There’s no question that technology has changed the way we practice law. Smarter legal software has ushered in a new era of legal practice. This change was already well underway as we entered 2020 — the unprecedented demands of the pandemic only accelerated it.

Today, legal organizations are relying on technology more than ever. Technology providers like LexisNexis, in turn, are focusing on smarter legal software solutions to help support these shifting behaviors and allow the legal industry to thrive in the face of uncertainty.

Rapid Change to Meet New Demands

If 2020 has shown us anything in the legal technology sphere, it’s that we’ve fast forwarded the adoption of tools that allow for remote work and collaboration far faster than most would have thought possible. Even law firms and corporate legal departments who just eight months ago were not even considering remote functionality have implemented a whole host of new solutions with incredible speed.

The result of all of this is change that’s happening right before our eyes. Smarter legal technology opens up a tremendous number of opportunities for legal organizations going forward. Better collaboration is just the beginning

Leading organizations right now are looking for applications that are designed for the new normal, not the old normal. That’s why legal software providers like LexisNexis are designing around the need for maximum flexibility. For Lexis+, the comprehensive new solution from LexisNexis, that means an increased emphasis on important integrations within the LexisNexis universe of products, a seamless user experience, and the ability to customize workflows, among other things.

The big risk is that legal product designers will design to the old normal, because that’s what they know. Instead, companies should be looking forward and studying the dynamic changes that have happened because of remote work. The practice of law next year will look very different than it did coming into 2020.

Lexis+ Is Leading the Charge to Smarter Legal Software

In designing for the new normal and determining what legal users need going forward, it’s critical to incorporate feedback from those users. While clients often can’t describe what they want or need, they can describe the problems they have. By focusing more on what their clients are trying to do and accomplish and where they encounter unique challenges or difficulties, LexisNexis is able to translate that information into new product ideas, like Lexis+.

In and of itself, this isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that isn’t followed often enough. LexisNexis is a big believer in the framework that underpins the design thinking movement known as a jobs-to-be-done approach. Smarter legal software places an emphasis on the job its users are trying to do, not just features they’ll use — and the jobs they’re trying to do have changed fairly significantly in recent months.

What used to take place on paper now takes place entirely electronically. How teams work together to draft shareholder agreements or pleadings has changed dramatically with remote work. In parallel with Practical Guidance, Lexis+ incorporates a range of machine learning capabilities that allow users to parse vast data sets, quickly find market standards, and visually view the results in a way that allows for greater insights. Similarly, research around motions or briefs is enhanced in Lexis+, as users are automatically guided to additional insights beyond case law in Legal Research, Brief Analysis and other Lexis+ experiences.

This is just one example of the superior integrations in the Lexis+ ecosystem. Clients wanted to see better connections between what were once stand-alone products. As a result, Lexis+ integrates tools that were once separated to give users the best path to finding the most comprehensive answers to important legal questions, more efficiently than ever before.

Another key aspect of Lexis+ is that its workflows can be customized to specific practice areas or practitioners. Litigators and corporate attorneys will likely approach data and tasks very differently, so Lexis + customizes the data it presents based on factors like the user’s type of law practice. The result is a bespoke set of analytics tools and data review capabilities that are tailored and customizable for each user.

All of this is part of the intention for Lexis+ to provide a superior user experience and introduce new benefits for everyone who uses it. Users were clear that they wanted a better user experience, similar to that which they get with consumer products, and Lexis+ brings that to the professional world. Lexis+ offers a modern user experience that’s comparable to any product experience in the consumer realm. The focus is less on the individual products in play and more on the questions the user is trying to answer or the task they’re trying to accomplish. Users can start anywhere in Lexis+ and be guided to the best possible insights, wherever they exist in Lexis+ or other Lexis products, without having to do additional work.

Lexis+ is smarter legal software, but it also allows users to understand exactly how it’s smarter. The product removes the “black box” that has long existed around much of legal technology by incorporating features that allow users to both understand how their searches are being run and help them control and adjust the search experience. This is just one more way that Lexis+ has turned the user experience on its head.

Looking Forward

LexisNexis is increasingly focusing its thinking on how it can continue to evolve Lexis+ to expand and support the legal industry’s changing work behaviors. In the development of Lexis+, the emphasis was on capabilities like collaboration, because it was clear that the new way of working was going to last for the foreseeable future. Now, LexisNexis is looking forward and continuing to design for the new normal. They’re constantly creating more integrations and focusing on solutions that are customizable and easy to use.

Legal technology providers need to recognize that clients are working differently than they did in the past. Smarter legal software is necessary to support that shift and whatever additional shifts may arise, so that users have the tools they need to practice law not just in the new normal, but in the future as well.

Try Lexis+ with a free trial today.