Knowledge is on the core of contemporary authorized apply. Whereas outdoors analysis has all the time been crucial, the fact is that the majority legal professionals are spending the majority of their time inside their agency’s firewall and inside their particular apply space pages.
Lexis has set out to make sure that customers have entry to the info they want on the actual second they want it. Somewhat than requiring customers to exit and affirmatively search Lexis for info, Lexis can now tie that knowledge into the precise second of your workflow by the use of new APIs (Utility Programming Interfaces). We just lately sat down with Dave DiCicco, Senior Director of Product Administration at LexisNexis, to debate the brand new API choices from Lexis and the way they’re altering the way in which legislation corporations apply legislation.
Earlier than we dive in, are you able to clarify APIs in a nutshell?
At its core, an API is a approach for 2 items of software program to speak to one another. You may consider APIs like Legos. Usually, though there are directions or an image on the field, individuals find yourself constructing one thing that appears very completely different from the equipment. For instance, the Lego equipment could be meant to construct the Eiffel Tower, however some customers won’t want an Eiffel Tower and as an alternative construct an area cruiser by assembling all of the items collectively differently.
With APIs, the Lego items are knowledge, and the Lexis API permits customers to decouple the info from its unique interface and assemble the info the way in which they want it. If prospects go into their browser and go to Lexis or Lexis+, they will entry no matter knowledge they should customise their workflows. So, if you wish to construct the Eiffel Tower you’ll be able to, however you can too construct the house cruiser if that’s what you want.
On the coronary heart of all of that is knowledge, which has virtually risen to the extent of a buzzword in authorized tech. Why is knowledge so essential to legislation corporations and why did Lexis resolve to get into the realm of APIs within the first place?
There are a lot of various kinds of knowledge inside legislation corporations – knowledge inside matter administration techniques, knowledge inside billing techniques, and knowledge in lots of different locations. The fact is that none of that knowledge is uniform. For instance, if I’m filling out an consumption kind, the way in which I enter the consumer info could be completely different than the way in which you enter it if we’re manually filling it out, which suggests we might find yourself with completely different info on the identical consumer. This makes it difficult once you’re looking for consumer info later, particularly if widespread names are concerned.
Lexis desires to assist shoppers normalize knowledge that’s lengthy been unclean and disorganized. Our APIs incorporate international identifiers, permitting you to seek out the precise entities, seek for info, and pipe that normalized knowledge into your setting.
Why is it essential for corporations so as to add outdoors knowledge to inner agency knowledge?
Usually, corporations don’t have all the knowledge they want for his or her workflows. Take your matter administration system, for instance. You may know the docket quantity for a case, however you must search Lexis to seek out info that’s inside the docket to be able to populate your matter administration system, whether or not it’s with dates, the kind of case, the contributors, or different supplemental knowledge. The Lexis API pulls the info so that you can assist populate and once more to normalize it to verify the whole lot is within the right format.
Many corporations additionally want alerting capabilities for issues like compliance or understanding the impacts of adjustments within the legislation. Lexis APIs fill that monitoring and alerting function, permitting corporations to complement their knowledge and ensure the knowledge they’re populating into their workflows is correct.
What are the completely different APIs that Lexis gives?
Our three important APIs vary from easy to complicated. As a generalization, our APIs are targeted on content material units and letting customers choose the precise content material set to both construct the Eiffel Tower or the house cruiser.
Our most elementary API is the URL API. And you’ll consider that as a one-way hyperlink into Lexis. Any agency can construct a hyperlink to seek for a sure idea, reminiscent of burden of proof, by inserting it right into a URL and having Lexis do the coding mandatory to construct the workflows they want. The second API, and the one the place most prospects profit, is our REST/Net Providers API, which actually permits customers to create customized workflows as a result of we’re platform agnostic. That is the place you construct the house cruiser, by doing the coding your self reasonably than having Lexis do the coding for you. The third API is the Bulk API, which transfers a big set of knowledge from our servers over to the shopper. That is utilized in uncommon cases when corporations need to do one thing like data-mine a particular idea by all of the out there authorized and information content material to coach machine studying fashions.
What are a number of the hottest use instances for Lexis APIs?
We summarize our use instances as WIRE: workflow, integration, recency, and enrichment. Workflow refers to constructing personalized workflows, for instance, inside apply areas. This will take the type of including a search field to a apply space web page or constructing out a apply space web page by pushing out developments in a given space to populate that web page. So, reasonably than going out to Lexis or Lexis+ to seek out related informationation, you may get that info from behind your firewall by way of the Lexis API. Integration permits customers so as to add info from third-party purposes to their workflows to get the most effective outcomes.
Recency pertains to alerting. Customers can arrange preliminary searches and be notified of adjustments in issues like dockets, laws, or rules. The knowledge on these adjustments may be populated into e-mail alerts, apply space pages, firm or consumer pages, and extra. Lastly, enrichment speaks to cleansing up and normalizing the info that’s in a agency’s system. For instance, the Lexis API can seek for and construct out info on each choose that’s in a agency’s matter administration system, making certain that the info all the time refers back to the proper choose and is structured in the identical approach. This normalization permits you to be sure that you seek for the right choose throughout Lexis merchandise reminiscent of Context.
How do Lexis APIs match into the bigger ecosystem of LexisNexis merchandise?
The URL API faucets into each Lexis and Lexis+. Nevertheless, we consider all our APIs as a part of our general expertise technique, aimed toward serving to individuals get the info they want from our completely different merchandise. We’re aiming to construct international merchandise to serve prospects in international locations all around the world. APIs and workflow instruments are only one leg of our general technique.
What can we anticipate to see from Lexis API options sooner or later?
Over time we’re planning so as to add extra APIs throughout our product line. Proper now, our APIs faucet into Lexis and Lexis+, however that can broaden to different Lexis merchandise. We’re all the time searching for extra alternatives, significantly primarily based on buyer suggestions and the use instances they need assist with. Our new APIs are only the start. We need to assist individuals construct the following model of the house cruiser that perhaps we haven’t even envisioned but.
It’s additionally our imaginative and prescient that there can be one API developer’s portal no matter what nation you’re in or what Lexis merchandise you’re searching for. It’ll actually be international in nature.
If a agency studying that is all for Lexis APIs, how can they get began?
It’s a extremely consultative course of. We wish to have conversations with corporations to know precisely what their desired use instances are earlier than we propose the precise API for them. For extra info, click on right here.