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The Future of Law: What Next-Gen Lawyers Expect From Law Firm Technology

September 27, 2022 (3 min read)

The next generation of lawyers is reshaping the future of law, including the way law firms think about technology as a strategy for the recruitment of top talent and the professional development of their new associates. This is because incoming associates have digital-first mindsets that allow them to quickly master previously unimaginable technologies. The next generation’s commitment to legal technology will drive new efficiencies in the way they serve clients and pinpoint new insights into the legal counsel they provide.

So, the technology product preferences voiced by tech-savvy next-gen lawyers set the stage for the law firm of tomorrow — and the expectations of the firm’s future associates and clients. The most successful law firms will be the ones that are able to attract and retain these young lawyers, whose mastery of cutting-edge technologies will enable them to contribute to their firms’ success more quickly.

Insights into the Future of Law: Survey Results

A study of law students asked for their feedback on how they expect to practice law in the future and the specific technology tools they prefer to use in their legal careers. When it comes to the foundational technology resource of online legal research, the results were conclusive: Lexis+® remains the most preferred legal research platform in the law school market.

The independent study of 2,030 U.S. law students found that Lexis+®, the flagship online legal research platform from LexisNexis®, was preferred by 49% more law students than Westlaw, its nearest competitor, expanding its lead from a similar study conducted in 2019, when 9% more law students preferred the LexisNexis flagship legal research platform at that time. Moreover, LexisNexis received a Net Promoter Score (NPS) 136% higher than the competition.

Study respondents were a representative cross-section of the current U.S. law school population: 21% from Tier A law schools, 47% from Tier B and 32% from Tier C; 39% from the 1L class, 33% from 2L, 25% from 3L and 3% from LLM. LexisNexis commissioned the research conducted by Ipsos, a global research and public opinion analyst firm, providing the sample of law students from its database of registered law school users.

The research study determined that Lexis+ edges out the competition in each of the three key areas that are most relevant to law students:

  • Better design and interface (preferred by 35% more students)
  • Better case citation service (preferred by 12% more students)
  • Easier to use (preferred by 11% more students)

Law students also strongly endorsed Lexis+ as being superior to the competition with respect to several legal innovation product features and user support services:

  • Data Visualization: 50% more law students rated the data visualization tools in Lexis+ as excellent.
  • Brief Analysis: 41% more law students rated the brief analysis tools in Lexis+ as excellent.
  • Legal Analytics: 26% more law students rated the legal analytics in Lexis+ as excellent.
  • Training: 73% more law students say that LexisNexis account representatives provide more effective training.
  • On-Demand Training Options: 64% more law students confirmed that the self-paced, on-demand training options from LexisNexis were excellent.
  • Preparation for Success: 37% more law students say that LexisNexis’ training better prepares them for success.

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Law Students’ Choice is Clear: Lexis+ is Preferred

Law firms need to embrace technologies that promote greater efficiency and interactivity, present data and information more visually, and create a more flexible environment that supports the way these future lawyers want to work. Today’s incoming associates expect their employers to make these sorts of tools available to them.

The most successful firms will be the ones that know how to attract and retain next-gen legal talent — and a key strategy for achieving that success in recruiting is to make sure these young lawyers have the technology tools and resources they prefer to use.

The study demonstrates that today’s law students are not the least bit shy about expressing which technologies and specific online research tools they feel enable them to work faster and smarter. Their verdict is clear and decisive: Lexis+ is the legal research platform preferred by the next generation of American lawyers and an essential tool for keeping up with the future of law.

LexisNexis is here to support you in preparing to recruit top talent. Learn more about Lexis+ through an instant free trial.

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