A tale of two law firms: how law librarians can shape the future

Technology has the power to transform industries, the legal industry being no exception. Law firm librarians are often the champions and stewards of new research solutions at their firms. At a pivotal moment such as the dawn of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled research, two stark possibilities lie ahead. Which path will your law firm take?

Yesterday’s law firm

Your firm has chosen not to adopt an AI-enabled research solution such as Thomson Reuters Westlaw Edge™. The attorneys, paralegals and other staff members still do good work, but something outside the firm seems to be changing. Clients are questioning their bills with increased frequency. Your clients have heard other firms are doing more with less, and they wonder why your firm isn’t providing the same value. Requests for write-offs and write-downs increase – especially bills for legal research.

The drag of old research solutions becomes increasingly apparent. Librarians and other legal professionals performing research tasks must wade through a poorly organized sea of documents to find the information they need, unsure if the information they find is current or authoritative. There is a lot of double checking and hunting through lengthy results lists because the software only gets you near, not to, the right answer.

Competing law firms are moving faster. Your staff must work longer and harder just to keep pace with the competition. Morale takes a hit. Client retention slips. The partners are not happy. And many of the problems stem from slow research.

Sound like a nightmare? It doesn’t have to be this way.

Tomorrow’s law firm

Due to your lobbying, your firm has decided to make the leap to AI-powered research solutions. Everyone at the firm is excited because Westlaw Edge is allowing for faster, more accurate research. Better yet, it’s intuitive and easy to use.

Key features such as WestSearch® Plus are making your law library faster and more effective. Relevant answers to legal questions surface at lightning speeds, with the underlying legal authority listed right below the answer. Type-ahead suggestions get you directly to the relevant information, sparing you the time of reviewing a lengthy results list. You can trust the answers because you know the platform is trained by hundreds of leading attorney editors and built upon a foundation of more than 140 years of legal annotations.

Meanwhile, attorneys are gaining valuable insights on judges and opposing counsel—information they hadn’t even thought of seeking in the past because the data wasn’t so readily available.

Clients are pleased to see how far their dollars are stretching. Pushback on legal research bills decreases dramatically. Word gets around. Your law firm is outpacing the competition. Client retention improves. Firm leaders, noting the positive changes, are pleased with the library’s increasing value.

Sound like a dream? It can become a reality. The next sea change in law firm technology is today. Experience Westlaw Edge for yourself and get a glimpse at the law firm of tomorrow.

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