Digital Disruption and its Impact on Legal Research

With the entry of a new generation of digital-native lawyers into the workforce and pressures on law firms, in-house counsel and the justice system to become more streamlined and cost-efficient, technology has become integral to work practices. Australia has certainly embraced digital disruption with many excellent examples of innovation across the industry.

A significant part of this focus has been on administrative and back-end tasks, streamlining or outsourcing repetitive tasks to increase productivity and deliver legal services more efficiently. There is no doubt that the advancement of technological tools is making the new lawyer’s day more efficient and productive, but is this at the cost of the quality of work and research they are producing? 

Legal research is being transformed with online search engines influencing user experience and expectation of information retrieval. With the ‘Net Generation’ and graduate tech-savvy lawyers starting to outgrow the generation of traditional research practices, research relevancy and search algorithms need to be updated and optimised for new search practices.

The challenge for legal firms and in-house counsel is to embrace new technologies and search practices, while retaining the integrity of research results, a big issue currently being experienced in Australian organisations across the legal industry

How can knowledge managers bridge this gap between practitioner expectations and quality research? This is where platform developers can help. Technology companies such as LexisNexis can work with customers to create tools that mimic a more simplified and filtered search, using natural language while ensuring research is thorough.

This post is an extract from the whitepaper - Digital Disruption and its Impact on Legal Research: How Australian legal professionals are facing the challenges of change.