2022 Highlights: Westlaw Precision Improves Research Speed and Quality for Legal Professionals
As 2022 comes to a close, Legal Current is reflecting on the Legal Professionals business’s milestones from the year. Today we look at the debut of Westlaw Precision and how it’s dramatically improving research speed and quality for legal professionals.
Its six new research capabilities – Precision Research, KeyCite Cited With, KeyCite Overruled in Part, Graphical View of History, Keep List/Hide Details, and Outline Builder – are helping legal professionals conduct research more than twice as fast and target precisely what they are looking for. Industry influencers have cheered what the Westlaw Precision tools bring to the legal space.
For Above the Law’s Joe Patrice, it was all about the new red-striped flag: “This is legal nerd stuff, but Westlaw has a new KeyCite flag between Yellow and Red and it’s exciting.” And AALL’s CRIV Blog called out KeyCite Overruled in Part and KeyCite Cited With as “noteworthy additions.”
On LawSites, Bob Ambrogi described the launch as, “Westlaw Precision feels like the Key Number system on steroids, classifying not just legal issues, but also other attributes that can help a researcher zero in on relevant cases.” On social, Ambrogi emphasized the editorial enhancements driving the launch: “Notably, in this age of AI, it relies heavily on humans.”
Thomson Reuters added 250 new attorney editors to help develop Westlaw Precision, marking the company’s largest-ever investment in editorial operations. The attorney editors mark up and classify case law in more useful ways, including by issue outcome, fact pattern, motion type, motion outcome, cause of action, and party type. Their efforts are enabling users to specify what they want and retrieve it quickly.
Paul Fischer, Thomson Reuters Legal Professionals president, explained that while technology is helping drive benefits throughout the legal industry, technological advances are not diminishing the need for a human touch.
Following the launch, he shared on LinkedIn: “We built Westlaw Precision on the editorial excellence that has long been at the heart of Westlaw and of our tradition of working closely with customers to help solve their legal research problems. It’s an extension of our vision: To empower legal professionals with insight and automation to drive efficiency and transform client service.”
Caroline Hill noted in Legal IT Insider: “The company is rightly proud of the granularity of the new research.” On Dewey B. Strategic, Jean O’Grady agreed: “There is no question that the new Westlaw Precision features and Precision Search in particular can reduce the aggravation and drudgery of reviewing a long list of research results.”