TomKat -- gone; Brangalina -- yawn; Bennifer -- who are they again? No matter. For lawyers, there is a new celeb couple in town. LexisNexis and Microsoft have teamed up to offer a new solution called Quicklaw for Microsoft Office. They say it is designed to simplify legal research and ultimately save time for lawyers.
I took it for a test drive to see if it's all they say it is. Bottom line, this is a pretty impressive tool if you run Microsoft Office. It links all of your Office products together into one interface and seamlessly adds in Quicklaw's legal research tools. No more opening and closing applications or maximizing and minimizing different windows. The most interesting feature is the real time case treatment indicators. Just start typing a case name in an email or a document, and you will get an automatic pop-up indicating the cases treatment history.
These are all very interesting features, but does it really increase productivity for lawyers? Short answer, yes. After playing around with the product, I spoke to Pamela Thompson, Director of Product Development for LexisNexis Canada, and she told me that they had conducted an independent time-efficiency study showing that background case information can be found on average 19 per cent faster, and that case citations can be found on average 32 per cent faster.
Pretty impressive numbers, considering legal research is probably one of the most time-consuming tasks, and for litigators, the one that clients most often take issue with. Anything that can reduce time and increase productivity and efficiency in the legal research area, is something that will make both lawyers and clients very happy. Keep in mind, before Quicklaw first came along, we actually had to go to a library and read cases in something known as a book.
Joshua Slayen is a lawyer and the VP of Business Development for LegalLinkup.com, the website that intelligently matches lawyers and clients based on needs and expertise.