The benefits of being a technology trailblazer: A case for innovation

Adopting new technology like artificial intelligence (AI) is proven to help lawyers become more efficient in practicing law. If you’re not looking for ways to leverage the latest in legal technology, you’re already falling behind legal teams and firms that are.

  • The benefits of being a technology trailblazer: A case for innovation 

    New technology like artificial intelligence has helped lawyers become more efficient in practicing law.

    In business, actions speak louder than words. It is easy to talk about adopting technology early; the hard part is taking the first step. 

    For lawyers and legal teams, that step is crucial. Adopting technology early on leads to better, faster, and more reliable legal research — setting a solid foundation for your legal matter.

    The first step is using modern tools that empower you by putting today’s advanced technology at your fingertips when you need it. Consider how quickly legal professionals’ work has changed when it comes to new technology:



    Legal technology got a taste of things to come when a dictation machine called the Audograph was marketed directly to lawyers.



    Microcomputers that included word processing became crucial for law firms, moving lawyers’ focus from document searching to document creation.



    The first legal research service with annotated content was born.


    IBM desktop computer 

    IBM released its “personal computer,” the first desktop computer for ordinary businesses. Tech-forward lawyers began to learn word processing so they could type their own documents.


    Accessible PCs 

    Computerized legal research became accessible on personal computers (PCs).


    Natural-language searching 

    Natural-language searching arrived, making it possible to search Westlaw like you were talking to a person.



    Westlaw introduced the first integrated citation research service, KeyCite, to help you find citations quickly.


    Virtual law offices

    The first virtual law offices opened, and the legal community learned about cloud-based software.


    The law goes digital 

    Internet-based legal services became available.


    Cloud computing 

    Cloud computing changed the game completely, allowing solo and small law firms to truly compete with larger firms.


    Apple iPad launched, providing legal professionals access to an emerging ecosystem of law-focused apps. 


    Westlaw App 

    Westlaw went mobile with the Westlaw App so that you could research on the go.

    July 2018

    Westlaw Edge 

    Westlaw continued its rich history of innovation by launching Westlaw Edge, the most intelligent legal research platform ever.

    October 2018

    1,000th customer 

    Over 1,000 tech-forward legal organizations adopted the latest legal AI technology with Westlaw Edge.


    Quick Check on Westlaw Edge 

    Lawyers could quickly analyze a brief for highly relevant authority that traditional research may have missed.


    Remote working 

    The COVID-19 pandemic affected the world, forcing most professionals to work from home, revealing the growing importance of improved technology in the delivery of legal services.


    Westlaw Precision 

    Westlaw released the most advanced legal research platform on the market to date.


    AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision 

    The best got even better with the combination of generative AI and Westlaw Precision’s industry-leading legal content.

    The bottom line 

    Being an early adopter of technology pays off. Consider the facts.

    Two-thirds of professionals said they believe the emergence of AI and generative AI will have a transformational or high impact on their profession within the next five years.

    “Through the application of AI to perform more mundane tasks, professionals have the unique opportunity to address human capital issues such as job satisfaction, well-being, and work-life balance. This will, in turn, unlock time for professionals to focus on complex work that adds value to their clients’ needs.”

    - Steve Hasker, President & CEO, Thomson Reuters

    Organizations that repeatedly fail to adopt new technology may have a hard time catching up with those that do. Being an early adopter may be well worth the cost, even if it is considerable.  

    Forty-eight percent of professionals predicted that lower costs resulting from AI use would lead to greater firm profitability.

    The global generative AI in legal market size accounted for $52 million in 2022 and is expected to expand to around $781 million by 2032.

    Recaptured revenue 

    AI has the potential to help legal professionals at firms recapture revenue currently lost in write-offs due to inefficiencies within the practice.

    If you’re not looking for ways to leverage the latest in legal technology, you’re already falling behind legal teams and firms that are. For lawyers and legal organizations, current, best-in-class technology is no longer nice to have; it is a requirement of doing business.

    “Early adopters will be able to move up career ladders faster than resisters. This may change the entire shape of the law firm model.”

    - Survey respondent, Future of Professionals Report

    Learn more about the latest advancements in legal research technology — like AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision — that leverage AI to help legal professionals save time, get trusted answers, and gain a competitive advantage.


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