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By Dave DiCicco | LexisNexis
Law firms are always on a quest to find ways to increase the speed at which they can get routine tasks done so their professionals can do what they do best: provide measured, high-value legal counsel to clients. Emerging technologies over the past three decades have introduced them to new software tools and online legal research offerings that have significantly increased efficiencies.
After a couple of years of experimentation, some tech-savvy law firms are now leading the way by proving the value of pulling some of that valuable third-party data directly into their own internal workflows — rather than forcing their lawyers and staff members to log onto a vendor’s website to go find the content they need to solve legal problems.
I had the privilege of attending the KM Legal 2021 conference earlier this fall and talked with a number of industry colleagues about the exciting world of Application Programming Interface (API) offerings for law firms.
An API is simply a connection between one computer system and another computer system that allows data to flow seamlessly between the two environments. For law firms, APIs create the ability to integrate valuable content they rely on from external sources (e.g., court records, legal research databases, etc.) with their internal computer networks.
“The wide ranging and rapid proliferation of open APIs in recent years has unleashed innovation and transformed the web into an interconnected ecosystem of data and applications,” says Stanford Law School’s SLS Projects team. “In the law, numerous judicial, regulatory and transactional APIs have become increasingly available, and used for a variety of practice-oriented, academic and governmental purposes.”
API technology has been around for years and many law firms have used various APIs for back-office functions. However, important law firm data security considerations have slowed their penetration to a wider range of use cases. Those concerns have now been addressed and thoroughly tested, opening the door for firms to realize significant gains in workflow efficiency by integrating high-value third-party data into their internal networks.
“When it comes to automating rote tasks from research to document review, APIs can save law firms time and money through real-time access to legal data,” writes Josh Blandi in Attorney At Work.
This has been a major product development priority at LexisNexis. With LexisNexis API solutions, we now provide law firms with the ability to access LexisNexis data from within their existing workflow, allowing lawyers and staff members to tailor their research tasks to their needs. This means less time aggregating and wrangling data — and more time analyzing and extracting actionable insights from the data that is delivered directly to their own working environment.
There are four primary law firm use cases that we envision for these API solutions:
Law firms can direct us to deliver and present LexisNexis legal research content directly into the firm’s internal applications.
Law firms can work with us to combine LexisNexis content and other firm-approved third-party content into a single search result in the firm’s own data environment.
Law firms can obtain automatic news updates and relevant news alerts from LexisNexis, pushed directly into the firm’s internal applications.
Law firms can augment their internal databases or designated data sets with LexisNexis content that is delivered to the firm’s own data environment.
LexisNexis has a family of API offerings for law firms that are designed to meet the needs of firms of all sizes and are entirely platform-agnostic so they can work with any IT configuration. Our APIs decouple the renowned LexisNexis database from the LexisNexis user interface, enabling law firms to pipe the specific content they need directly into their own data environment. This means that lawyers and staff members no longer need to logon to our site to conduct their legal research, we bring that research directly to you.
Learn more about LexisNexis APIs here.