Would Perry Mason have leveraged metadata and AI? The encyclopedic knowledge and quick recall of his previous cases gave the fictional barrister and his clients an instant advantage in the courtroom. But few real-world lawyers have the mind of a Mason. Fortunately, we live in the digital era, in which lawyers can find information quickly thanks to an AI-enabled, metadata-driven enterprise search and knowledge management system.
Law practices often tout their experience in handling certain types of cases. But if the firm’s lawyers can’t find information about that litigation, it’s like those cases never happened. Ingestion, storage and retrieval of data is critical to the institutional memory of a successful practice. When data enters a law firm, it must be profiled. Smart profiling that is AI-enabled works automatically to identify a document’s content and to tag it in metadata. Then the document can be searched on, shared, updated, protected, transferred, governed, and retired. When it comes time to retrieve relevant data, AI algorithms search for information intelligently, finding topics that are closely related, misspelled, or otherwise valuable.
Where metadata pays off
- Winning new business. Knowledge of a law firm’s prior cases is critical intellectual property. When clients search for legal representation, they want more information than the typical attorney bio. If they can be presented with relevant information regarding previous cases, they are far more likely to be convinced of a law firm’s expertise. And since clients often need to select a lawyer quickly, the ability to promptly deliver that information will play a key role in developing new business.
- Better serving current clients. Legal research is an essential part of any law firm’s service to clients. But finding earlier occurrences of similar matters is too often a slow and laborious manual process. Also, as data relentlessly accumulate, human search is increasingly prone to error. The application of AI to legal research not only enables the handling of very large amounts of data, it can also increase accuracy and spot unusual relationships in data that humans would likely miss.
- Increasing strategic efficiency. Law firms are under pressure – from competitors for clients and from the need to boost profits. Yet, information overload and manual processes are standing in the way, leading to high costs for clients – or write-downs for the firm. Without unified search capabilities, firms will be hard-pressed to rapidly assemble budget, spending, billing, HR and other business information as they strive for greater internal efficiency and higher margins. When attorneys can find information quickly, they can focus on high-level tasks.
Lengthy searches that do not return information in a timely manner make a law firm look bad to prospective customers and cause them to serve current clients poorly. It also erodes overall efficiency. OpenText™ Decisiv™’s AI-powered enterprise search affords single sign-on while seamlessly integrating with data stores to deliver a unified view of data. OpenText™ eDOCS, an enterprise content management system based on a flexible metadata schema, integrates with Decisiv to provide a single, unified search solution across all enterprise repositories. Result: increased attorney efficiency and higher firm-wide ROI.
Would Perry Mason have leveraged metadata and AI? Keeping in mind that the superlative solicitor was always a step ahead of his adversaries, I’ll let you be the judge.
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