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Legal analytics and next-generation technology are guiding the future of legal practice. Recently, Jeff Pfeifer, Vice President of Product Management at LexisNexis, sat down with Ari Kaplan to discuss these advancements and how they empower the data-driven lawyer of the future.
In this podcast, Jeff addresses the research challenges facing today’s legal community, with an emphasis on the explosion of data within the industry. He also shares that to address this challenge, LexisNexis continues to develop technology that will drive data insights and empower the data-driven lawyers of the future.
Read Jeff’s thoughts on big data and driving legal insights in the interview excerpt below.*
Ari Kaplan: LexisNexis is known for its research products, what is the biggest challenge that the legal research community is facing today?
Jeff Pfeifer: First there are some specific challenges to the legal research community, but interestingly, many of the challenges are actually more broad to the profession. So if I look at what the industry is really dealing with right now, it is fundamentally an exponential growth in the volume of data, and that, interestingly, applies whether you are talking about a research problem or a discovery problem or any other task that really confronts a lawyer today. So increasingly, the lawyer of today is inundated with information and is looking at finding new ways to develop important insights quickly, and that challenge is not getting any easier. The explosion in the data volume is growing not shrinking. The biggest pressure on top of that has been since the economic downturn around 2008. Client expectations have changed, and the demands on the profession to deliver more cost effective service is enormous. So today we see somebody who is really confronted with an amazing amount of data and has to deliver more relevant insights more quickly.
Ari Kaplan: So how is your team addressing some of those issues for your clients?
Jeff Pfeifer: So we looked at this from a variety of perspectives, importantly, ‘How could technology be a solution?’ but most importantly, ‘How could we help the data-driven lawyer of the future drive insights more quickly?’ Forty years in the market as a research supplier in the online space obviously taught us a lot about how to manage big sets of data, but we also realized that we had to significantly reinvest in our technology so that we could power that data-driven lawyer of the future. And I use that expression intentionally because that volume of information that I described requires that the lawyer today and increasingly in the future drives those kinds of data-driven insights quicker, more efficiently, so they can provide better research services or legal services to their clients. We invested more than a billion dollars to re-engineer our entire technology stack into a Big Data platform, and there’s a lot of discussion today about big data and analytics and other technologies, but for us, this really is a big data problem. We have an enormous amount of content. We add about 13 million documents to our service every single day, and we have more than 50 thousand sources of information, and so the quantity of that information requires that we have a platform that’s able to process at that volume. And then secondly, we need to enrich that data, whether it’s through technologies like designed XML or enrichment of the data itself. That drives an overall quality in our data that allows us now to mine it and to provide those kinds of insights that really drive data-driven insights of the future.
Listen to the full podcast with Jeff Pfeifer: Empowering the Data-driven Lawyer of the Future
* From Reinventing Professionals, May 12th, 2017. Reprinted with permission.
Are you a data-driven lawyer? Click here for more information on how LexisNexis is transforming the future of law.