[For a step-by-step guide on how to leverage technology to craft a winning litigation strategy, download our free report on Workflow Solutions for Litigators.]
At the start of 2020, the legal industry was facing some familiar challenges: slowing demand for traditional law firm services, increasing scrutiny of billing and pricing models, and growing competition. Law firms of all sizes were looking for better ways to retain and grow a client base, control costs, and get the right information at the right time.
Then the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. and brought business from coast to coast to a veritable standstill in late March. Law firms were confronted with a significantly more difficult year ahead, but the original challenges remained. In fact, they have become even more critical.
Corporate legal departments will be reevaluating how much they use outside counsel and “clients will be pushing anew for pricing concessions, predictable budgets, more efficient staffing, more sophisticated use of technology, better communication relating to goals and metrics, and new strategies to create winning outcomes,” according to Altman Weil’s Law Firms in Transition Survey, published in June 2020.
These challenges will not be going away anytime soon, regardless of when the economy ultimately recovers. In the Altman Weil survey, fielded in March and April 2020, law firm leaders were asked to identify which existing legal market trends were likely to be permanent changes to the industry.
Legal Market Trends That Are Here to Stay
- Focus on improved practice efficiency
- More price competition
- Competition from nontraditional service providers
- More non-hourly billing
- Corporate clients doing more work in-house
With challenges come opportunities, and law firms today can leverage sophisticated technology to succeed – particularly in practice areas that are expected to grow in demand, such as litigation.
Now more than ever, legal technology is necessary to help prepare for litigation. The amount of analytical data, evidence, and case law information is so substantial that we need smart technology to make sense of it all. The right legal technology platform will support you from the moment litigation is initiated throughout the full litigation workflow.
Litigation Workflow in Six Steps
1. Get to know your client
With Bloomberg Law’s 3.5 million downloadable company profiles, you can complete your client research all in one place. Access a company’s available financial statements, shareholder information and filings, management profiles, credit ratings, capital structure data, SEC filings, and more. To see the types of litigation the company is involved in and where the cases are located, use Litigation Analytics.
2. Evaluate the litigation issues
Once you’re familiar with your client and the particular business atmosphere they may be facing, the next step is to get up to speed on the relevant litigation issues at play. Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Practical Guidance has easy-to-understand overviews, checklists, sample forms, and comparison tables – all annotated by former litigators who share best practices based on their experience.
[To read more about how legal analytics and AI can improve attorney productivity and efficiency, download Bloomberg Law’s free report on Workflow Solutions for Litigators.]
3. Investigate your judge’s case history
Armed with data-based knowledge – understanding how certain motions and appeals resolved and the relationships among parties, law firms, and areas of law – you can better predict outcomes, timing, and case costs. Litigation Analytics offers fast access to information on all sitting federal District Court judges – their profiles, past work and current cases, cited opinions, decisions by motion outcomes, appeals outcomes, length of case, appearances, and case type.
4. Conduct legal research
With the artificial intelligence-driven technologies on Bloomberg Law, the days of sifting through irrelevant court opinions are over. Points of Law enables you to quickly and easily determine which cases are the most cited, most relevant, and most recent as you research the law relevant to your issue. Litigators can jump-start their research by uploading their opponent’s brief into Brief Analyzer to instantly see case citations and links to relevant, expert intelligence. Brief Analyzer integrates seamlessly into your workflow so you can spend less time on analysis and more time on crafting a winning strategy. In fact, 94% of Brief Analyzer beta users reported that it reduced the time required to research a brief and prepare a response.