a lawyer’s ‘tech stack’ – the suite of platforms, tools and technological solutions that a lawyer or in-house legal team use in their day-to-day lives. A tech stack can include solutions from a range of providers that work compatibly to make things as straightforward as possible for solicitors.

Jack Neville, strategic account manager for Scotland with LexisNexis, says: “Technology, at the end of the day, is meant to support lawyers to do their best work effectively, not inhibit them.

“An effective tech stack means lawyers don’t lose precious time switching between technology to find the best solutions, or the most up-to-date pieces of research. It’s immensely important for a lawyer to be tech-enabled.”

He refers to the LexisNexis Bellwether report 2021 that found legal technology is reaching maturity and has moved into the mainstream within smaller firms. He adds: “Never have we seen this point hit home more than over the last 18 months. Some 73 per cent of small firms said that the pandemic was an opportunity to drive change and innovation.

“The pandemic’s influence on the rise of remote working has exposed the gaps in essential technology in many legal firms. Firms that aren’t investing in legal tech will be left behind. For example, firms relying on print copies of content would have faced massive challenges during the various lockdowns and with remote working.”

The products offered to lawyers by LexisNexis are interlinked and ‘talk’ to one another, meaning fee-earners can move seamlessly from drafts, to practical guidance, to core legislation. Neville explains that it is also motivated by client needs, with all product changes and updates driven by customer feedback.

“We innovate in partnership with our users. It means our product ends up the best it can be and our clients can contribute to a platform that works well for them.”

From its annual survey of inhouse teams, LexisNexis identified a number of trends that are likely to
feature in the months ahead, many influenced by the experience of the pandemic.

An effective tech stack means lawyers don’t lose precious time switching between
technology to find the best solutions

Jack Neville

Neville says the survey was carried out near the end of 2020 when the UK was entering a second lockdown. The research identified that in-house legal teams, both big and small, were spending too much time reviewing documents and carrying out repetitive tasks that added little value.

As society emerges from the pandemic, Neville says that many in-house legal teams now have the
appetite for digital innovation. Fourfifths of the 120 in-house legal teams surveyed plan to increase their adoption of legal technology in the next five years.

“In-house legal teams are eager to adopt new legal technology in the near future,” Neville says. “Anecdotally, this is something we’ve also heard directly from our in-house clients. Many have said that they wished they had invested in their online legal technology prior to the pandemic and regarded it as too late to carry out during the lockdowns and restrictions.

“This was mostly due to the reluctance to place potential additional stress on teams while they worked remotely and were unable to deliver training in person. As we now know, 18 months on, nothing is completely back to normal when it comes to ways of working. But what we do know is that the gulf between those legal firms that invest and those who continue to put it on hold is only going to widen.”

To avoid that gap getting bigger, LexisNexis has a key role to play as a strategic partner that will help legal firms make the right decisions on technology.

Drawing on its 200-plus year history, it works closely with firms to ensure they have the correct, relevant
content and functionality.

What LexisNexis offers to tech-enabled lawyers

  • LexisNexis offers a host of products and solutions designed to make everyday professional life easier for the Scottish lawyer.
  • It’s flagship product is LexisLibrary. It holds the largest collection of UK law, providing quick and comprehensive access to up-to-date legislation, case law and commentary.
  • LexisLibrary is also the only online source of STAIR, the legal bible for every Scottish lawyer, and includes a ‘historical versioning’ timeline that captures different point-in-time versions of Scottish Acts.
  • Lexis Create is a tool built to sit in the Microsoft environment that allows lawyers to pull together perfect legal documents the first time around, using legal content, tools and calculators whilst seamlessly linking with LexisNexis content and the customers’ own. Most importantly, it ensures accuracy and consistency across teams, while saving time and improving the quality of documents.
  • LexisPSL provides practical guidance and insight to support lawyers with delivering trusted, timely advice.
  • LexisPSL is also available module by module, which means that Scottish lawyers can select content specific and relevant to them and their practice area of focus.

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