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3 reasons legal professionals need AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision

· 5 minute read

· 5 minute read

There are endless possible ways that generative artificial intelligence (AI) can help legal professionals. From automating workflows to analyzing discovery and due diligence materials, efficiencies abound. It can be challenging to know where to start, especially when you must determine the task to automate and the tool to use for automation.  

Why not start by simplifying a critical yet time-consuming task on a platform you trust? Legal researchers are using AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision and finding relevant answers they rely on in less time.  

When attorneys use this capability, they can maximize their productivity and impress their clients. And when firms support the use of this modern technology, they improve the employee experience and increase their ability to attract and retain top talent.   


Jump to:

  Maximize productivity in your firm 

  Impress your clients with insight and efficiency 

  Attract and retain top talent 



Maximize productivity in your firm 

AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision represents the biggest change in legal research since the switch from books to online. It enables legal professionals to complete high-quality research faster and reduce time on unrealized billed hours. 

The research is faster because Westlaw not only delivers relevant documents, it analyzes them to deliver an answer to specific questions. Users can take advantage of more conversational search prompts, results delivered with context, and supporting material for them to review. They can improve firm revenue because their bills are less likely to be written down. Clients are happier to pay for time spent drafting and creating case strategies than for time spent reading cases.  

According to Andrew Bedigan, counsel at Larson LLP, “The ability to type a question, get an answer, and have all the supporting resources right underneath that answer so you can ensure it is supported by case law within Westlaw is very important.”  


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Impress your clients with insight and efficiency 

“Law firms will need to align their practices with what their clients desire,” says Zach Warren, who leads enterprise content for technology and innovation for the Thomson Reuters Institute.  

“Those clients are looking for more cost-conscious providers: 48% of corporate legal respondents named improving internal efficiency as one of their top 5 strategic priorities, while 39% of clients cited reducing external spend as a top 5 strategic priority.”

Showing responsiveness to the need to manage costs is one way law firms can delight corporate legal teams. That might mean shifting to fixed fee arrangements, but it could also mean using tools that increase efficiency without compromising results. Firms could reduce the time they spend on legal research and increase their time on case strategy and drafting.  


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Attract and retain top talent 

Law firm leaders continue to wrestle with the need to attract and retain the very best talent. While compensation is a critical element of the law firm-employee value proposition, it isn’t the only part.  

In fact, training and job duties are a big element of employee satisfaction.  

AI-Assisted Research can help. For instance, when attorneys use AI to streamline the more rote or tedious parts of their work, they can spend more time on higher-level legal strategy and drafting. Attorneys consistently report that the type of work they do daily affects their level of job satisfaction; if they are able to do more interesting work, they are more likely to stay. This is especially important as the firms you compete with adapt their new associate onboarding to reduce tedious work.

Some firms worry about how they will train their new associates without the many hours of document review for discovery or due diligence. In fact, using generative AI to streamline these tasks can create more teaching moments between them and more senior lawyers who help them evaluate the quality of AI output. 

These higher-quality interactions can improve satisfaction for new associates and the people mentoring and teaching them.  


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The power of generative AI in legal research 

If you feel overwhelmed by the possibilities of generative AI, take heart. The right place to start may be on your desktops already, in the form of an improved and streamlined legal research experience on Westlaw Precision. The AI-Assisted Research feature builds upon 150 years of expertise from the attorney editors of Westlaw. And, unlike more general tools, it shows you exactly what documents it relies on to get to the answers it provides. So, attorneys can decide for themselves whether they agree with the conclusions the tool draws. 

With credentials like that, law firms can confidently empower their legal researchers to take advantage of the efficiency benefits of generative AI. Using AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision will help legal professionals maximize productivity and delight their clients. And law firms will be able to improve the employee experience to better attract and retain top talent. That’s a win-win-win for everyone involved.  


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