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Research Tools/SaaS for Lawyers

The top additional digital tools or SaaS services that are being used for legal research and/or secondary research are Google Scholar, Bloomberg BNG, Ravel, Lexis Practice Advisor, and LexisNexis. Additional information about each tool is listed below.

THE TOP 5 DIGITAL TOOLS/SaaS SERVICES FOR LEGAL RESEARCH, SECONDARY RESEARCH AND LAWYERS

1. GOOGLE SCHOLAR

  • Google Scholar provides a complete database of case law including state appellate and Supreme Court cases (dating back to 1950); appellate, federal district, and bankruptcy courts to 1932; and U.S. Supreme Court cases since 1791.
  • In a 2017 Clio survey, Google Scholar was the fourth choice for users, right after Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Fastcase.

2. BLOOMBERG BNG

  • Bloomberg BNG has a market share of 1.34%, putting it among the top legal research tools according to a report compiled by Fastcase.
  • About eight years ago, Bloomberg introduced Bloomberg Law, a terminal for the legal market with data and analytics about courts and law firms.
  • In 2011, Bloomberg bought the Bureau of National Affairs for nearly $1 billion to strengthen its legal research offerings. The combined platform now lets businesses looking for counsel find the best law firm using data about law firm success rates and areas of expertise. In turn, law firms can use that data to market their services.

3. RAVEL

  • Ravel has a market share of 0.37% according to the Fastcase report.
  • Contains published cases, from every state and federal court, from all time periods, with comprehensive coverage of unpublished cases from May 15, 2015, onward.
  • New published and unpublished cases are typically available in Ravel within one week of release. Their single search box supports both Boolean and natural language searching, as well as allowing users to limit searches by jurisdiction.

4. LEXIS PRACTICE ADVISOR

  • Lexis Practice Advisor offers guidance such as practice notes, annotated forms, clauses and checklists across multiple practice areas, including Capital Markets & Corporate Governance, Commercial Transactions, Corporate and M&A, Intellectual Property & Technology, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, and Finance.
  • The editorial team is developing eight new practice modules. The LPA content is created by more than 650 expert practitioners from over 265 law firms and organizations.
  • This research tool has been reviewed by various review articles as being among the top digital legal research tools.

5. LEXIS NEXIS

  • LexisNexis is one of the largest online legal research providers. It is part of the Lewis group that has a market share of 20.21%.
  • This tool features integration with Microsoft Office so users can check whether a particular case has been cited, clarified, overturned, reaffirmed, or questioned by later authorities without switching between an open Word document and the user’s browser. LexisNexis calls this “Shepardizing” which is designed to save time and annoyance during brief writing.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To get the five additional digital tools or SaaS services that lawyers are using for legal research and/or secondary research, your research team selected those that have the largest market share in addition to those that were previously listed or those that have been reviewed in multiple credible review websites.

TDM

SMALL BUSINESS RESEARCH

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