2020 Legal Analytics Study, What Does It Mean to Law Libraries?

LexisNexis released its third annual LexisNexis ALM Study survey. This Survey suggests 90% of survey respondents agree: legal analytics makes them a better legal practitioner. You can find the full survey here.

The study shows 70% of large law firms use legal analytics tools, with 75% of respondents citing an increase in usage at their firm over the last year. Individually, 73% of respondents at firms with access to the tools report using legal analytics either directly or indirectly. Among users, 90% say the technology makes them better lawyers, and 92% plan to increase use over the next year.

The study indicates 98% of lawyers believe legal analytics has improved their law firm’s performance. Among firms that do not utilize legal analytics, 58% of attorneys believe lack of training/understanding of how the technologies work is one of the top challenges for adoption legal analytics.

It brings a question to academic law libraries. Should we add legal analytics as a part of the law school legal research training? Legal market changes, then law schools’ legal research training changes. We want to make our law students more competitive in the job market. This is true if we compare the current legal research curriculum with the curriculum in the 1980s. When attorneys use printed materials for their daily research, we teach students how to use printed materials. When practitioners use databases regularly, we have to teach our students how to use databases to do legal research accordingly.

This technology, legal analytics, is too new to both law firms and law libraries. It is hard to say if firms, especially small firms, would prefer students with legal analytics training or not. What should we do? Librarians should wait and observe the legal industry’s reaction to legal analytics in the next few years.

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