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4 ways to enhance your practice with legal research

UniCourt

The modern law firm relies on legal technology to create strategic growth and reach new heights in practice management. From lead generation to research and case analysis, having the right tools is critical to building a successful law practice. 

In this guest post by One Legal’s newest Marketplace partner, UniCourtwill highlight some of the most salient examples for quick ways to boost your practice while saving time and money. 

#1: Amplifying lead generation with automated searches

Collecting accurate data is important, but business development teams within law firms need to take this a step further by harnessing the power of the automated search.  

At its most basic level, an automated search allows users to pull all newly filed cases (or cases filed within timeframes the user specifically designates) for a particular practice area or involving certain clients by simply plugging in search terms. The search engine, in response, will run automatically on a daily basis to generate responsive search results.  

Aside from saving lawyers time and reducing staff overhead, truncating the labor traditionally required to pull relevant datasets also cuts back on the inevitable human error that infiltrates legal research on government websites and case law databases. Not to mention, normalization technology enhances search results by scooping all possible variants for search terms into the result – providing users with data points that otherwise would have fallen through the cracks. 

Automated searches can expand your businesses by locating new clients and prospects without manual labor. Use automated searches to generate leads for existing clients by plugging in search terms that trigger results involving clients’ engagement in pending litigation. This system helps attorneys within both large and small firms remain closely updated on important legal developments that impact their top clients. 

#2: Automating case tracking and document downloads

By reducing or even eliminating the need for lawyers or staff to continually check multiple databases for case updates, automated searches cut back on costly overhead needed to sustain recurring tasks within the firm.  

In addition to garnering data on recent filings, automated case tracking through UniCourt’s system also allows lawyers to obtain real-time updates to cases and get notifications when updates occur. UniCourt connects to hundreds of state and federal courts in real-time, so lawyers don’t need to constantly “pulse-check” the courts and jurisdictions involving their clients. 

In addition to tracking cases for the latest updates, firms can also turn on automatic document downloads, removing the need to log into PACER and/or other state court databases to retrieve their latest filings. UniCourt will download documents as soon as they become available and send users automatic notifications when they’re ready to view. 

Comprehensive case and document supplementation gives your teams more information to work with in a fraction of the time it would have taken to identify a need, research where the information was located, and request the details. 

#3: Positioning for success with litigation trends

Law firms of various sizes can leverage litigation trends to target certain populations of prospective clients with growing needs for their services. What can your practice do with greater insight into litigation trends? 

Lawyers can locate niche or trending case types in their jurisdiction, which is especially helpful for firms attempting to diversify or take the lead in novel or untapped legal issues. This helps attorneys take a proactive, rather than a reactive, approach when it comes to testing the legal market. 

This is particularly helpful when it comes to staffing. Firms that identify a burgeoning area of the law to target can respond commensurately by hiring the skilled staff necessary to respond to an increase in the firm’s case volume and workflow. On the flip side, it can also prime firms to part with staff members or departments whose skill sets are no longer suited for the type of work the attorneys are bringing in.  

#4: Bolstering legal writing with crowdsourced documents

Finally, attorneys and firms can take advantage of comprehensive legal research companies to build a brief library, which can hone and streamline their legal research and writing processes.  

Taking the time to build a rich repository of legal briefs, motions, and pleadings to serve as templates and go-bys for associates and staff can make a firm’s production and delivery of accurate written documents much more efficient. This, in turn, will allow the firm to funnel more time, energy, funds, and other resources into strategic planning and business development efforts. 

With UniCourt’s legal analytics, firms can quickly see which lawyers have the most experience handling certain cases in their jurisdictions. This can give firms valuable intelligence on which lawyers may have already developed useful, accurate templates to handle their high case volumes that can serve as resources.  

For instance, if you practice bankruptcy, you could use legal analytics to locate the high-volume bankruptcy attorneys in your geographical region (and whose practices are similar to yours), then pull some of their filings to store in your own template library. 

Explore How UniCourt Can Enhance Your Practice

There are innumerable ways to use UniCourt’s services, and One Legal clients can benefit in more ways than one. From automatically downloading relevant filings, to collecting accurate, real-time data, the UniCourt application benefits firms of any size.  

To learn more about UniCourt and to receive an exclusive discount on our subscriptions, visit One Legal’s Marketplace and seize the opportunity to start enhancing your practice.  

About the author

Jeff Cox is the Director of Content & Data Acquisition for UniCourt, a SaaS offering using machine learning to disrupt the way court records are organized, accessed, and used. Jeff is a Florida attorney, who loves all things legal tech and volunteering with local legal aid programs in Tampa. 

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